Meditations on First Philosophy
  • Publication Date: May 2, 2013
  • ISBN: 9781554811526 / 155481152X
  • 104 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Meditations on First Philosophy

  • Publication Date: May 2, 2013
  • ISBN: 9781554811526 / 155481152X
  • 104 pages; 5½" x 8½"

Considered a foundational text in modern philosophy, the Meditations on First Philosophy presents numerous powerful arguments that to this day influence debates in epistemology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of religion. This new translation incorporates revisions from the second Latin edition (1642) and the later French translation (1647) to make Descartes’ reasoning as lucid and engaging as possible. Also included in this edition is a brief introduction to Descartes and the Meditations. The introduction helps the reader to understand the context and purpose of Descartes’ project without over-explaining his arguments.


“Broadview Press has produced an excellent translation of Descartes’s famous Meditations on First Philosophy. It is accurate, philosophically sensitive, and it rivals any of the translations currently available. Andrew Bailey’s introduction of the text, and his biography of Descartes, is a real plus, and will serve students well.” — Kurt Smith, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

“A very helpful translation. The language is clear, and the supplementary material and notes lay out a cross-section of the interpretive debates, and provide tips for how a reader might approach them.” — David Cunning, University of Iowa

“Descartes was living and writing at a tumultuous time, and Bailey does a nice job of sketching the intellectual environment into which the Meditations was launched, while pre-emptively warding off a number of common misunderstandings of Descartes’s aims.” — Seth Bordner, University of Alabama


Translator’s Note

Meditations on First Philosophy

Dedication to the Sorbonne

Preface to the Reader

Synopsis of the Six Following Meditations

  • First Meditation: Concerning Those Things Which Can Be Called into Doubt

    Second Meditation: Concerning the Nature of the Human Mind and the Fact that It Is Easier to Know than the Body

    Third Meditation: Concerning God and the Fact that He Exists

    Fourth Meditation: Concerning Truth and Falsity

    Fifth Meditation: Concerning the Essence of Material Things, and, Once Again, Concerning the Fact that God Exists

    Sixth Meditation: Concerning the Existence of Material Things and the Real Distinction between Mind and Body


Andrew Bailey is Professor of Philosophy and Associate Dean of Arts at the University of Guelph. He is editor of The Broadview Introduction to Philosophy.

Ian Johnston is an Emeritus Professor at Vancouver Island University and has translated several works from Greek, French, German, and Latin.

For a sample of the introduction to Meditations on First Philosophy, click here.

For a sample of Ian Johnston’s translation of Meditations on First Philosophy, click here.

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