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Demons, Dreamers, and Madmen


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Demons, Dreamers, and Madmen is a classic. At long last it is available to a new generation of readers who, whether they agree or disagree with Frankfurt's views, are sure to come away from his book exhilarated and enlightened. -- Janet Broughton, University of California, Berkeley One of the smartest books on Descartes in the literature in any language. But it is not only an important contribution to the history of philosophy; Frankfurt also gives us new perspectives on knowledge and truth that have remained as fresh and lively as when they were first published. -- Dan Garber, Princeton University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Rebecca Goldstein vii Preface to the Princeton Edition xiii Preface xvii Part One: THE FIRST MEDITATION CHAPTER 1: Introduction 3 CHAPTER 2: The General Overthrow of Belief 19 CHAPTER 3: The Criterion of Doubt 32 CHAPTER 4: The Perception of the Physical World 43 CHAPTER 5: The Strategy of the First Meditation 60 CHAPTER 6: Simple and Universal Things 75 CHAPTER 7: Mathematics in the First Meditation 84 CHAPTER 8: Mathematics and the Omnipotent Deceiver 93 CHAPTER 9: Demons, Dreamers, and Madmen 108 Part Two: REASON AND ITS VALIDATION CHAPTER 10: Sum 123 CHAPTER 11: Sum res cogitans 154 CHAPTER 12: Clear and Distinct Perception 175 CHAPTER 13: Objections to Descartes's Rule of Evidence 200 CHAPTER 14: Memory and Doubt 215 CHAPTER 15: The Validation of Reason 235 CHAPTER 16: Truth and Reality: The Galileo Controversy 250 Index 257

About the Author

Harry G. Frankfurt is professor of philosophy emeritus at Princeton University. His books include the best-selling "On Bullshit" and "The Reasons of Love"


Harry G. Frankfurt, 2017 Charles Homer Haskins Prize Lecturer, American Council of Learned Societies

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