In this study, Tom Sorell seeks to rehabilitate views that are often instantly dismissed in analytic philosophy. His book serves as a reinterpretation of Cartesianism and responds directly to the dislike of Descartes in contemporary philosophy. To identify what is defensible in Cartesianism, Sorell starts with a picture of unreconstructed Cartesianism, which is characterized as realistic, antisceptical but respectful of scepticism, rationalist, centered on the first person, dualist, and dubious of the comprehensiveness of natural science and its supposed independence of metaphysics. Bridging the gap between history of philosophy and analytic philosophy, Sorell also shows for the first time how some contemporary analytic philosophy is deeply Cartesian, despite its outward hostility to Cartesianism.

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