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Grant number: FEL-257260-18

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Jeremy S. Hyman
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (Fayetteville, AR 72701-1201)

On the Discovery of a New Manuscript of René Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy

My discovery of the only surviving manuscript of Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy—-the pre-publication draft sent to the Toulouse mathematician, Fermat—-furnishes the occasion for a translation, commentary, and critical edition of the Meditations. The translation highlights unique features of the manuscript: its title, Prima Philosophia, First Philosophy, and the section headings of the individual Meditations; its punctuation and paragraph breaks; and a number of philosophically-important textual variants. The commentary locates the place of the Meditations in Descartes’ ongoing corpus, and probes the argument structure and individual arguments of the Meditations. Finally, the critical edition compares the manuscript to the first and second printed editions of the Meditations. The discovery of the manuscript is a unique find of a foundational philosophical text and is the closest we have come to what Descartes was thinking as he wrote the Meditations.

Project fields:
History of Philosophy


Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2018 – 5/31/2019