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Essays among the old ones, so as to bring those on related subjects, as nearly as possible, into juxtaposition. But both editions contain exactly the same Essays, and the same amount of matter.
THE GENIUS AND WRITINGS OF
If we except Bacon, there is no greater name connected with the revival of philosophy than that of Descartes; some would, perhaps, murmur even at this exception. But, at all events, there is no other; and, as has been justly said, the two, directly or indirectly, almost 'divide the philosophical history of
*Edinburgh Review,' Jan. 1852.
1. Euvres Complètes de Descartes. Publiées par Victor Cousin. 8vo. 11 vols. Paris: 1824-1826.
2. Fragments de Philosophie Cartésienne. Par Victor Cousin. Paris: 12mo. Pp. 470. 1845.
3. Euvres de Descartes. Nouvelle Edition, collationnée sur les meilleurs textes et précédée d'une introduction. Par M. Jules Simon. Paris: 1850. 12mo. Pp. 618. (Discours sur la Mé. thode, Méditations, Traité des Passions.)
4. Discourse on the Method of rightly conducting the Reason, and seeking Truth in the Sciences. By DESCARTES. Translated from the French, with an introduction. Edinburgh: 12mo. Pp. 118.
the seventeenth century between them.' To these men, more than to any other, is the world indebted for the demolition of venerable error-the emancipation from ancient prejudices-the breaking-up of those stereotyped forms of thought in which philosophy had so long been cast, and which, while it was confined to them, rendered all progress impossible. Both originated new 'Methods,' which, however unequal in their influence on the progress of science, have contributed immensely to stimulate the activity of the human mind, as well as to determine the direction of that activity.
The chief glory of Descartes consists not so much in the positive additions he made to human knowledge, —the fragments of truth which, tested by time, still remain undissolved amidst the ruins of his general system; nor even in his 'Method,' if we mean by that a system of rules for the prosecution of all science; but in the vast influence he exerted in the origination and development of modern philosophy†, and indirectly on all its subsequent history; in the important degree in which he contributed to emancipate the human mind from the yoke of authority; in the effects of his method as applied to one branch of science, that of the mind, in which he justly earned the title conferred upon him by Stewart; and in the perpetual corrective reaction, supplied in the tendencies of his philosophy, to the excesses of the
* Speaking of the philosophy of this century, M. Cousin says: 'Deux hommes l'ouvrent et la constituent, Bacon et Descartes.' Cours de Philosophie.
† He was born in the year 1596 and died in 1650; he therefore lived at the critical period when the ancient philosophy was dying
and the modern not yet born. Bacon and Descartes were made the age, and the age for them.