NOTES ON THE TEXT
French titles of Descartes' works have been retained throughout the text.
Unless otherwise noted, translations from French, German, Spanish, and
Italian texts are my own. My translation of the Discours uses the generally
excellent version by Donald A. Cress, Discourse on Method and Meditations
on First Philosophy (Indianapolis: Hackett,
as a basis of reference
and comparison from which it sometimes differs. Similarly, my transla-
tion of the Geometrie is based on the standard bilingual edition translated
by David Eugene Smith and Marcia 1. Latham, The Geometry of Rene
Descartes (Chicago: Open Court,
with modifications aimed at main-
taining original vocabulary.
The use of masculine pronouns in the text usually indicates the autobio-
graphical subject, "Descartes." When, less frequently, they indicate a gen-
eral subject inferred from Descartes' writings, they should be construed in
conformity with the French subject marker, "on."