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These meditations are named in honor of those of Rene Descartes. Descartes is often described as the first modern philosopher, a man who believed that science and mathematics, in conjunction with clear analytic thinking, could explain events in the physical world. Among other things, Descartes developed the Cartesian coordinate system for graphing equations and geometric shapes.

For many years Descartes' analytic universe was a sort of holy grail, a distant, idealized state humanity should strive for. But if the passage of time has shown anything, it's that much of the world is neither orderly nor describable by science, particularly the affairs of the human heart. As a result, Descartes' philosophic works have largely fallen into irrelevance.

But I believe this is an over-reaction. While not all-encompassing, there is still a place for the Cartesian ideals of crisp, empirically based, analysis, mathematical reasoning, and critical thought. These meditations will, as best I am able, adhere to those principles.