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Silencing the Demon's Advocate: The Strategy of Descartes' Meditations

This book attempts to explain The Meditations (1641), a classic of Western philosophy in which Descartes tries to reach a predetermined end (“perfect certainty”) by means of a definite method (“the method of doubt”). Professor of the History of Ideas Ronald Rubin argues that many problems of interpretation—including notorious problems of circularity—arise from a failure to recognize that Descartes' strategy for attaining certainty is not to add support for his beliefs, but to subtract grounds for doubt. To explain this strategy, Rubin views Descartes as playing the role of a fictional character—the Demon's Advocate—whose beliefs are, in some respects, mirror images of Descartes' own. The purpose of The Meditations, he contends, is to silence the Demon's Advocate.

Stanford University Press, 2008 · 208 pages · $50.00

The Dragon's Child: A Story of Angel Island

The Dragon’s Child is a touching portrait of a father and son’s unforgettable journey from China to America. It is based on actual conversations between two-time Newbery Honor author Laurence Yep and his father and on research into his family’s immigration history by his niece, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies Kathleen S. Yep.

HarperCollins, 2008 · 144 pages · $15.99