Introduction to the Concordance

 Browsing Instructions:

The Concordance organizes terms alphabetically, listing specific passages in the Passions where each term appears.  In order to find an entry, simply click on the appropriate alphabetized link.  The Catalogue is also accessible via the Concordance, and by clicking on the Catalogue link, you may view the Catalogue in the right window.  Using this method, you will be able to keep the Concordance menu active, thus enabling easy navigation between The Concordance and The Catalogue.

The Catalogue organizes terms according to their use and meaning.  In order to locate a term within The Catalogue, click on the appropriate numbered subject-heading.  Terms that also appear in the Concordance are highlighted;  by clicking on the word, you will be taken to the corresponding Concordance entry.

Introduction by Stephen Voss:

The generating principle for this concordance was to locate the "philosophical" expressions in Descartes's treatise, in the very broad sense in which he himself would have understood that term.  The concordance identifies expressions that communicate Cartesian theory, both that which is present in this treatise and that which is present in other writings.

My hope is that the concordance will facilitate creative and non-mechanical work on the philosophical questions raised by Descartes's writings.  The format of the concordance, briefly described in the paragraphs below, has been guided by the intent to create a tool for serious--that is, conscious--reflection upon these questions, rather than for tasks accessible to mechanical kinds of intelligence.  This intent echoes that of the tenth of the Rules for the Direction of the Mind: in all intellectual activity "we must be careful lest our reason should take a holiday while we are examining the truth of anything" (AT X, 406).

The textual basis for the concordance is the first edition of Descartes's treatise (Amsterdam and Paris, 1649), in French.  But expressions are located by page and line references to Charles Adam and Paul Tannery (editors), Oeuvres de Descartes (1909; 1974) (herein referred to as "AT"), volume XI.  An asterisk * following a reference indicates an occurrence that is miscopied in AT.  In a few cases I conjecture that the first edition miscopies Descartes's manuscript, now lost; I explain these conjectures in the notes.

For the benefit of those unfortunate souls less familiar with seventeenth-century French than with twentieth-century French, main headings appear in present-day orthography, as given by Emile Littré's Dictionnaire de la langue Française (Paris: Jean-Jacques Pauvert, Gallimard, Hachette; 1956-1958): seven volumes.  Whenever Descartes's own orthography differs from our own, these headings are followed immediately by his version or versions.  The prefix ">" marks a Cartesian version of the preceding main heading.  Subheads are in Descartes's orthography.

The concordance locates multiple- as well as single-word expressions: the locations of "mouvement des esprits," for example, are noted under the main heading "mouvement" and the subhead "^ des esprits."  As here, the symbol "^" indicates the position of the main heading within the subhead.  A cross-reference of the form "See X" or "See also X" appears next to a main heading or subhead Y when a multiple-word expression containing Y is indexed under the main heading X.  So the notice "See also mouvement" next to the main head "esprits" refers the reader to one or more subheads under "mouvement" that contain the word "esprits."

Where it has seemed useful I have indexed the different uses of ambiguous terms under distinct main headings.  The less philosophically important parts of speech of these ambiguous terms are not indexed:

avenir, beau, bien, chaud, devoir, donné, droit, force, froid, mal, mort, particulier, passé, pouvoir, présent, public, son.

Some idealization is present.  Trivially different syntactic variants of multiple-word expressions are indexed under a single standard subhead.  Adjectives are indexed under the masculine form.  All forms of verbs, both French and Latin, are indexed under the infinitive form.  Where an expression, like a participle, might plausibly be construed either as verb or as adjective it is generally indexed under the verb; thus "facher," but not "faché," is a main heading.  Nouns and adjectives are indexed under the plural form if they never appear in the treatise in singular form; otherwise they are indexed under the singular form.

The Catalog of Indexed Expressions which follows is a guide to the categories into which main headings fall.  The parenthesized letters "aj," "av," "rv," and "vb" which may appear after a term in the catalog indicate that an adjective, adverb, reflexive verb, or non-reflexive verb closely cognate to that term is also indexed.  The presence of a main heading indicates that it, or one of the terms picked out by the following parenthesis, falls within the indicated category.

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