Descartes: An Intellectual Biography by Stephen Gaukroger

By Stephen Gaukroger

René Descartes's insights into the character of information and the brain have encouraged awe and debate during the centuries. yet whereas philosophers have sought to appreciate the ramifications of his theories, they've got paid less realization to how, precisely, he arrived at his principles. What twists and turns of his mind introduced him to his epochal conclusions? How did his own targets and the social stipulations of his period form his suggestion? those questions and extra are masterfully spoke back in Stephen Gaukroger's Descartes, a desirable examine this such a lot influential of all Renaissance thinkers.
In his quest to retrace Descartes's improvement as a scientist and thinker, Gaukroger leaves no stone unturned. From the nice man's first ebook on song idea (Compendium Musicae) to his masterworks Discours, Essais, Meditationes, and Principia, from his examine of arithmetic whereas attending a Jesuit collage at age ten, via his loss of life days within the provider of Christina, Queen of Sweden, Descartes brims with penetrating and sometimes incredible insights into the philosopher's lifestyles and paintings. we find, for instance, that he wasn't as all for constructing an all-encompassing conception of data as he was once with constructing a ordinary philosophy that supported the lessons of Copernicus, a guy whose paintings he deeply well known. We additionally examine that Descartes used to be prepared to change his publicly acknowledged perspectives to deal with church doctrine--especially after witnessing Galileo's condemnation in 1633. We detect how his own triumphs and failures--from his rumored fearful breakdown in 1614, to his pleasure on the well known reception of Discours and Essais, to his protracted and extremely public dispute with the implacable professor Voetius--affected his highbrow improvement. alongside the best way, Gaukroger info how Descartes's theories of metaphysics, mechanics, cognition, and cosmology were either championed and distorted via philosophers of all stripes for over 300 years. choked with worthy diagrams and in-depth interpretations of Descartes's such a lot celebrated works, the booklet additionally encompasses a valuable chronology that highlights his vital accomplishments and private milestones.
Descartes is an exhaustively certain, magisterial examine the spectacular highbrow achievements of the daddy of contemporary philosophy. wonderfully written by means of a popular authority at the topic, it's going to function the definitive consultant to Descartes's options, works, and lifestyles for years to come.

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