Lines of thought: discourse, architectonics, and the origin of modern philosophy
It is considerably easier to say that modern philosophy began with Descartes than it is to define the modernity and philosophy to which Descartes gave rise. In Lines of Thought, Claudia Brodsky Lacour describes the double origin of modern philosophy in Descartes’s Discours de la méthode and Géométrie, works whose interrelation, she argues, reveals the specific nature of the modern in his thought. Her study examines the roles of discourse and writing in Cartesian method and intuition, and the significance of graphic architectonic form in the genealogy of modern philosophy.
While Cartesianism has long served as a synonym for rationalism, the contents of Descartes’s method and cogito have remained infamously resistant to rational analysis. Similarly, although modern phenomenological analyses descend from Descartes’s notion of intuition, the “things” Cartesian intuitions represent bear no resemblance to phenomena. By returning to what Descartes calls the construction of his “foundation” in the Discours, Brodsky Lacour identifies the conceptual problems at the root of Descartes’s literary and aesthetic theory as well as epistemology. If, for Descartes, linear extension and “I” are the only “things” we can know exist, the Cartesian subject of thought, she shows, derives first from the intersection of discourse and drawing, representation and matter. The crux of that intersection, Brodsky Lacour concludes, is and must be the cogito, Descartes’s theoretical extension of thinking into material being. Describable in accordance with the Géométrie as a freely constructed line of thought, the cogito, she argues, extends historically to link philosophy with theories of discursive representation and graphic delineation after Descartes. In conclusion, Brodsky Lacour analyzes such a link in the writings of Claude Perrault, the architectural theorist whose reflections on beauty helped shape the seventeenth-century dispute between “the ancients and the moderns.”
Part of a growing body of literary and interdisciplinary considerations of philosophical texts, Lines of Thought will appeal to theorists and historians of literature, architecture, art, and philosophy, and those concerned with the origin and identity of the modern.
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Traitior Discours de la mithode
The Things a Thinking Thing Thinks 3 8
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abstract aesthetic algebra algebraic notation Analytic Geometry ancient Antoine Arnauld arbitrary architect architecture Arnauld autobiographical autre baroque beauty bien body Boyer c'est cartes Cartesian chap Charles Perrault choses Claude Perrault cogito conception context d'autres deduction Deleuze Descartes described dessin deux Discours Discourse on Method drawing epistemology equations Essays etre experience extension fable fait fantaisie Gaukroger geometry Gilson Giomitrie Greek mathematics History Ibid idea idee imagination imitation intuition Jean-Luc Marion knowledge L'oeil et I'esprit language Leibniz letters lignes logical Logique mathematics means meme Merleau-Ponty metaphor metaphysical method mind modern mots n'est narrative nature notation object Ordonnance Paris peut philosophy physical Port Royal posed proportions pure qu'il qu'on querelle raison reading reason Regulae relations representation represented rhetoric rules sense sensory seul signs syllogism syllogistic tableau temporal things thinking thought tion tout treatise truth Vitruvius words writing Zeno's paradoxes