Descartes' Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason

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Vintage Books, 2009 - History - 336 pages
15 Reviews
A New York Times Notable BookSixteen years after René Descartes' death in Stockholm in 1650, a pious French ambassador exhumed the remains of the controversial philosopher to transport them back to Paris. Thus began a 350-year saga that saw Descartes' bones traverse a continent, passing between kings, philosophers, poets, and painters. But as Russell Shorto shows in this deeply engaging book, Descartes' bones also played a role in some of the most momentous episodes in history, which are also part of the philosopher's metaphorical remains: the birth of science, the rise of democracy, and the earliest debates between reason and faith. Descartes' Bones is a flesh-and-blood story about the battle between religion and rationalism that rages to this day.
 

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Review: Descartes' Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason

User Review  - Mario Gutierrez - Goodreads

Descartes' Bones is certainly not a "Page turner", but to say that it wasn't an interesting read would be both unfair and wholly inaccurate. The commentary on our conception of modernity that it draws ... Read full review

Review: Descartes' Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason

User Review  - Todd Stockslager - Goodreads

The tale of philosopher-scientist Rene Descartes' bones form the skeleton of Shorto's sketch of Descartes key ideas that shaped our modern world. Descartes, French by birth but exiled by force (his ... Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER
1
Chapter i
264
Chapter 6
271

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About the author (2009)

RUSSELL SHORTO is the bestselling author of The Island at the Center of the World and a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine. He lives in Amsterdam.

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