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

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2009 - History - 299 pages
3 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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America's great battle: Faith vs. Reason

User Review  - Kelly P, Mktg Specialist - Borders

All of our contemporary political thought can be traced in some way back to Descartes. Descartes refused to believe without proof; he wanted a rational, proveable underpinning to all the tenants of ... Read full review

The history of faith versus reason

User Review  - Chris Y., Asst Buyer - Borders

In his latest book, Russell Shorto tackles the struggle between faith and reason by examining the curious fate of the bones of Rene Descartes, one of our greatest philosophers. Most famously known for ... Read full review

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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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