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

Authors: Shorto, Russell
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
BISAC/Subject: SCI034000, PHI046000, HIS037040
ISBN: 9780385528375, Related ISBNs: 0307275663, 038551753X, 038552837X, 9780307275660, 9780385517539
Classification: Non-Fiction
Number of pages: 320,
Audience: General/trade
Synopsis:

Sixteen 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.

New York Times Notable Book


 

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