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Des Cartes Rene (du Perron)

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Des Cartes Rene (Du Perron)

in its Latin form Renatus Cartesius one of the earliest in time, and the first in genius and reputation, of the modern philosophers of France, was born at La Haye, in Touraine, on the 30th of March, 1596, and died at Stockholm on the 11th of February, 1650. He assumed the name of Du Perron from a small estate inherited from his mother. He divides with Bacon the glory of founding the modern philosophy of Europe, and communicated a more potent impulse than Bacon to the general philosophy of mind. These two great names, as Cousin observes, inaugurate and constitute the philosophy of the sixteenth century. They have been compared and contrasted with each other under the blinding influence of national prejudice and national rivalry, and the palm has been conceded to the one or to the other according as the critic was French or English. The profound and widely-diffused influence of Des Cartes is evinced by the names and theories of his opponents, as well as by the names and Writings of those who adopted or modified his doctrines. Among the antagonists of Cartesianism within the seventeenth century may be specified Gassendi, Hobbes, Arnaull, Huet, Sir Isaac Newton, John Locke, and Samuel Clarke; among its more or less acquiescent followers maybe enumerated Rohault, Clerselier, Spinoza, Bayle, Malebranche, and Leibnitz. It is not too much to say that the whole domain of metaphysics and a large part of physics still bear the impress of the genius and labors of Des Cartes.

Life of Des Cartes. The constitution of Des Cartes was always feeble. To this may be ascribed his studious habits, his quick impressibility, his inclination to reverie and solitary meditation, his habitual love of seclusion, and the timidity which restrained and retarded the enunciation of his dogmas. At eight years of age he was sent to the Jesuit college of La Fleche, where he remained eight years. His keen observation and curious inquiries had led his father to designate him, even in early childhood, as "the philosopher." His weak health occasioned the relaxation in his behalf of the ordinary routine of academic discipline. He was allowed to lie late in bed in the morning. During these morning vigils, which were observed through life, he meditated and revolved the whole scheme of his philosophy. Des Cartes prosecuted his college studies with diligence and success, but became dissatisfied with their supposed vanity and superficiality. His complaints on this subject, uttered a quarter of a century afterwards, are a strange anticipation of the opening monologue of Goethe's Faust. After leaving La Fleche he went to Paris, and plunged into dissipation; but from this course he soon withdrew into studious seclusion, concealing himself from his acquaintances for a year. When discovered he retired to Holland, and took service under prince Maurice of Nassau, 1617-19. Here he composed his treatise De Musica, and developed his remarkable mathematical capacity and attainments. In 1619 he volunteered under Maximilian of Bavaria, and participated in the opening campaign of the Thirty Years' War. His winter quarters, 1619-20, were at Neuburg on the Danube, where he devoted himself for months to solitary meditation, and determined the rude outline of his subsequent philosophy. His isolation and intense concentration of thought affected his brain so far that he fancied himself assured by celestial visitations of the truth of his philosophic principles and method. Some suspicion of the possibility of delusion led him to vow a pilgrimage to Loretto if his speculations should prove true. This vow he discharged four years afterwards. His solicitude to attain more certain knowledge than was acquired in the schools tempted him to seek a connection with the mysterious society of the Rosicrucians, who were reputed to possess strange learning and a miraculous acquaintance with the secrets of nature. He finally renounced all belief in the existence of the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross.

From the Bavarian army he passed into the Imperial, and attended its early operations in Hungary against Bethlem Gabor; but, after seeing his general, Bucquov, slain before Neusohl, he resigned a military career. He had taken up arms for tie sake of studying men, manners, and countries. He prosecuted these researches by returning circuitously to Holland through Moravia, Silesia, Pomierania, Brandenburg, and Holstein, thus visiting regions deemed wholly barbarous in Western Europe. His unsuspected knowledge of the Dutch tongue and his resolute demeanor saved him from murder on the voyage between Embden and the coasts of Friesland. He returned to the Hague after an absence of three years; passed through the Spanish Netherlands, arrived at Paris five years after he had deserted it, and reached his father's house at Rennes, in Brittany, in March, 1622. He thence proceeded to Poitou to take possession of his share of his mother's estate, designing to sell it and purchase "some place of quick revenue." We are here reminded of the oft-recurring projects of Bacon. He failed in his plans at this time, returned to Rennes, became oppressed with the want of occupation in his father's house, and reappeared in Paris, where he was suspected to be a Rosicrucian emissary. He was still harassed by uncertainties and indecision in regard to the choice of a vocation. Finding his studies interrupted in the capital of France, he visited Rennes and Poitou again, and sold the greater part of his inheritance.

Now commenced a second series of journeys. He went first to Switzerland, thence to the Valteline and the Tyrol, and thence to Venice. He now made his pilgrimage to Loretto, whence it may be inferred that he was by this time satisfied of the truth and solidity of his philosophical tenets. He was in Rome during the Jubilee of Urban VIII (1624). He visited Florence on his homeward route. He returned to Paris by way of Florence, Turin, and Lyons, and resided for more than three years in the French metropolis, engaged in prosecuting his researches and meditations, in polishing lenses and mirrors, and in determining mathematically and experimentally the best form of curvature to be given to them. His conclusions on this point were afterwards embodied in his Dioptrics. He again withdrew from nearly all his acquaintances, but his retreat was betrayed by the indiscretion of a servant. Finding it impossible to secure the desired seclusion in Paris, he sought a retreat in Holland in 1629. He now resolved to devote himself entirely to a speculative life. This was the end of five years of military service, of eight years of travel, and of fifteen years of hesitation. It is probably the lesson of his own experience which is enforced in his Ethics in the earnest censure of all irresolution. The indecision which is thus forcibly condemned was characteristic of Des Cartes, and may have been unconsciously connected with the adoption of doubt as the basis of his Method.

He was not stationary in any single abode; but his home, if home he had anywhere, was in the northern part of the country, at the remote town of Egmont. He used every artifice to conceal his retreat. He communicated his hiding-place to none of his countrymen except his Franciscan friend Mersenne, through whom he conducted nearly all his correspondence with the learned world. In 1631 he visited England on the invitation of Charles I; in 1634 he went to Denmark. Spain, Portugal, Russia, and Turkey were the only European states not reached in his wanderings. He thrice visited France after his Dutch settlement in 1644, 1647, and 1648. On one of these occasions he was tempted to Paris by the promise of an honorable provision from the crown, but he found that he had been drawn from his retreat solely to gratify the curiosity of sight-seers and courtiers.

Des Cartes ascribes the determination of the fundamental principles of his philosophy to his twenty-third year, and to his winter-quarters on the Danube. His mathematical discoveries were still earlier. In 1633, after three years of elaboration, he had prepared a sketch of his views of the constitution of the universe, but the condemnation of Galileo caused him to withhold it from the press. At length, in 1637, being then forty-one years of age, he yielded to the solicitations of his friends, and promulgated the general principles of his reform in the celebrated Discours de la Mithode, to which were appended three other treatises on Meteors, Geometry, and Dioptrics. Soon after the publication of the Method and accompanying essays, the Philosophical Meditations were prepared for the press. Des Cartes sent them to his friend Mersenne in Paris with the request that they should be submitted to the most acute and learned of his acquaintances for the benefit of their suggestions and observations. Searching criticisms were in consequence received from Caterus, Hobbes, Arnauld, Gassendi, Bourdin, S. J., and others. To these objections replies by the author were appended, and the whole were published together at Paris in 1641, with a dedication to the theological faculty of the University of Paris, in order to place his doctrines under the protection of the Church.

Des Cartes continued the exposition of his philosophy by publishing in Latin in 1644 his Principia Philosophice. This work contains the elaborate and systematic deduction of his whole scheme of the intellectual and material universe. It commences as characteristically as the Novum Organon of Bacon, with the fundamental principle of his speculation, that "once in life we should endeavor to doubt of all things." It arrives at length at the declaration that "none of the phenomena of nature have been omitted in the treatise, but that nothing is to be included in natural phenomena except what is detected by sense." The last sentence of these Principles is equally characteristic of the philosopher and the philosophy. "Mindful of my weaknesses, I affirm nothing; but I submit all these things first to the authority of the Catholic Church, next to the judgment of the prudent; and I desire nothing to be believed by any one which is not approved by manifest and irrefragable reasons." The work is preceded by a complete and methodical index, stating the substance of each section, and thus affording a clear and concise summary of its contents. The whole of Cartesianism is thus compressed into one picture and into a few pages.

During his long residence in Holland, the tranquillity of Des Cartes was disturbed by controversies due to the imprudence of his admirers. His annoyances and hazards increased with the lapse of time. His initial doubt seemed to sanction skepticism and to encourage infidelity. His views of matter and mind appeared to one party to favor transubstantiation; to another, to lead to fatalism. His explanation of the connection of body and spirit apparently reduced all material action to mere mechanism, or to direct divine action. Hence arose the truculent attacks of Voë t, one of the most prominent Dutch theologians, and rector of the University of Utrecht. Des Cartes at length broke his customary silence, and addressed a long and acrimonious reply to Voë t. These dissensions, so peculiarly irritating and alarming to a cautious and timid nature like Des Cartes's, inclined him to cast about for a more tranquil retreat than that which he had so long cherished. He accordingly consented, after much habitual hesitation, to receive a shelter from queen Christina of Sweden, who had been delighted with his treatise on the Passions, originally composed for the princess palatine Elizabeth. A Swedish admiral, with a royal vessel, was sent to convey Des Cartes to Stockholm, where he was welcomed with honor and favor. The queen was charmed with his conversation and sought his advice, which he gave with modesty and prudence. She availed herself systematically of his instructions, employing the early hours for this purpose, to avoid interference with other studies, with state affairs, and the royal pleasures. Des Cartes was required to forego his life-long habits, and to attend her majesty regularly at five o'clock in the cold mornings of a Swedish winter. This great change, and the severity of the climate, proved fatal to him. He was attacked with fever on Feb. 2, 1650, and died on the 11th of the month. The queen was deeply affected by the announcement of his death. She desired to place his body among the royal sepulchre s, and to honor it with a splendid tomb; but as he died in the bosom of the Roman Catholic Church, his remains were deposited in the Roman Catholic cemetery'. Sixteen years after his death his remains were removed to France, and placed with imposing ceremonies in the church of Ste. Genevieve. The funeral oration designed for the occasion was prohibited by order of the court; but the like honor was rendered a century later, 1765, by the eulogy of M. Thomas, which was crowned by the French Academy.

The Philosophy of Des Cartes. The Cartesian philosophy is to be ascertained from the Method, the Meditations, and the Principia. The remaining works are either subsidiary or accessory; either developments and expositions which confuse rather than elucidate, or special treatises on particular branches of science, such as geometry, dioptrics, meteorology, anatomy, physiology, logic, etc. To one solicitous of appreciating the whole intellectual habit of the philosopher, the large collection of his letters is as indispensable as the letters themselves are often charming. To one desirous of obtaining a minute acquaintance with all the perplexities, ambiguities, and vacillations of the Cartesian system, these letters, together with the objections and replies appended to his Meditations, are invaluable. All the smaller works should, of course, be studied by those who would determine the exact position of Des Cartes in the history of speculation, and the precise services rendered by him in the promotion of science.

The first principle of Cartesianism is to make the mind a perfect blank, a tabula rasa, and then to reconstruct the whole fabric of conviction and opinion. The same recommendation is given, in a different spirit, by Bacon in the preface to the Novum Organon. As Des Cartes recognized the uncertainty and incoherence of contemporary speculation, he proposed to commence the resuscitation of knowledge by doubting all things.

Having rendered his mind a blank by universal doubt, he next sought a foundation for an indubitable body of doctrine. This he dectected in the consciousness of thought, including sensation, perception, reflection, and emotion under this term. Hence proceeds the celebrated inauguration of his whole philosophy with the maxim Cogito, ergo sum I think, therefore I am. This is probably an original position with Des Cartes; but thought is, nevertheless, explicitly alleged by Aristotle as an evidence of existence (Eth. Nicomach. IX, ix, § 7, 9, ed. Didot). The argument is much more legitimately employed by Aristotle than by Des Cartes as an evidence of particular existences, not of existence in general. It has often been indicated that the Cartesian enthymeme is invalid from the tacit assumption of the major premise. The reasoning really proceeds in a circle. The acceptance of the dogma assured him of his own existence, but furnished no evidence of the existence of anything else, nor did it explain the origin or the preservation of his own existence. The finite existence recognized must repose upon something more stable and immutable than the fleeting, fitful life of which his consciousness assured him. He concludes, therefore, that his own and all other existence must depend for its beginning and maintenance upon a more perfect, absolute, and illimitable Being upon some great "I am." He discovers in his own mind the notion of such a Being of God. It could not have been invented by himself, for it transcends his finite capacities. It must have been implanted by God himself; and thus the presence of the notion attests the existence which it represents. This is a concise statement of the Cartesian argument a priori for the Being of God. Like its predecessor, it is not original. It is found fully developed in the Proslogium of St. Anselm. It was assailed by Gaunilo, a contemporary, in the Liber de Insipiente, and refuted a century and a half later by St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae. This argument proceeds upon the actual or virtual admission of innate ideas, and is accompanied by the reception of another postulate, that innate ideas are necessarily true, because, as they are implanted by God, they partake of the divine veracity, and God can neither deceive nor be deceived. Both innate ideas and the impossibility of divine deception have been denied. Innate ideas, in their Cartesian form, were exploded by Locke; and the impossibility of divine misguidance had been questioned three centuries earlier by Gregory Arminiensis, general of the Augustinians, and was acknowledged by Des Cartes to be liable to many exceptions. But, as Bayle remarks, a universal maxim obnoxious to exceptions furnishes no foundation for certainty, and confirms rather than eradicates skepticism.

Another argument for the being of God is used at times by Des Cartes, and appears much more cogent and tenable. It proceeds from the admission of a First Cause (Des Cartes rejects final causes), using, however, the corrections and modifications of St. Thomas Aquinas, who deduces the argument, not from primordial causation, but from the continuous support of creation. The Argument from a First Cause simply is consistent with either Stoic Fatalism or Epicurean Chance. The argument from perpetual preservation asserts an abiding Providence and a sustaining Creator. The one leads easily to Pantheism, the other to the acceptance of Revelation.

Having established his own existence, the existence of God, and the verity of innate ideas, how were such ideas to be recognized and distinguished? Here comes in the Cartesian criterion of truth, which extends much further than simply to the determination of innate ideas. Ideas (the term is as much misapplied by Des Cartes as by Locke) which are clear and distinct may be received as ipso facto true; and if they are also simple, they may be regarded as innate. The criterion is evidently arbitrary and delusive. What seems clear, distinct, and simple to one mind, may be obscure, intricate, and complex to another. Under this criterion, any strong conviction, any engrossing hallucination, may present the credentials of truth. It is, therefore, not surprising that so many vagaries should be embodied in the dogmatic exposition of the Cartesian philosophy. But the acceptance of this principle of clearness, distinctness, and simplicity had a potent and felicitous influence upon the literature of France. Des Cartes was himself a model of grace and lucidity of expression, and his criterion of truth, promulgated at the dawn of the age of Louis XIV, and illustrated in composition by himself and by Pascal, contributed largely to produce the characteristic excellences of the French classic style. Such as they are, these are the constituent principles of the philosophy of Des Cartes. They are neither valid nor original. Both Bayle and Leibnitz sanction the enrollment of this philosopher among the number of those who pretend to invent what they borrow "gloriamque adeptos, tamquam repererint quas acceperant." It is impossible to proceed far in either the metaphysics or the physics of Des Cartes without meeting the dreams of Leucippus, Democritus, Epicurus, and other philosophers of Greece, and being continually reminded of the sonorous verses and luminous expositions of Lucretius.

A definition of existences was suggested to Des Cartes by his demonstration of existence. Mind, or spiritual existence, is thinking substance; body, or material existence, is substance without thought. But as some positive characteristic is required for the discrimination of matter, extension, which is its most familiar property, was assumed as its specific difference, and matter was defined to be extended substance. This necessitated the identification of space and matter, or the negation of space as a separate entity. Hence arose the doctrine of the plenum, and the maxim that Nature abhors a void. The thesis of Lucretius, "est in rebus inane," and his argumentation on the thesis, evince that there was no real novelty in these doctrines. But in Des Cartes the two forms of existence are presented as opposite, irreconcilable, and reciprocally incommunicable. In consequence, beasts can possess no capacity of reason. They are purely mechanical mere machines. This is one of the boldest, most paradoxical, and most dangerous of the Cartesian tenets; but it appears to be a necessity of his philosophy, though he is accused of having taken it a worthless appropriation from the Antoniana Margarita of Gomez Pereira, 1554. Certain it is that the acceptance of the Cartesian definitions of mind and matter must result in the declaration that beasts are mere machines. But, if they are such, how are they set in motion, and how do they perform actions apparently voluntary and deliberate? Moreover, if beasts are machines, man must also be a machine, so far as his body is concerned, for mind and matter cannot operate upon one another. An attempt was made to solve these enigmas by the peculiar Cartesian doctrine of Assistancy, or of divine cooperation in determining all the material actions of animate bodies. In Malebranche this doctrine unfolded itself into the scheme of Occasional Causes; in Leibnitz, into the splendid fantasy of the Pre-established Harmony; in Spinoza, into the most abstract, complete, and systematic Pantheism. This theory in regard to the mechanical complexion of vital movements affected the ethics of Des Cartes. The chief details of his treatise on the Passions were derived from Aristotle, but his own views of mind and matter, and his own studies and experiments in anatomy and kindred sciences, modified his explanation of the peripatetic doctrines. He made his Moral Philosophy in great measure an exposition of the physical phenomena which accompany emotion; he employed largely the device of vital spirits, which reappear so habitually in Locke; he regards them very much as if they were fluids in a hydraulic engine; and thus he becomes the legitimate precursor of Condillac and Cabanis, of Bain, Moleschott, and Herbert Spencer. The positions of Des Cartes, whether they be sober or fantastical, furnish suggestion or stimulation, and often direction, to the most various branches and types of subsequent speculation.

Des Cartes has left behind him a treatise on Man, to which a singular contrast is offered by the nearly contemporaneous essay of Hobbes, De Homine. Man is the union of the intellectual and material universe the point where both meet the synthesis of opposites the microcosm the complex organism, whose explanation demands the theory of mind and of matter alike. He thus furnishes a passage from metaphysical to physical inquiries, and vice versa.

If the metaphysics of Des Cartes be founded upon the observation of the supposed facts of consciousness, his physical theory of the universe is purely fanciful romance, as it was designated by himself. In developing the grand conception of a complete exposition of the order of creation, for which due credit should be given to Des Cartes, it was necessary to explain the phenomena of continual movement on principles exclusively material, without admitting distinct space, or permitting any unoccupied interstices between the constituent particles of the mighty whole. In order. that there might be an unlimited tenuity of matter, to allow the free circulation of bodies of diverse density, the atoms of the Ionic school must be rejected, and the infinite divisibility of matter maintained. These prerequisites were secured by the hypothesis of an endless circulatory volubility of matter, which might explain at the same time the motions of the planetary bodies. Another advantage was attained by this fancy. The Copernican system, which had been apparently repudiated by the papacy in the recent condemnation of Galileo, was not asserted, and other theological objections were anticipated by obscuring the distinction between absolute and relative motion. The very statement of his system of the universe as an hypothesis was a concession made by the timidity of Des Cartes to the pretensions of ecclesiastical dogmatism; and it was in response to this and subordinate Cartesian hypotheses that Newton uttered his celebrated maximn, "hypotheses non fingo."

The Caitesian theory of the world turns on the celebrated doctrine of the Vortices. Matter originally exists, if such be the will of God, in a state of incalculable divisibility and of unimaginable attenuation. In this condition of instability motion commences, because there can be no equilibrium between dissimilar and disconnected particles. This motion becomes circular, or irregularly spiral, from the greater or less violent tendency of the particles pressing against each other towards the line of an undetermined axis. As the process advances the revolution becomes more decided, the axis of revolution more definite, and a determinate vortex is established. By the continuance of these gyrations, the more compact particles of matter are forced inwards, and are further condensed, while the more rarefied are thrown off towards the extremities of the ring. But the more solid portions are still interpenetrated by the thinner and more fluid, and the whole vertiginous movement endures, and carries along both the sensible and impalpable materials of the universe. Different centers and different axes of revolution constitute themselves, and thus multitudinous systems of planetary bodies, each in its own vortex, spring into existence. New vortices may originate in the bosom of larger vortices, or vortices may come in contact with each other, and coalesce in a joint action, in which none lose their primitive movement; or larger vortices may seize, encompass, and hurry along with them the weaker spirals which they enclose. All the heavenly movements are provided for by this complex scheme, but, though simple in principle and consistent in development, it is more complicated in action and in exposition than the "cycles on epicycles rolled" of the Ptolemaic mechanism of the heavens. These are the Cartesian Physics which were exploded by Sir Isaac Newton, and which have lain so dead and dormant since the Newtonian Principia that they are scarcely mentioned except as the objects of scientific scorn.

But some apology may be made for this splendid hallucination. It is not for the present generation of men of science to sneer at the Cartesian Vortices. Founded as they were upon the magnetical researches of Gilbert, they furnish a prelude for the cosmical magnetism of the present day, for the whole nebular hypothesis, for the system of evolution of Spencer. As a part of his exposition, Des Cartes asserts the correlation and conservation of forces, and the indestructibility of matter, which have so startling and modern an air in the speculations of Mayer, Helmholtz, Grove, Faraday, etc. If the theory of Des Cartes is intrinsically absurd, its absurdity is strangely analogous to the most recent generalizations of science.

Like the rest of his dogmas, the dream of the vortices. was not original with Des Cartes. Leibnitz speaks of them as "vorticum a veteribus coeptorum." Speissius charged Des Cartes with having borrowed them from Giordano Bruno and Kepler; and even his own enthusiastic biographer, Baillet, ascribes to Kepler three of the principal Cartesian speculations: 1. Vortices; 2. Gravitation; 3. Optics. He was largely indebted to Bacon, Gassendi, Fermat, Gilbert, among his contemporaries, and to multitudes of near and distant predecessors. But he was too greedy of pre-eminence to acknowledge his obligations.

The Vortices constitute only a small part of the Physical Philosophy of Des Cartes, but they are the most characteristic portion, and affect nearly all its developments. He has presented reflections, observations, and experiments in regard to most of the principal phenomena of nature, animate and inanimate, material and immaterial. He has studied the wind, the rain, and the hail, the play of light and of colors, the formation of minerals, the growth of plants, comets and earthquakes, the motions of the planets, the mysteries of the stars, the anatomy and the physiology of man, as well as the constitution of the mind and the metaphysics of creation. It was a magnificent and all-embracing survey which he undertook, and of which he left only a sketch, carefully elaborated in some parts and barely indicated in others. His philosophy, as a system, never possessed much intrinsic value, though its vastness of conception and audacity of execution excited lively and lasting enthusiasm. The influence exerted by it can scarcely be overrated, and should not be undervalued. It provoked investigation in all departments of knowledge; it directed inquiry to the most promising fields of study; it commended, by an illustrious example, diligence in observation and patient accuracy of experiment; while the author represented in his own person an admirable type of an earnest exclusive, simple, and devoted philosophic career.

The Cartesian Philosophy has passed away after a brief and splendid, but not unclouded reign; but to Des Cartes will be due the homage of all ages for the stimulation to more accurate research which he supplied. He has also a more special title to fame on the score of his mathematical discoveries-his invention of Coordinate Geometry and Indeterminate Co- efficients. These can be only mentioned in passing, as they affected neither religious opinion nor the developments of theology; and in this work the diverse forms of secular speculation must be regarded mainly in the light of their action upon Christian thought. The names of Malebranche, Spinoza, Bayle, and Leibnitz furnish ample evidence of the powerful but diverse stimulation communicated to theological investigations by the writings of Des Cartes, and demonstrate the justice of that still prevailing feeling which recognizes in him one of the fathers of modern philosophy, notwithstanding the rejection of nearly all his distinctive opinions.

Literature. Des Cartes and his philosophy occupy so large a space in the records of modern philosophy that it would be equally impracticable and nugatory to attempt a full enumeration of the sources of information. All the historians of philosophy, from Brucker downwards, devote an adequate share of attention to Des Cartes. Brucker's account of Cartesianism is one of the most satisfactory parts of his laborious work, though it is by no means partial to Des Cartes. The scattered observations of Bayle and Leibnitz should never be overlooked, nor should the favorable criticisms of Victor Cousin be disregarded. The life of Des Cartes must still be sought in the volumes of his early biographer, Baillet, though much interesting matter may be derived from the eloges of Thomas and later prize essayists. Many interesting autobiographical notices are found in the Discours de la Mathode, and in the letters of Des Cartes. Other materials inviting consultation for a due estimate of his philosophy, and of its relations to previous and subsequent speculation, are Cousin, Cours de Philosophie, and Fragmens de Philosophie Cartesienne (Paris, 1845); Memoires sur la Persecution du Cartesianisme (1838); Gruyer, Essais Philosophiques (Paris, 1832); Bouillet, Hist. et Critique de la Revolution Cartesienne (Paris, 1842); Dumoulin, Le Cartesiazisme (Paris, 1843); and Damiron, Hist. Philosophie du XVI He Siecle (Par. 1846); also his Essai sur la Philosophie en France au XVIP Siecle, 2 vols. 8vo (Paris, 1857). There is an admirable article on the genius and writings of Des Cartes in the Edinburgh Review, Jan. 1852. But the indispensable and only sufficient text for the real student is contained in the works of Des Cartes, of which the best editions are Opera Omnia (Amstelodami. 1692-1701,8 vols. 4to), and (OEuvres Completes de Des Cartes, ed. Victor Cousin (Paris, 1824- 26, 11 vols. 8vo). There is a convenient selection of his purely philosophical treatises by Simon (Paris, 1844). On the relations of Cartesianism to theology, see Gass, Geschichte d. prot. Dogmatik (Berlin, 1854-62, 3 vols.); Dorner, Geschichte d. protest. Theologie, Munchen, 1867, p. 461 sq.; Farrer, Critical History of Free Thought, Lecture III; Hagenbach, History of Doctrines, § 225, 238; Tholuck, Academisches Leben des 17ten Jahrhunderts (1854, part 2); Morell, History of Modern Philosophy (N. Y. edition), p. 115,194.


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Des Cartes Rene (du Perron)'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/d/des-cartes-rene-du-perron.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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