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Descartes: An Intellectual Biography$
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Stephen Gaukroger

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198237242

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198237243.001.0001

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A New Beginning 1629–1630

A New Beginning 1629–1630

(p.187) 6 A New Beginning 1629–1630
Descartes: An Intellectual Biography

Stephen Gaukroger (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Discusses possible reasons for Descartes's move to the Netherlands, and his avoidance of patronage there. Considers his work on optics (including the sine law of refraction and the grinding of hyperbolic lenses), music, and metaphysics (arguments for the existence of God, his transcendence, and the immortality of the soul). Also deals with Descartes's construction of an artificial, universal language, changes in his thinking about the doctrine of clarity and distinctness, his solution to the Pappus problem, his classification of curves, and his work on meteorology that he expanded into a project to explain the whole of physics. This work was considerably slowed down by his dispute with Beeckman over the authorship of ideas.

Keywords:   Beeckman, clarity and distinctness, classification of curves, immortality of the soul, metaphysics, meteorology, music, optics, universal language

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