Descartes's Secret Notebook

Descartes's Secret Notebook

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RenAc Descartes (1596a€”1650) is one of the towering and central figures in Western philosophy and mathematics. His apothegm a€œCogito, ergo suma€ marked the birth of the mind-body problem, while his creation of so-called Cartesian coordinates has made our intellectual conquest of physical space possible. But Descartes had a mysterious and mystical side, as well. Almost certainly a member of the occult brotherhood of the Rosicrucians, he kept a secret notebook, now lost, most of which was written in code. After Descartesa€™s death, Gottfried Leibniz, inventor of calculus and one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, moved to Paris in search of this notebooka€“and eventually found it in the possession of Claude Clerselier, a friend of Descartesa€™s. Liebniz called on Clerselier and was allowed to copy only a couple of pagesa€“which, though written in code, he amazingly deciphered there on the spot. Liebniza€™s hastily scribbled notes are all we have today of Descartesa€™s notebook. Why did Descartes keep a secret notebook, and what were its contents? The answers to these questions will lead the reader on an exciting, swashbuckling journey, and offer a fascinating look at one of the great figures of Western culture. From the Hardcover edition.A portrait of the great seventeenth-century philosopher and mathematician looks at the contributions of Rena€š Descartes, his interest in mysticism and probable membership in the occult brotherhood of Rosicrucians, and his secret notebook, ...

Title:Descartes's Secret Notebook
Author:Amir D. Aczel
Publisher:Broadway Books - 2009-02-19


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