Carole Angier

Was He A Jesuit Spy?

Descartes: The Life of René Descartes and Its Place in his Times

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Free Press 352pp £20 order from our bookshop

Descartes is one of the founders of the modern world. His famous method of doubt was one of Europe’s first steps towards the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution. And of all the thinkers of his time who were making similar moves, and similar discoveries, he is the one with true fame, whose works are read by every first-year philosophy student, and whose founding axiom ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ is almost as well known as God’s ‘Let there be light’ – nowadays, indeed, probably better. If anyone merits a biography, Descartes does.

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