Five Card Story: Life experience's of Rene Decartes

stories: prev | random | next

a Five Card Flickr story by Nico Cases created Oct 03 2022, 10:48:32 am. Create a new one!

flickr photo credits: (1) bionicteaching (2) bionicteaching (3) bionicteaching (4) bionicteaching (5) bionicteaching

about this story

Descartes was born in La Haye on March 31, 1596 of Joachim Descartes and Jeanne Brochard. He was one of a number of surviving children (two siblings and two half-siblings). His father was a lawyer and magistrate, which apparently left little time for family. Descartes’ mother died in May of the year following his birth, and he, his full brother and sister, Pierre and Jeanne, were left to be raised by their grandmother in La Haye.
In a letter to Mersenne, dated November 1633, Descartes expresses his fear that were he to publish The World, the same fate that befell Galileo would befall him. And, although this is something that he understandably would want to avoid, some scholars question Descartes’ expressed concern, for his living in the Netherlands would have kept him out of reach of Catholic authorities.

in 1640 he returned to Leiden to help work out its publication. During the year, Descartes’ daughter, Francine, died. There is evidence suggesting that he was called away from Leiden around the time of her death, returning soon after. Some have speculated that he left Leiden to be at her side. Descartes’ father and sister also died. Pierre, his brother, failed to even bother him with the news of their father’s death. Rather, it seems to have been in a letter from Mersenne that Descartes first learns of it. Descartes expresses regret in not having been able to see his father before his death. But, he refuses to leave Leiden to attend his father’s funeral, and instead stays to complete the publishing of the Meditations.
Descartes’ public life was further complicated by the Dutch theologian, Gisbert Voetius (1588–1676). Voetius had attacked Regius, a Dutch physician who taught medicine at the University of Utrecht, for his having taught certain “Cartesian” ideas that conflicted with traditional theological doctrine. Regius was friend to both Reneri and Descartes, and was a strong adherent to Descartes’s philosophical views. Voetius tried to have Regius removed from his position as professor, and attacked not only Descartes’ work but his character. In his defense Descartes entered into the debate. The controversy would leave Regius confined to teaching medicine, and his published defense of (his conception of) Cartesian thought would be officially condemned by Voetius, who in five years time would rise to the position of University rector. At the end of the debate, which off and on lasted about five years, the situation ultimately became desperate for Descartes. He feared being expelled from the country and of seeing his books burned. He would even seek protection by asking the Prince of Orange to intervene and quell Voetius’ attack.
In early February, less than a month after writing Bregy, Descartes fell ill. His illness quickly turned into a serious respiratory infection. And, although at the end of a week he appeared to have made some movement towards recovery, things took a turn for the worse and he died in the early morning of 11 February 1650.

share this story

permalink to story:

other stories made from the same cards

Copy/Paste Story

Click once to select, then copy and paste HTML to your own blog/website.

create a different story from these same cards

Do you have another interpretation of the story behind these pictures? Add it to the collection as a new story!

flickr photo credits: (1) bionicteaching (2) bionicteaching (3) bionicteaching (4) bionicteaching (5) bionicteaching

For security purposes, please enter the correct words matching the images (blame the spammers):

stories: prev | random | next