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Descartes: the Renewal of Philosophy
Stephen Nadler (University of Wisconsin-Madison) in conversation with Guido Giglioni

Often called ‘the father of modern philosophy’, René Descartes’ contributions to philosophy, mathematics and natural science set the intellectual agenda for the seventeenth century. In this biography and assessment of his works, based on the most up-to-date research, Steven Nadler follows Descartes from his early years and education in France to the Dutch Republic, where he lived most of his adult life, to his final months as tutor to Queen Christina of Sweden. 

Nadler shows how Descartes’ ‘renewal’ of philosophy involved a transformation in both the way in which philosophy is done and the fundamental understanding of the cosmos, the natural world and human nature. His work was a springboard for many of the metaphysical and epistemological problems that continue to engage philosophers today.

Renaissance Lives is a series of biographies published by Reaktion Books as well as a series of conversations discussing the ways in which individuals transmitted or changed the lives of traditions, ideas and images.