Murakami Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | August 20, 2014

Julie Schumacher: IMG Dear Professor Fitger



Saint Paul, August 2014 Dear Professor Fitger, I've been asked to say a few words about you for Powells.com. Having dreamed you up with a ball-point... Continue »
  1. $16.07 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Dear Committee Members

    Julie Schumacher 9780385538138

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$4.50
List price: $16.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Hawthorne Philosophy- General

This title in other editions

Descartes' Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason (Vintage)

by

Descartes' Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason (Vintage) Cover

ISBN13: 9780307275660
ISBN10: 0307275663
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $4.50!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

On a brutal winter's day in 1650 in Stockholm, the Frenchman Rene Descartes, the most influential and controversial thinker of his time, was buried after a cold and lonely death far from home. Sixteen years later, the French Ambassador Hugues de Terlon secretly unearthed Descartes' bones and transported them to France.

Why would this devoutly Catholic official care so much about the remains of a philosopher who was hounded from country to country on charges of atheism? Why would Descartes' bones take such a strange, serpentine path over the next 350 years--a path intersecting some of the grandest events imaginable: the birth of science, the rise of democracy, the mind-body problem, the conflict between faith and reason? Their story involves people from all walks of life--Louis XIV, a Swedish casino operator, poets and playwrights, philosophers and physicists, as these people used the bones in scientific studies, stole them, sold them, revered them as relics, fought over them, passed them surreptitiously from hand to hand.

The answer lies in Descartes' famous phrase: Cogito ergo sum--I think, therefore I am. In his deceptively simple seventy-eight-page essay, Discourse on the Method, this small, vain, vindictive, peripatetic, ambitious Frenchman destroyed 2,000 years of received wisdom and laid the foundations of the modern world. At the root of Descartes' method was skepticism: What can I know for certain? Like-minded thinkers around Europe passionately embraced the book--the method was applied to medicine, nature, politics, and society. The notion that one could find truth in facts that could be proved, and not in reliance on tradition and the Church's teachings, would become a turning point in human history.

In an age of faith, what Descartes was proposing seemed like heresy. Yet Descartes himself was a good Catholic, who was spurred to write his incendiary book for the most personal of reasons: He had devoted himself to medicine and the study of nature, but when his beloved daughter died at the age of five, he took his ideas deeper. To understand the natural world one needed to question everything. Thus the scientific method was created and religion overthrown. If the natural world could be understood, knowledge could be advanced, and others might not suffer as his child did.

The great controversy Descartes ignited continues to our era: where Islamic terrorists spurn the modern world and pine for a culture based on unquestioning faith; where scientists write bestsellers that passionately make the case for atheism; where others struggle to find a balance between faith and reason.

Descartes' Bonesis a historical detective story about the creation of the modern mind, with twists and turns leading up to the present day--to the science museum in Paris where the philosopher's skull now resides and to the church a few kilometers away where, not long ago, a philosopher-priest said a mass for his bones.

Synopsis:

A New York Times Notable BookSixteen years after René Descartes' death in Stockholm in 1650, a pious French ambassador exhumed the remains of the controversial philosopher to transport them back to Paris. Thus began a 350-year saga that saw Descartes' bones traverse a continent, passing between kings, philosophers, poets, and painters. But as Russell Shorto shows in this deeply engaging book, Descartes' bones also played a role in some of the most momentous episodes in history, which are also part of the philosopher's metaphorical remains: the birth of science, the rise of democracy, and the earliest debates between reason and faith. Descartes' Bones is a flesh-and-blood story about the battle between religion and rationalism that rages to this day.

About the Author

RUSSELL SHORTO is the bestselling author of The Island at the Center of the World and a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine. He lives in Amsterdam.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

chocolateandcroissants, August 20, 2010 (view all comments by chocolateandcroissants)
The description sounds interesting enough. I thought the book would chronicle the mystery surrounding the movement about Descartes Bones. For me I found the book way over my head. It had a lot of detail about Descartes the man and his theories on philosophy and his contributions to the world. The man did make some significant contributions, just not ones that I was all that interested in.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307275660
Author:
Shorto, Russell
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Subject:
Modern - General
Subject:
History & Surveys - Modern
Subject:
Religion & Science
Subject:
History & Surveys - 17th/18th Century
Subject:
General History
Subject:
World History-1650 to Present
Subject:
philosophy;history;religion;science;non-fiction;faith;descartes;biography;history of science;france;history of philosophy;enlightenment;dualism;sweden;modernism;17th century
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Publication Date:
20090831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 PP. BandW
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
7.98x5.28x.69 in. .70 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Walking With the Great Apes Jane Goodall Used Trade Paper $7.95
  2. Plant Dreaming Deep Used Trade Paper $4.95
  3. City of God: A Novel of Passion and... Used Trade Paper $4.95
  4. Point Omega
    Used Hardcover $2.50
  5. New Science of Life: The Hypothesis... Used Trade Paper $11.95
  6. The Journal Keeper: A Memoir Used Hardcover $5.95

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Early Modern
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » General
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » France » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Humanities » Philosophy » Surveys
Religion » World Religions » Religion and Science

Descartes' Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason (Vintage) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780307275660 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A New York Times Notable BookSixteen years after René Descartes' death in Stockholm in 1650, a pious French ambassador exhumed the remains of the controversial philosopher to transport them back to Paris. Thus began a 350-year saga that saw Descartes' bones traverse a continent, passing between kings, philosophers, poets, and painters. But as Russell Shorto shows in this deeply engaging book, Descartes' bones also played a role in some of the most momentous episodes in history, which are also part of the philosopher's metaphorical remains: the birth of science, the rise of democracy, and the earliest debates between reason and faith. Descartes' Bones is a flesh-and-blood story about the battle between religion and rationalism that rages to this day.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.