René Descartes

Standard Name: Descartes, René
Used Form: Rene Descartes


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Anthologization Anna Maria van Schurman
AMS amassed quite a bibliography of printed work before she was fifty, mostly in Latin. In 1636 she wrote, by invitation, a celebratory ode for the opening of the new University of Utrecht . Her...
Cultural formation Mary Astell
MA was a middle-class Englishwoman with strong High Anglican and Tory opinions. At the same time, her sustained and intense application to the issue of women's status puts her squarely in the category of early...
Cultural formation Elizabeth Thomas
She was a Cartesian in philosophy, and an Anglican in religion (though the influence of her Dissenting grandmother caused her an attack of doctrinal panic over predestination at the age of fifteen). She says she...
Education C. E. Plumptre
Though nothing is know of CEP 's early education, in later life she kept an extensive library. On visiting her, Frederick James Gould noted that it was selected and arranged in an impressive order which...
Education Mary Astell
She continued throughout her life to expand her educational horizons, especially in the same areas of philosophy and theology. She made a special study of René Descartes , and when John Norris introduced her to...
Friends, Associates Margaret Cavendish
During their exile, the marquess entertained influential materialist thinkers Thomas Hobbes , Pierre Gassendi , and René Descartes ; Margaret Cavendish says she made no contribution to their learned discussions, but it seems likely that...
Friends, Associates Anne Conway
Anne Finch (later AC ) became a friend and correspondent of the philosopher Henry More , whom she probably met through her elder half-brother, John, who had been his student at Cambridge. More was a...
Friends, Associates Anna Maria van Schurman
Visiting AMS became a custom among cultivated people travelling in or to Utrecht. She met Elizabeth, Princess Palatine (daughter of the Queen of Bohemia ), and became a friend and correspondent of a network of...
Intertextuality and Influence Anne Conway
AC wrote partly in response to the Kabbala denudata, a Latin work taken via Spanish from thirteenth-century Hebrew. She also refers to refuters of Spinoza and Hobbes . She is anti-Cartesian , but...
Literary responses Samuel Beckett
The competition, for the best poem on Time, was judged by Nancy Cunard and Richard Aldington . Cunard called the winner a long poem, mysterious, obscure in parts, centered around Descartes .
Cohn, Ruby. Back to Beckett. Princeton University Press.
Publishing May Sinclair
The late-teenage MS (still known as Mary) published her first essay in the fifth number of the Cheltenham Ladies College Magazine: it was on Descartes .
Raitt, Suzanne. May Sinclair: A Modern Victorian. Clarendon Press.
Textual Features Mona Caird
The protagonist of this novel, Victoria Sedley, has early thoughts about her status as a separate self, which critic Patricia Murphy calls Cartes ian, but she later grows up into the confines of a woman's...
Textual Features Elizabeth Carter
One of her best-known poems today is A Dialogue between the Body and the Mind. These entities (often body and soul) had long been popular in dialogue, especially post-Cartesian times: used both for straight...
Textual Features Marie-Madeleine de Lafayette
The novel deals both with personal and with public (political) events. Its plot features an adulterous love heroically renounced at great personal cost. The protagonist confesses to her husband that she loves the duc de...
Textual Features Mary Astell
A Serious Proposal, part one, is the work where Astell proposes the setting up of female communities where single women could lead studious and religious lives unless or until they might wish to marry...


1637: René Descartes published his philosophical...

Writing climate item


René Descartes published his philosophical treatiseLe Discours de la Méthode. This introduced the metaphor, important to subsequent generations, of the body as machine.

1644: The French philosopher René Descartes published...

Building item


The French philosopher René Descartes published his Principia philosophiae, dedicated to Elizabeth of Bohemia .

6 June 1654: Queen Christina abdicated from the throne...

National or international item

6 June 1654

Queen Christina abdicated from the throne of Sweden; crowned queen at the age of five in 1632, she was crowned again in December 1644 on reaching eighteen.

1673: François Poulain (or Poullain) de la Barre...

Writing climate item


François Poulain (or Poullain) de la Barre published at Paris his Cartesian treatise on gender equality, De l'égalité des deux sexes, which was translated into English four years later.


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