Descartes and the Ingenium     

The Embodied Soul in Cartesianism     


Descartes and the ‘Ingenium’ tracks the significance of embodied thought ( ingenium) in the philosophical trajectory of the founding father of dualism. The first part of the book defines the notion of ingenium in relation to core concepts of Descartes's philosophy, such as memory and enumeration. It focuses on Descartes’s uses of this notion in methodical thinking, mathematics, and medicine. The studies in the second part place the Cartesian ingenium within preceding scholastic and humanist pedagogical and natural-philosophical traditions, and highlight its hitherto ignored social and political significance for Descartes himself as a member of the Republic of Letters. By embedding Descartes' notion of ingenium in contemporaneous medical, pedagogical, but also social and literary discourses, this volume outlines the fundamentally anthropological and ethical underpinnings of Descartes's revolutionary epistemology.

Contributors: Igor Agostini, Roger Ariew, Harold J. Cook, Raphaële Garrod, Denis Kambouchner, Alexander Marr, Richard Oosterhoff, David Rabouin, Dennis L. Sepper, and Theo Verbeek.

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Raphaële Garrod, Ph.D. Cantab (2010), is Associate Professor of Early Modern French at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Magdalen College. She authored Cosmographical Novelties in French Renaissance Prose: Dialectic and Discovery (2016), and co-authored Logodaedalus: Word Histories of Ingenuity in Early Modern Europe (2019).

Alexander Marr is Reader in the History of Early Modern Art at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity Hall. His recent books include Logodaedalus: Word Histories of Ingenuity in Early Modern Europe (2019) and Rubens’s Spirit: From Ingenuity to Genius (forthcoming from Reaktion Books, 2021).
List of Illustrations and Diagrams
Abbreviations and Note on the Text
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Descartes Re-imagined: Ingenuity before and beyond Dualism
Raphaële Garrod

Part 1: Rethinking the Ingenium in the Cartesian Corpus. Method, Mathematics, Medicine

1 Methodical Invention: The Cartesian Ingenium at Work
Denis Kambouchner

2 Descartes and Logic: Perfecting the Ingenium
Roger Ariew

3 Enumeratio in Descartes’s Regulae ad directionem ingenii and Beyond
Theo Verbeek

4 Ingenium, Phantasia and Mathematics in Descartes’s Regulae ad directionem ingenii
David Rabouin

5 The Post-Regulae Direction of Ingenium in Descartes: Toward a Pragmatic Psychological Anthropology
Denis L. Sepper

6 Augustinian Souls and Epicurean Bodies? Descartes’s Corporeal Mind in Motion
Harold J. Cook

Part 2: The Cartesian Ingenium in Context: Predecessors, Contemporaries, Successors

7 Ingenium between Descartes and the Scholastics
Igor Agostini

8 Methods of Ingenuity: The Renaissance Tradition behind Descartes’s Regulae
Richard J. Oosterhoff

9 La Politesse de L’esprit: Cartesian Pedagogy and the Ethics of Scholarly Exchanges
Raphaële Garrod

10 Postface: The Face of Ingenium: Simon Vouet’s Portrait of Descartes
Alexander Marr

Index of Names
Anyone interested in early modern intellectual history and its cultural contexts and in Descartes. Keywords: Descartes, cartesian ingenuity, method, philosophy, history, ideas, mind, body, dualism, mathematics, art, medicine, literature, Aristotle, early modern.