Descartes and the Ingenium

The Embodied Soul in Cartesianism

Contributor: Alexander Marr
Descartes and the ‘Ingenium’ tracks the significance of embodied thought ( ingenium) in the philosophical trajectory of the founding father of dualism. The first part 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. He is the Founding Director of the Cambridge Centre for Visual Culture. 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).
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.