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Descartes' bones: [a skeletal history of the conflict between faith and reason]

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In 1666, sixteen years after his death, the bones of Rene Descartes were dug up in the middle of the night and transported from Sweden to France under the watchful eye of the French Ambassador. This was only the beginning of the journey for Descartes' bones, which, over the next 350 years, were fought over, stolen, sold, revered as relics, studied by scientists, used in seances, and passed surreptitiously from hand to hand. But why would anyone care so much about the remains of one long-dead philosopher? The answer lies in Descartes' famous phrase cogito, ergo sum: I think, therefore I am. At the root of this statement are skepticism and the world-shattering notion that one could look to facts that could be proved for truth rather than relying on the Church's teachings and tradition. In the years that followed, this powerful idea and Descartes' physical remains became intertwined with many of the major forces that define the modern era, influencing everything from the religious wars of the seventeenth century and the rise of democracy to today's greatest conflicts, such as the struggle between Islamic fascism and the Western world.
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Hecht, Paul. Narrator
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Grouped Work ID 36341d34-ac37-bd17-7436-14bdad0ef5bb
Grouping Title descartes bones a skeletal history of the conflict between faith and reason
Grouping Author shorto russell
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2020-06-05 22:43:26PM
Last Indexed 2020-06-05 20:28:20PM

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auth_author2 Hecht, Paul.
author Russell Shorto
author2-role Hecht, Paul.|Narrator
author_display Shorto, Russell
available_at_catalog Green Hills
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Main Library
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detailed_location_catalog Green Hills - Adult Audiobook
Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction

Sixteen 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.
A New York Times Notable Book

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owning_location_catalog Green Hills
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primary_isbn 9780385517539
publishDate 2008
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:CARL0000311961 Book Books English Doubleday, c2008. xx, 299 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.
overdrive:01be9153-fca8-4278-a6b4-5e7fbac91934 eBook eBook English Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2008
ils:CARL0000328130 CD audio book Audio Books English Recorded Books, p2008. 8 sound discs (9.25 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
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subject_facet Audiobooks
Descartes, René, -- 1596-1650
Philosophers -- France
title_display Descartes' bones : a skeletal history of the conflict between faith and reason
title_full Descartes' Bones A Skeletal History of the Conflict between Faith and Reason
Descartes' bones : a skeletal history of the conflict between faith and reason / Russell Shorto
Descartes' bones [sound recording] : [a skeletal history of the conflict between faith and reason] / by Russell Shorto
title_short Descartes' bones :
title_sub [a skeletal history of the conflict between faith and reason]
topic_facet Audiobooks
Descartes, René