Conclusion: The Young and the Mature Descartes Agonistes

  • John SchusterEmail author
Part of the Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 27)


This Chapter concludes the argument and has two segments: First, a ‘Coda’ rounds out and underlines the key themes of this study, with special emphasis on what Descartes himself could have understood as the ‘mathematical’ bent of his natural philosophical enterprise, given what we have discovered in this volume. Then, an ‘Epilogue’ surveys some salient points about the subsequent career of the mature Descartes, illuminated by our study of his earlier career. In addition, we discover his (somewhat surprising) relations to the next phase in the Scientific Revolution, and hypothesize about what might have happened, had he lived into that phase (whose contours were analyzed as part of the conceptual and historiographical foundations set down in Chap. 2).


Royal Society Seventeenth Century Scientific Revolution Natural Philosophize Mature Career 
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Works of Descartes and Their Abbreviations

  1. AT  =  Oeuvres de Descartes (revised edition, 12 vols.), edited by C. Adam and P. Tannery (Paris, 1964–1976). References are by volume number (in roman) and page number (in Arabic).Google Scholar
  2. SG  =  The World and Other Writings, edited and translated by Stephen Gaukroger (Cambridge,1998).Google Scholar
  3. MM  =  René Descartes, The Principles of Philosophy, translated by V. R. Miller and R. P. Miller (Dordrecht, 1991)Google Scholar
  4. MSM  =  Rene Descartes, Le Monde, ou Traité de la lumière, translated by Michael S. Mahoney (New York, 1979).Google Scholar
  5. CSM(K)  =  The Philosophical Writings Of Descartes, 3 vols., translated by John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff, and Dugald Murdoch, and (for vol. 3) Anthony Kenny, (Cambridge, 1988) References are by volume number (in roman) and page number (in arabic).Google Scholar
  6. HR  =  The Philosophical Works of Descartes, vol I translated by E.S. Haldane and G.R.T. Ross (Cambridge, 1968 [1st ed. 1911])Google Scholar


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Campion CollegeSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Unit for History and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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