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Edited by Raphaële Garrod (Oxford) and Alexander Marr (Cambridge), “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.


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

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

  • Methodical Invention. The Cartesian Ingenium at Work – Denis Kambouchner
  • Descartes and Logic: Perfecting the Ingenium – Roger Ariew
  • Enumeratio in Descartes’s Regulae ad directionem ingenii and Beyond Author – Theo Verbeek
  • Ingenium, Phantasia and Mathematics in Descartes’s Regulae ad directionem ingenii – David Rabouin
  • The Post-Regulae Direction of Ingenium in Descartes. Toward a Pragmatic Psychological Anthropology – Dennis L. Sepper
  • Augustinian Souls and Epicurean Bodies? Descartes’s Corporeal Mind in Motion – Harold J. Cook

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

  • Ingenium between Descartes and the Scholastics – Igor Agostini
  • Methods of Ingenuity. The Renaissance Tradition behind Descartes’s Regulae – Richard J. Oosterhoff
  • La Politesse de L’esprit Cartesian. Pedagogy and the Ethics of Scholarly Exchanges – Raphaële Garrod

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