In this short and accessible book, Steven Nadler, an accomplished historian of seventeenth-century philosophy, turns his attention to René Descartes (1596–1650) and his cultural milieu in Holland in the 1630s and 1640s. His angle of approach is to take the familiar portrait of Descartes, attributed to Frans Hals – versions of which grace the covers of the vast majority of textbook editions of Descartes’s works – and to illuminate the three intersecting lives to which it bears tribute.
The hidden life
The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter: A Portrait of Descartes
by Steven Nadler
Princeton University Press (Footprint Books), $41.95 hb, 230 pp, 9780691157306
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