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The Princess and the Philosopher : Letters of Elisabeth of the Palatine to Renz Descartes - Andrea Nye

The Princess and the Philosopher

Letters of Elisabeth of the Palatine to Renz Descartes

Paperback Published: 15th April 1999
ISBN: 9780847692651
Number Of Pages: 202

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For a number of years, those interested in recovering women's thought have known about Princess Elisabeth, a seventeenth-century correspondent and friend of Descartes whose questions provoked the philosopher to think more seriously about ethics and the passions. Up to now, only a few of her letters have found their way into print. This volume includes translations of all of Elisabeth's extant letters to Descartes, as well as of other materials relevant to understanding her philosophical perspective and her life. Nye has supplemented the translations with a running commentary on the historical, biographical, and intellectual context of the letters. The letters were during a tumultuous time in European history. A devastating Thirty Years War had ruined Elisabeth's family and devastated their principality, the Palatine. On his part, Descartes was increasingly embroiled in bitter controversies surrounding his work in relatively free-thinking Holland. In her commentary Nye shows how personal experiences energized his and Elisabeth's different views of the relation between mind and body, the existence of God, and the nature of morality. What Nye evokes, along with the thinking of an extraordinary woman, is an alternative model for philosophy, a nonadversarial form of dialogue that does not pretend to objective theorizing. Such a philosophy depends on mutual respect and trust, on concern for the other's sensibilities and views, on friendship between women and men with a common concern for human life.

Nye has put this correspondence in readable form . . . well done.--S. C. Schwarze, Cabrini College "CHOICE "

Prefacep. ix
Prologue: A Terrible Griefp. 1
The First Overturesp. 5
Body and Soulp. 11
The Scent of a Rosep. 16
An Initial Disappointmentp. 21
The Uses of Metaphysicsp. 24
A Testp. 30
The Philosophic Musep. 34
Doctor-Philosopherp. 38
A Life Blessed with Happinessp. 48
The Burdens of Civilityp. 58
A Discourse on Prudencep. 61
The Consolations of Theologyp. 72
Traitor to the Causep. 77
A Silence between Friendsp. 84
Master of Passionp. 89
A Certain Languorp. 96
Murder in the Streetsp. 99
The Princep. 102
Magic Powersp. 109
An Ungrateful Disciplep. 114
An Accusation of Blasphemyp. 120
A New Patronessp. 125
The Purloined Lettersp. 132
Affairs of Statep. 138
On the Advantages of Partition and Death by Beheadingp. 145
A Royal Summonsp. 151
Reason in the Service of Sensep. 158
In the Land of Ice and Snowp. 163
Epilogue: The Abbess of Herfordp. 169
Notesp. 175
Bibliographyp. 183
Indexp. 185
About the Authorp. 187
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780847692651
ISBN-10: 0847692655
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 202
Published: 15th April 1999
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.84 x 14.94  x 1.19
Weight (kg): 0.25