The phosphene dreams of a young Christian soldier

On a blustery St. Martin’s Eve in 1619, a twenty-three year old French gentleman soldier in the service of Maximilian of Bavaria was billeted near Ulm, Germany. Having recently quit his military
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On a blustery St. Martin’s Eve in 1619, a twenty-three year old French gentleman soldier in the service of Maximilian of Bavaria was billeted near Ulm, Germany. Having recently quit his military service under Maurice of Nassau, he was new to the Bavarian army and a stranger to the area. The weather and lack of associates motivated the youth to remain alone in his room for days at a time. It was a comfortable room, warmed against the bitter cold by a porcelain stove. One can imagine that such cozy solitude might provide occasion for the young man to reflect on his course in life. He had studied law at Poitiers and military science at Breda but had yet to decide on a career. Perhaps, he hoped for some guidance as he crawled under the covers for a warm winter’s nap. That young soldier was Rene Descartes and, as legend has it, guidance came on that fateful night of 10-11 November 1619 in the form of three dreams. The first dream begins with Descartes walking along a road amongst. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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