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The Good Life in the Scientific Revolution: Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, and the Cultivation of Virtue
by Matthew L. Jones
University of Chicago Press, 2006
Paper: 978-0-226-40955-9 | Cloth: 978-0-226-40954-2 | eISBN: 978-0-226-40956-6
Library of Congress Classification Q125.2.J66 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 509.032

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

Amid the unrest, dislocation, and uncertainty of seventeenth-century Europe, readers seeking consolation and assurance turned to philosophical and scientific books that offered ways of conquering fears and training the mind—guidance for living a good life.

The Good Life in the Scientific Revolution presents a triptych showing how three key early modern scientists, René Descartes, Blaise Pascal, and Gottfried Leibniz, envisioned their new work as useful for cultivating virtue and for pursuing a good life. Their scientific and philosophical innovations stemmed in part from their understanding of mathematics and science as cognitive and spiritual exercises that could create a truer mental and spiritual nobility.  In portraying the rich contexts surrounding Descartes’ geometry, Pascal’s arithmetical triangle, and Leibniz’s calculus, Matthew L. Jones argues that this drive for moral therapeutics guided important developments of early modern philosophy and the Scientific Revolution.


See other books on: 1596-1650 | Descartes, René | Mathematics | Scientific Revolution | Virtue
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