How Descartes died

Quote from John Deely, Four Ages of Understanding: The First Postmodern Survey of Philosophy from Ancient Times to the Turn of the Twenty-First Century

p. 511-512 “The most famous adage of modern philosophy, perhaps of all philosophy, comes from Descartes: ‘Cogito ergo sum’, ‘I think therefore I am’. There is a tale told – I know not if it be true – that Descartes met his actual death, not in the count of Queen Christina of Sweden on 11 February 1650, of a cold that became pneumonia, as traditionally taught, but in a Paris restaurant. Celebrating with friends his escape from that court under the guise of death, he responded to waiter who asked if he would like coffee, ‘I don’t think …’, and before he could get the ‘so’ out of his mouth, he was gone.”


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