Descartes Agonistes

John A. Schuster’s Research, Textbooks, Reviews and Occasional Pieces on the History, Philosophy and Sociology of Scientific Knowledge.

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First public access to the draft Descartes, Mydorge and Beeckman: The Evolution of Cartesian Lens Theory 1627-1637” which is Appendix 1 of the ms Descartes Agonistes—Physico-Mathematics, Method and Corpuscular Mechanism 1618-33. This Appendix supports the arguments about how and when Descartes discovered the law of refraction of light, developed in Chapter 4 of Descartes Agonistes. It should be read in conjunction with the paper “Descartes Opticien”, posted under ‘Research on this site. This Appendix may be taken as directly continuing the arguments therein, especially as foreshadowed in Section 5.2.


Descartes Agonistes: Physico-Mathematics, Method and Corpuscular-Mechanism, 1618-1633 exists in a polished 214,000 word manuscript, completed in December 2009. I am currently pushing to have it published in full and unexpurgated.  Sample chapters are available to interested colleagues for review, discussion and limited use, by direct email to me via my University of New South Wales address. The attached document has a brief argument blurb and complete analytical table of contents.

Abstract of Judit Brody and John A. Schuster, "Descartes and Sun Spots: Matters of Fact and Systematising Strategies in the Principia Philosophiae". Early version presented at July 2010 AAHPSSS Conference, with mature version to be presented 13 April 2011 at Unit for HPS, University of Sydney, Descartes: New Studies Workshop.