The Rebirth of Descartes : The Nineteenth-Century Reinstatement of Cartesian Metaphysics in France and Germany

Abstract
Although the name of René Descartes (1596-1650) is familiar to anyone with the slightest affinity of philosophy and his ideas have become a commonplace to philosophers, it is not generally known, even amongst histiorians of philosophy, that his fame is actually the result of his revival in the nineteenth century. This thesis explains the historical and systematical reasons for the reinstatement of Descartes in France and Germany. It encounters psychological, religious and epistemological motives for the reinstatement of the ‘father of modern philosophy’ paying special attention to the core elements of Cartesian metaphysics: the cogito, the proofs for the existence of God, and the theory of innate ideas.
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