Philosophy and Geography 4 (2):141 – 167 (2001)

Authors
Abraham Akkerman
University of Saskatchewan
Abstract
It is a matter of tacit consensus that rationalist adeptness in urban planning traces its foundations to the philosophy of the Renaissance thinker and mathematician Ren Descartes. This study suggests, in turn, that the planned urban environment of the Renaissance may have also led Descartes, and his intellectual peers, to tenets that became the foundations of modern philosophy and science. The geometric street pattern of the late middle ages and the Renaissance, the planned townscapes, street views and the formal garden design, appeared as parables for the perfection of the universe and the supremacy of critical reason. It is within this urban metaphor that Descartes's philosophical narrative betrays perceptual and conceptual impact from the contrast between convoluted medieval townscapes and the emerging harmonious street patterns where defined vistas and predictable clarity of street views were paramount. The geometrically delineated street views of the Renaissance new town became the spark that lit the philosopher's sagacity in reflecting upon the concept of "clear and distinct ideas." Past suggestions that Descartes was led to his philosophical breakthroughs through his discovery of co-ordinate geometry reinforce further the stance that Renaissance planning predisposed rationalist thought.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/10903770124810
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 51,668
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Descartes' Theory of the Passions.Stephen Gaukroger - 1998 - In John Cottingham (ed.), Descartes. Oxford University Press.
The Two Professions of Hippodamus of Miletus.Roger Paden - 2001 - Philosophy and Geography 4 (1):25 – 48.
Values and Planning: The Argument From Renaissance Utopianism.Roger Paden - 2001 - Ethics, Place and Environment 4 (1):5 – 30.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Urban Void and the Deconstruction of Neo-Platonic City-Form.Abraham Akkerman - 2009 - Ethics, Place and Environment 12 (2):205 – 218.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
73 ( #126,843 of 2,331,409 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #194,788 of 2,331,409 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes