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Download Descartes' Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict between Faith and Reason Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Descartes Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict between Faith and Reason (Unabridged), by Russell Shorto
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (858 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Russell Shorto Narrator: Paul Hecht Publisher: Recorded Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From best-selling, prize-winning author Russell Shorto comes a grand and strange history of the on-going debate between religion and science - seen through the oddly momentous journey of the skull and bones of the great French philosopher Rene Descartes.

In this book Shorto brilliantly shows how this argument first started with Descartes and how his ideas (and bones) have remained central to this theoretical struggle for over 350 years.

On a brutal winter's day in 1650 in Stockholm, Frenchman Rene Descartes, the most influential and controversial thinker of his time, was buried after a cold and lonely deathfar from home. Sixteen years later, the pious French Ambassador Hugues de Terlon secretly unearthed Descartes' bones and transported them to France. Why would this devoutly Catholic official care so much about the remains of a philosopher who washounded from country after country on charges of atheism? Why would Descartes' bones take such a strange, serpentine path over the next 350 years - a path intersecting some of the grandest events imaginable: the birth of science, the rise of democracy, the mind-body problem, the conflict between faith and reason?

The answer lies in Descartes' famous phrase: cogito ergo sum. I think therefore I am. This quote from his work Discourse on the Method, destroyed 2,000 years of received wisdom by introducing an attitude of human skepticism towards ideas of medicine,nature, politics and society. The notion that one could look to provable facts, and not rely on the Church's teachings and tradition, was one of the most influential ideas in human history, ultimately creating the scientific method and overthrowing religion asprevailing truth.

Descartes' Bones is a fascinating narrative - both macro and micro history in one - that twists and turns up to the present day. Download and start listening now!


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Phyllis Harrison | 2/6/2014

    " An interesting look at how one man's life changed history and the battle over his bones centuries after his death. Some admire him, others despise him but he changed the world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Timothy Finucane | 1/26/2014

    " It read like an episode of the old science channel show Connections. Running through all the people and scientists who were involved with the remains of Descartes, connections were made with all the associated scientific discoveries of each individual discussed. Interesting read from a history of science perspective. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jane | 1/14/2014

    " Well written and engaging. Took me quite a while as my interest came and went, but in that way a good one to have on the bedside table in conjunction with others. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Marfy | 1/6/2014

    " Don't know why this book did not engage me. Only got half the way through. "

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