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Author Aczel, Amir D.

Title Descartes' secret notebook : a true tale of mathematics, mysticism, and the quest to understand the universe / Amir D. Aczel.

Publication Info. New York : Broadway Books, [2005]
©2005

Copies

Location Call No. Status
 Avon Free Public Library - Adult Department  510.1 ACZEL    Check Shelf
 Berlin-Peck Memorial Library - Non Fiction  510.1 ACZEL    Check Shelf
 Enfield, Main Library - Adult Department  510.1 ACZ    Check Shelf
 Mansfield, Main Library - Adult Nonfiction  510.1 ACZEL    DUE 03-16-24
 Middletown, Russell Library - Adult Nonfiction  510.1 ACZ    Check Shelf
 New Britain, Main Library - Non Fiction  510.1 AC45    Check Shelf
 Newington, Lucy Robbins Welles Library - Adult Department  510.1 ACZEL    Check Shelf
 Plainville Public Library - Non Fiction  510.1 ACZ    Check Shelf
 South Windsor Public Library - Non Fiction  510.1 ACZEL    DUE 01-20-24 Billed
 Windsor, Main Library - Adult Department  510.9 AC    Check Shelf
Description xiv, 273 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages [258]-264) and index.
Contents Introduction -- Prologue: Leibniz's search in Paris -- Gardens of Touraine -- Jesuit mathematics and the pleasures of the Capital -- Dutch puzzle -- Three dreams in an oven by the Danube -- Athenians are vexed by a persistent ancient plague -- Meeting with Faulhaber and the Battle of Prague -- Brotherhood -- Swords at sea and a meeting in the Marais -- Descartes and the Rosicrusians -- Italian creations -- Duel at Orleans, and the Siege of La Rochelle -- Move to Holland and the ghost of Galileo -- Secret affair -- Descartes' philosophy and the discourse on the method -- Descartes understands the ancient Delian mystery -- Princess Elizabeth -- Intrigues of Utrecht -- Call of the Queen -- Mysterious death of Descartes -- Leibniz's quest for Descartes' secret -- Leibniz breaks Descartes' code and solves the mystery -- Twenty-first century epilogue -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Illustration credits -- Index.
Summary A portrait of the great 17th century philosopher and mathematician looks at the contributions of Rene Descartes. His interest in mysticism and probable membership in the occult brotherhood of Rosicrucians, and his secret notebook, which he kept in code, attempting to redecipher the contents of the long lost volume. Rene Descartes (1596-1650) is one of the towering and central figures in Western philosophy and mathematics. His apothegm "Cogito, ergo sum" marked the birth of the mind body problem, while his creation of so-called Cartesian coordinates has made our intellectual conquest of physical space possible. But Descartes had a mysterious and mystical side, as well. After Descartes' death, Gottfried Leibniz, inventor of calculus and one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, moved to Paris in search of this notebook and eventually found it in the possession of Claude Clerselier, a friend of Descartes'. Liebniz called on Clerselier and was allowed to copy only a couple of pages, which, though written in code, he amazingly deciphered there on the spot. Liebniz's hastily scribbled notes are all we have today of Descartes' notebook. Why did Descartes keep a secret notebook, and what were its contents? The answers to these questions will lead the reader on an exciting, swashbuckling journey, and offer a fascinating look at one of the great figures of Western culture.
Subject Descartes, René, 1596-1650 -- Notebooks, sketchbooks, etc.
Descartes, René, 1596-1650 -- Knowledge -- Mathematics.
Mathematics -- Philosophy -- History -- 17th century.
Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, Freiherr von, 1646-1716 -- Manuscripts.
ISBN 0767920333
9780767920339
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