Descartes And Letters Exchanged Between Elizabeth of Bohemia On the Body-Mind Problem

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(Name) (Instructors’ name) (Course) (Date) Descartes and Letters Exchanged between Elizabeth of Bohemia on the Body-mind Problem Introduction In this paper I will discuss four letters that were exchanged between Rene Descartes and Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia around 1646.


In this letter, she appears to suggest that the reason for her departure is the murder of Francois d’Espinay (who had courted not only mother but also her younger sister) by Phillipe (her brother) in broad daylight (Atherton 25). Ironically this act seems to have been carried out with Elizabeth’s knowledge. She tells Descartes that she will carry a draft of The Passions of the Soul treatise that he had given to her, but remarks that previously his presence had had provided the remedy to her passions, since both his reasoning and maxims had failed to do so. Letter II: Descartes to Elizabeth, September 1646. The response to Elizabeth commences with a reference to a correspondence they exchanged recently about Machiavelli’s The Prince; Elizabeth had asked him to read it. Descartes remarks that he has discovered in the Prince a lot of precepts which have been very good to him, but his major criticism is that Machiavelli has failed to provide a clear contrast between princes who have acquired power through illegitimate methods and those who have done so through just means. He says that the former are bereft of solid foundations, and the states they create will inevitably slip into tyranny (Descartes & Griffith 22). ...
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