Descartes letter found.   Leave a comment

The name Guglielmo Libri will mean little to anyone outside the inner circles of academia. But a mere mention of the 19th-century Tuscan noble and polymath to European scholars still has the power to provoke hand-wringing and despair.
Count Guglielmo Libri Carucci dalla Sommaja was more than a respected scientist and a decorated professor of mathematics. He was also – and more notoriously – a book thief, guilty of intellectual larceny on an international scale.
In the mid-1800s, Libri pilfered tens of thousands of precious manuscripts, tomes and documents from Italian and French libraries, including 72 letters written by the great French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes.
Now, in an emotional ceremony, one of the letters has been handed back to France after collecting dust in a library at a small American college since 1902.
The letter, described as “a wonderful discovery for science”, is dated 27 May 1641 and concerns the publication of Descartes’s treatise, Meditations on First Philosophy – subtitled In Which the Existence of God and the Immortality of the Soul Are Demonstrated – that year. It was written to Father Marin Mersenne, who was overseeing the book’s publication.

Posted June 22, 2010 by dmacc502 in global

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: