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The Correspondence between Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes$
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Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and Rene Descartes

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226204413

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226204444.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Volume Editor's Introduction

Volume Editor's Introduction

(p.1) Volume Editor's Introduction
The Correspondence between Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes

Lisa Shapiro

University of Chicago Press

The correspondence between Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia (1618–80) and René Descartes covers topics spanning the range of philosophical inquiry, but the letters were not written for the public. Early on in the correspondence, Elisabeth is quite insistent that their exchanges be kept private. In concluding her letter of 6 May 1643, she charges Descartes to refrain from making their exchange public, and her letter of 10 October 1646 demonstrates that they considered communicating in code. This introductory chapter presents biographies of Princess Elizabeth and René Descartes. It then provides an overview of the philosophical issues engaged in the correspondence, along with some essential background for understanding those issues. Next, it considers in greater depth Elisabeth's own philosophical position.

Keywords:   Elisabeth of Bohemia, René Descartes, correspondence, philosophical background

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