Descartes is most generally known these days for being the guy who was sure he existed because he was thinking. But before he devoted himself to metaphysical meditations, he had spent a decade as a soldier-scholar travelling the hotspots of Europe. How might a greater understanding of this period affect our view of the great man? This is a fascinating if dry kind of pre-intellectual biography, which hopes to hint at how the philosophy grew out of the action.
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