Cogito ergo flux: Descartes´Daughter:Fransintgen:Mechanical Doll

” “- Modernism was characterized by humanist rationality – the search for “universal” truth – think of Descartes, Voltaire, Spinoza, Darwin, etc.”

In the quest for learning and exploring, as humans are naturally driven to do, Modernism found itself in the midst of a technological revolution: Industry. Of course the Modernists started to explore their reality in a flat way. Why continue working in three dimensions when you can consider the medium itself, offering a new sort of validity? The Modernists, like every era, were seeking Truth. They were no longer interested in depicting pictorial images because the “truth” was that “this is a canvas” or “this is paint from a tube” or “this is wire” or any sort of self-referencing material is what it is and nothing more than that.”//fluxusblog

René Descartes ( 1596 – 1650 ): Gentleman, Soldier, Philosopher, and Mathematician

The concept of analytic geometry came to Descartes in a dream on November 10, 1619; thus, this day marks the official birthday of modern mathematics.

As a soldier, he joined armies and survived fierce battles. As a gentleman and traveler, he visited most of the major sites of late Renaissance Europe. As a teacher, he enjoyed the companionship of royalty. He died in Stockholm of complications – some say poisoning, others say lung disorders – acquired while delivering 5 AM instruction to Queen Christina of Sweden, the daughter of Gustavus Adolphus. He is now buried in the Pantheon in Paris.”//The Folium of Descartes and his Equiangular Spiral

“For Descartes, the only clear truth was his own mind and ability to reason. He expressed this idea in a few words: “I think, therefore I am”.”//THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION

One evening René Descartes went to relax at a local tavern. The tender approached and said, “Ah, good evening Monsieur Descartes! Shall I serve you the usual drink?”. Descartes replied, “I think not.”, and promptly vanished!”//René Descartes

“Descartes outlined a four-step procedure for achieving his philosophic goal.

  • Doubt all that can be doubted, including customary ways of thinking; then discover certain truth in “clear and distinct ideas”; uses “dream” argument and “tricky, evil demon” argument
  • Analyze every problem into its component parts
  • Synthesize reflection on various parts into a solution to problem
  • Systematize the procedure to achieve completeness and rigor

Descartes sets the modern philosophical agenda in several ways:

  • demand for certainty: only indubitable knowledge counts
  • rejection of external authority: they are irrelevant to knowledge
  • affirmation of reason: attain certainty by speculative reasoning (rationalism) or by reason analyzing experience (empiricism)
  • emphasis on the knowing subject: limits and value of knowledge have to be assessed with reference to the act of knowing”// René Descartes (1596-1650): Influence

“A cynic observed that a philosopher learns the following when he participates in a course on philosophy:
the futility of reason!
the uselessness of your very own mind!
the amazing limitations of human thought!
the extreme foolishness of understanding anything at all! “///descartes.cyberbrahma


“Bourgeois makes statements like, “I am trying to be Ren’e DesCartes’ daughter” and “I was dismayed to learn there were other geometries besides Euclid’s.””//amazon

Photograph © Polly Braden

I am not one of those philosophers who think a man should not cry

Descartes’ Daughter

“Rene never married, he did have a child out of marriage with a servant, Helene Jans. The daughter, named Francine, was born October 15th, 1634, and died at an early age from Scarlet fever on September 7th, 1640.”//cheathouse

“Descartes never married. He took a Dutch servant girl, Helen, as his mistress in 1634. He had a natural daughter, Francine, by her. Francine died at the age of five in 1640. This was the greatest sorrow of his life.”//meta-religion

“He had a daughter Francine, but he wasn’t much of a family guy. He was really tied up in his work, and never really got married. He was a lonely guy and lived by himself. Because of his loneliness, it is said that he constructed a mechanical robot of a person that was his companion in life.”/yahoo-answers

“A more attractive side comes out in his love for his illegitimate daughter, whose early death prostrated him.”//iht

“In 1635 Descartes’s daughter Francine was born to Helena Jans and was baptized in the Reformed Church in Deventer. Although Francine is typically referred to by commentators as Descartes’s “illegitimate” daughter, her baptism is recorded in a register for legitimate births. Her death of scarlet fever at the age of five was the greatest sorrow of Descartes’s life. Referring to her death, Descartes said that he did not believe that one must refrain from tears to prove oneself a man.”//Britannica

“He was travelling, he told his companions, with his young daughter Francine; but the sailors had never seen her, and, thinking this strange, they decided to seek her out one day, in the midst of a terrible storm. Everything was out of place; they could find neither the philosopher nor the girl. Overcome with curiosity, they crept into Descartes’s quarters. There was no one there, but on leaving the room, they stopped in front of a mysterious box. As soon as they had opened it, they jumped back in horror: inside the box was a doll-a living doll, they thought, which moved and behaved exactly like a human being. Descartes, it transpired, had constructed the android himself, out of pieces of metal and clockwork. It was indeed his progeny, but not the kind the sailors had imagined: Francine was a machine. When the ship’s captain was shown the moving marvel, he was convinced, in his shock, that it was some instrument of dark magic, responsible for the weather that had hampered their journey. On the captain’s orders, Descartes’s “daughter” was thrown overboard. “//A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life

“”Descartes’ Baby“. The more obvious reason for the title is that I claim that people are mind-body dualists, and so they naturally hold a philosophy that’s most famously associated with René Descartes. In this sense, we are all Descartes’ babies. But there is another reason for the title that relates to disgust and similar emotions.

It is based on a story that was told about Descartes after he died. Descartes was never popular; he had a lot of enemies when he was alive, and even more after he died, and the story about him is weird and faintly nasty. It was known that Descartes had an illegitimate daughter, Francine, who died when she was five years old; this was said to be the greatest tragedy of his life. The story went that Descartes was so struck with grief that he created an automaton, a mechanical doll, built exactly identical to his dead daughter. The two were inseparable. He took this mechanical doll with him wherever he went. It was kept in a small trunk, and wherever he slept she was by his side. The story is that Descartes was crossing the Holland Sea, and the captain of the ship became very curious about the contents of this trunk that Descartes always had by his side. One night the captain crept down to his cabin while he was sleeping and opened up the trunk. To his horror the robot Francine arose. The captain, struck with revulsion, grabbed her, dragged her up to the deck of the ship and threw her overboard.”//natural-born dualists

“In the summer of 1637 Descartes made some arrangements for his daughter Fransintgen (1635–1640) and her mother Helena to join him”/”There is no other evidence that Descartes had any plans to live in Amersfoort, a city at 20 km northeast of Utrecht. But he may have visited his daughter Fransintgen there, who, according to Baillet, died in Amersfoort on 7 September 1640″/Quaestiones Infinitae/PDF

“Helena Jans was the mother of René Descartes child… Descartes would have had to convert to Calvinsm to do that(marry her), and would he have done that, the preachers would have hooted the news to high heaven. They didn´t, so Descartes and Helena were not married”//Richard Watson


“”Fox” ist die Geschichte von Francine Descartes: einer jungen Studentin, die sich im Jahr 2012 als Kanidatin für eine ganz besondere Game-Show bereiterklärt. Mit nichts als einem langen T-Shirt bekleidet, wird sie durch die Großstadt gejagt – und hat jedem, der sie erkennt, seine sexuellen Wünsche zu erfüllen.”//Cagliostro


human being

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