The Magic of Numbers and Motion
The Scientific Career of René Descartes

William R. Shea

1991, x+371 pp, Illus., L/C 89-10813, ISBN 0-88135-098-2 (cloth) $59.95

The Magic of Numbers and Motion

Also in paperback


“Most treatments of Cartesian science have been dull, misdirected or reverential; here we have an account that is lively, critical and thoroughly informed by both ancillary sources and Descartes’ correspondence… I wish I could have read this book long ago: a comprehensive and fascinating introduction to a man whose writings must be absorbed before later seventeenth-century science, not least Newton’s, can be fully appreciated.” –A. Rupert Hall, Nature

“To have drawn the diverse strands of Descartes’ philosophy and science together in a coherent whole, and to have presented that whole in the form of a credible intellectual biography is a task that should earn all of our thanks.” –Andrew Pyle, British Journal of the History of Science

“It is a very impressive achievement and stands as a model to everyone who wants to come to terms with Descartes’ scientific thought. It would make an excellent textbook and should be issued in paperback immediately.” –Stephen Gaukroger, Metascience