Thursday, November 09, 2006

Descartes Self-Analysis

Here is a sweet litle anecdote that I ran accross in Geneviève Rodis-Lewis' book Descartes: His Life and Thought. Descartes wrote:"I loved a girl of my own age, who was slightly cross-eyed; by which means, the impression made in my brain when I looked at her wandering eyes was joined so much to that which also occurred when the passion of love moved me, that for a long time aftersward, in seeing crooss-eyed women, I felt more inclined to love them than others, simply because they had that defect; and i did not know that was the reason. In contrast, since I have reflected on it, and recognized it as a defect, I have no longer been so moved." Descartes made this very personal confidence to Chanut, to transmit to Queen Christina of Sweeden, who asked what "causes…often incite us to love one person rather than another before we know their merit."

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