Through the Eyes of Descartes
Seeing, Thinking, Writing
Published by: Indiana University Press
"I shall here present my life," writes Descartes in Discourse on Method, "as in a painting" and my method "as a fable." Through the Eyes of Descartes demonstrates how a Cartesian aesthetics is interwoven in his thought. It brings together a variety of materials: his metaphysical writings and essays in natural philosophy, through to his letters, drawings, and printed images.
Cecilia Sjöholm and Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback seek to bring Descartes into dialogue with contemporary phenomenology as well as contemporary psychoanalytic thought. They focus on how perception interacts with emotions and thought, and the way in which our gaze is directed toward limit-phenomena of beauty and fascination.
In Through the Eyes of Descartes, Cecilia Sjöholm and Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback counter the traditional picture of Descartes by presenting his work in an entirely different light: a Descartes of the arts, of sensibility, of inner images, and of imagination.
1. Descartes's Visceral Aesthetics: The Violence of the Beautiful and the Ugly, by Cecilia Sjöholm
2. Philosophical Emotion: Descartes and the Aesthetics of Thought, by Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback
3. Descartes's Performative Cogito, by Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback
4. Rhythms of Snow: Figures of Differentiation in Descartes's Meteorology, by Cecilia Sjöholm
5. Thinking through Lines with Descartes, by Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback
6. The Gaze, Images and Drives, by Cecilia Sjöholm
7. The Thinking Fetus, by Cecilia Sjöholm
8. The Love between Body and Soul, by Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback
"Through the Eyes of Descartes presents an unorthodox but highly compelling reading of Descartes' philosophical project. Against the tired old dogma of the "Cartesian split" between the mind and the body, Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback and Cecilia Sjöholm retrieve the philosophical significance of the body for the French thinker via their patient interpretations of Descartes' aesthetics, as well as his notions of love, maternity, meteorology, and the role of various bodily organs in the task of thinking. This is a new milestone in Descartes studies!"~Michael Marder, author of The Phoenix Complex: A Philosophy of Nature
"Sjöholm and Cavalcante Schuback offer a new and original reading of Descartes. Descartes's work, over the centuries, has been interpreted as the account of the emergence of the European rationality that discovers the world through a rational intellect completely encapsulated within itself, detached from any exteriority, autonomous and autogenous, detached from the cosmos and nature. Through the Eyes of Descartes successfully challenges this monolithic image of Descartes' philosophy, thus rediscovering his work in a completely different light."~Giovanbattista Tusa, Nova University of Lisbon, Portugal