The Independent Philosopher

Missing History of Descartes Part 1

Editor’s Note:

Until now, the life of Rene Descartes; specifically, his middle years after university and prior to publishing his metaphysics, have been lost to history. We knew little of what happened to him in that time.

However, The Independent Philosopher’s premier philosophy researcher – Jack Lonsdale – went in search of what really happened to Descartes and to publish his full account of what he found here on The Independent Philosopher.

Armed with only a few yellowed pages of faded writing on existentialism, a government grant for the arts and a 9mm Glock; Lonsdale spent 18 months, venturing through the heartlands of France, the steaming jungles of Borneo and the barren wastes of the Antarctic in search of what really happened to Descartes.

Lonsdale’s travels were at times dangerous to others. Off the shoreline of Argentina, Lonsdale murdered the entire crew of a North Korean civilian merchant navy ship to stop them from uncovering the arcane secrets of metaphysics.

While in the Bermuda Triangle, Lonsdale came across a Nazi Conspiracy. Thankfully, Lonsdale was able to destroy the Reich’s hidden submarine base before they launched their WiFi enabled U-boats to conquer the world.

However, these adventures aside, during this time, like all true Philosophers, Lonsdale acted with diligence, courage and a passion for philosophical thought, that was only slightly clouded by his strong sense of loss that he felt when a beautiful Eastern European spy that Lonsdale had ‘familiar relations’ with, was kicked jumped into the jaws of a shark to save Lonsdale so that he could continue on his quest for knowledge, and, as the below facts will reveal, to save the world.

– Heinrich Von Hoppenburger

14 July, 1620 10:00 am – Descartes wakes up with a hangover. He can’t remember the night before. As Descartes stumbles out of bed, he begins to realise that there’s blood in the room. There’s blood on his hands. Descartes begins to panic. Then he remembers that he’s French. This is actually fairly normal. Descartes makes a mental note to write a paper on the circulation of blood, namely from his hands onto the rest of the room.

14 July, 1620 1:30 pm – Descartes’ day is going rather well. He was still feeling unsettled by waking up with blood on his hands, but then he beat a dog while playing a violin – which lifted his mood significantly. Descartes is planning on making a wooden doll that looks just like his dead daughter later to cap off a great day when movement on the roof of the terrace house next door catches his eye. Descartes gasps in horror as the apparition flitters across the skyline.

14 July 1620 4:30 pm – It’ll be dark soon, and it is beginning to dawn on Descartes that the creature he has been chasing across the city for the last three hours might be a threat to Descartes once the sun goes down. Regaining his breath in ragged gasps, Descartes moves back to his lodgings for the night.

14 July 1620 5:00 pm – It had started to rain as Descartes picked his way through the slums and back alleys towards his lodgings. He didn’t take any notice of the beggars or the doxies as he hatched a plan. It had been years since he’d worked for the church as a spy; but even now, he could feel the presence of the creature nearby, stalking him. The hunter had become the hunted. The Jesuits still owed him some favours. They would come he told himself. He made a list of men to contact when he saw the house servant. The servant was quick about things and already now, was moving across the town assembling the men whose addressees Descartes had given him. Descartes calmly sipped from a goblet as he looked out onto the street; and waited.

To be continued…

Part 2 of the Missing History of Descartes

Part 3 of the Missing History of Descartes

Jack Lonsdale