## Edwin Arthur Burtt (essay date 1925)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: "Descartes," in *The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical Science: A Historical and Critical Essay,* Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., 1925, pp. 96–116.

*[In the following essay, Burtt examines Descartes' mathematical conception of nature and his motives for proposing a mind-body dualism.]*

Descartes' importance in [the] mathematical movement [in science] was twofold; he worked out a comprehensive hypothesis in detail of the mathematical structure and operations of the material universe, with clearer consciousness of the important implications of the new method than had been shown by his predecessors; and he attempted both to justify and atone...

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