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Contemporary uses of Descartes.

Usages contemporains de Descartes

« Methodos » 18 (2018)

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Published on Monday, February 13, 2017


A call for papers is launched for the volume 18 of Methodos, the online review of the research unit “Savoirs, textes, langage” (UMR 8163, CNRS, université de Lille) on the contemporary uses of Descartes.



Alexandre Billon and Édouard Mehl


Rationalist, mechanist, positivist, idealist, transcendentalist, pacifist, socialist, dogmatic, skeptic…the list of labels that can be given to Descartes is so long, so varied and so full of contradiction that drawing up a complete catalogue would be both tedious and in vain. In fact, since Descartes himself, it seems that all philosophy is inevitably expected to take a stance in relation to him and to his project of a new absolute beginning a primis fundamentis. Whether this stance is to make him into a paragon of radicalness and a precursor, opening the path to all following philosophical thought (Husserl) or, on the contrary, in order to denounce the implausibility of Cartesian dualism (Ryle, Dennett, and an important portion of contemporary philosophy of mind); or to critique the subordination of Cartesian philosophy to the epistemic interests of the science of their time (Heidegger), or even, more ambiguously and more subtly, to make Cartesian philosophical discourse the symptom of an age — the classical era — which is at once both that of knowledge, lucidity, open inquiry, and that of a fatal oversight, an obliviousness and a blindness regarding its own essence (Foucault)

The goal of this issue, consecrated to the contemporary uses of Descartes, is to sketch a typology of that use during the 20th and 21st centuries. From the famous article on Cartesian freedom by Sartre (1930) to Totalité et infini (1961) by Emmanuel Levinas, from L’Essence de la manifestation (1963) by Michel Henry to Sur la pensée passive de Descartes (2013) by Jean-Luc Marion, there are, at the very center of the French phenomenological tradition, ways of relating back to Descartes in need of characterization. Beyond, and perhaps independently of that tradition, the cognitive sciences and the so-called “analytic” tradition (lato sensu), also have typical ways of using Cartesian theses, or, as is more often the case, Anti-Cartesian theses. Do there exist as many philosophies as uses of Descartes? This is the question that the contributors are invited to reflect upon.

Submission of proposal

Contributions Proposals (2500 characters) will be sent electronically, in Word and PDF formats writing to Bernard Sève (bernard.seve@univ-lille3.fr) and Florence Thill (florence.thill@univ-lille3.fr)

Deadline on March 30th 2017

Accepted languages : French, German, Italian, English.

Once a proposal has been accepted, the authors will send their text in accordance with the guidelines described under « Conditions de publication et instructions aux auteurs » on the review’s website (http://methodos.revues.org/2124).

Deadline on June 18th 2017



  • Université Lille 3
    Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France (59)


  • Thursday, March 30, 2017


  • Descartes


  • Bernard Sève
    courriel : bernard [dot] seve [at] univ-lille [dot] fr
  • Edouard MEHL
    courriel : edouard [dot] mehl [at] univ-lille [dot] fr
  • Alexandre Billon
    courriel : abillon [at] gmail [dot] com

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Florence Thill
    courriel : florence [dot] thill [at] univ-lille [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Contemporary uses of Descartes. », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, February 13, 2017, https://calenda.org/393797

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