Francine Descartes

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Francine Descartes (19 July 1635, Deventer – 7 September 1640, Amersfoort) was René Descartes's daughter.

Deventer City and municipality in Overijssel, Netherlands

Deventer is a city and municipality in the Salland region of the province of Overijssel, Netherlands. In 2017, Deventer had a population of 99,577. The city is largely situated on the east bank of the river IJssel, but also has a small part of its territory on the west bank. In 2005 the municipality of Bathmen was merged with Deventer as part of a national effort to reduce bureaucracy in the country.

Amersfoort City and municipality in Utrecht, Netherlands

Amersfoort[ˈaːmərsfoːrt](listen) is a city and municipality in the province of Utrecht, Netherlands. In August 2017, the municipality had a population of 155,089, making it the second-largest of the province and fifteenth-largest of the country. Amersfoort is also one of the largest Dutch railway junctions with its three stations—Amersfoort, Schothorst and Vathorst—due to its location on two of the Netherlands' main east to west and north to south railway lines. The city was used during the 1928 Summer Olympics as a venue for the modern pentathlon events. Amersfoort marked its 750th anniversary as a city in 2009.

René Descartes 17th-century French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist

René Descartes ; 31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. A native of the Kingdom of France, he spent about 20 years (1629–1649) of his life in the Dutch Republic after serving for a while in the Dutch States Army of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange and the Stadtholder of the United Provinces. One of the most notable intellectual figures of the Dutch Golden Age, Descartes is also widely regarded as one of the founders of modern philosophy.

Francine was the daughter of Helena Jans van der Strom, [1] a domestic servant of Thomas Sergeant — a bookshop owner and associate of Descartes at whose house in Amsterdam Descartes lodged on 15 October 1634. When Descartes moved back from Amsterdam to Deventer the following winter, Helena went with him. Although Francine was referred to as an illegitimate child, her baptism in Deventer on August 7, 1635, was recorded among the legitimate births. Helena officially remained Descartes' servant, and René referred to Francine as his niece, but both were included in his life. In 1640 Descartes wrote that he would bring his daughter to France to learn the language and be educated, [2] but before that could happen, Francine died of scarlet fever at the age of 5. Russell Shorto postulated that the experience of fatherhood and losing a child formed a turning point in Descartes' work, changing its focus from medicine to a quest for universal answers. [2]

Baptism Christian rite of admission and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water

Baptism is a Christian rite of admission and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into Christianity. The synoptic gospels recount that John the Baptist baptised Jesus. Baptism is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an ordinance in others. Baptism is also called christening, although some reserve the word "christening" for the baptism of infants. It has also given its name to the Baptist churches and denominations.

Scarlet fever infectious disease

Scarlet fever is a disease which can occur as a result of a group A streptococcus infection, also known as Streptococcus pyogenes. The signs and symptoms include a sore throat, fever, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, and a characteristic rash. The rash is red and feels like sandpaper and the tongue may be red and bumpy. It most commonly affects children between five and 15 years of age.

Russell Shorto American journalist

Russell Shorto is an American author, historian and journalist, best known for his book on the Dutch origins of New York City, The Island at the Center of the World. Shorto's research for this book relied greatly on the work of the New Netherland Project and the New Netherland Institute. Shorto is the New Netherland Research Center's 2013 Senior Scholar.

Helena was the only woman with whom Descartes is known to have been intimate and she and Descartes appear to have remained close after Francine's death. Helena may have moved with Descartes to his next addresses — including in 1643 to Egmond-Binnen — where in 1644 she married the local innkeeper Jan Jansz van Wel. Notary acts discovered by Jeroen van de Ven show that Descartes provided the 1000-guilder dowry for this wedding. [1] [2] Descartes himself would remain in Egmond-Binnen until 1649, the longest period he ever stayed at any residence.

Egmond-Binnen Place in North Holland, Netherlands

Egmond-Binnen is a village in the Dutch province of North Holland. It is a part of the municipality of Bergen, and lies about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) southwest of Alkmaar.

Guilder monetary unit

Guilder is the English translation of the Dutch and German gulden, originally shortened from Middle High German guldin pfenninc "gold penny". This was the term that became current in the southern and western parts of the Holy Roman Empire for the Fiorino d'oro. Hence, the name has often been interchangeable with florin.

After Francine's death, René Descartes is said to have constructed an automaton in her likeness. [3] [4] [5]

Automaton A self-operating machine

An automaton is a self-operating machine, or a machine or control mechanism designed to automatically follow a predetermined sequence of operations, or respond to predetermined instructions. Some automata, such as bellstrikers in mechanical clocks, are designed to give the illusion to the casual observer that they are operating under their own power.

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Francine is a female given name. The name is of French origin. The name Francine was most popular in France itself during the 1940s, and was well used in the United States during the 1940s and 1950s. Short forms are Frannie, Frans and Fran.

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  1. 1 2 Jeroen van de Ven, Quelques données nouvelles sur Helena Jans , Bulletin Cartésien XXXI, Centre d’Études Cartésiennes, 2003
  2. 1 2 3 Russell Shorto, Descartes' Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason ISBN   978-0-385-51753-9 (New York, Random House, October 14th, 2008)
  3. Gaby Wood (25 August 2002), "First chapter", Edison's Eve, New York Times
  4. Kang, Minsoo (2017), "The Mechanical Daughter of Rene Descartes: The origin and history of an intellectual fable", Modern Intellectual History, 14 (3): 633–660, doi:10.1017/S147924431600024X
  5. Descartes' Daughter, Swiss Institute, 2013