Descartes on Education: the Cartesian Reformation of the Seventeenth-Century Institutionalized Knowledge
Abstract. It is well-known that the Cartesian scientific and philosophical project was directed towards instrumental purposes which guided Descartes’ theoretical research, as it is evidenced in the Discourse on the method. The transformation of the educative curriculum can also be considered one kind of intervention directed to the same purpose. The question of introducing his project into the schools has been a recurrent topic in order to analyze the Principles of Philosophy. Nevertheless, it can be affirmed that the Cartesian interest for institutionalizing his project – both science and philosophy – is present in more of Descartes’ works. This paper aims to analyze the different rhetorical and discursive strategies performed by Descartes so as to introduce his project in the educational system.
Keywords: Descartes, education, institutionalization of knowledge, instrumentalism, rhetoric