Phil 219 - Princess Elizabeth.pdf - Embodiment and Sexual...

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Embodiment and Sexual Difference - Princess Elisabeth: “Letters to Descartes” The passage begins by giving a little bit of background on Princess Elizabeth. Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia was born on December 26, 1618, brought up in a family of thirteen children. She was also well educated. She passed away on February 8, 1680. The reading explains that Princess Elizabeth and Rene Descartes exchanged many letters in which they contemplated philosophical questions. However, only some of the letters, not all, were preserved. In the letters, Princess Elizabeth and Descartes discuss his works and Princess Elizabeth offers her critiques. Princess Elizabeth does not offer her own philosophical questions but instead examines Descartes’. The reading shows some of the letters exchanged between Descartes and Princess Elizabeth. The first letter in the reading is written by Princess Elizabeth, and in the letter, she says that she did not see herself fit to be discussing philosophical questions and was moved by his decision to “communicate with an ignorant and indocile person”. In Princess

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