Date of Award

Spring 1944

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Long before I began to study philosophy seriously, the personality and life of both Saint Augustine and René Descartes exerted a fascination upon me. Augustine and Descartes--each stands at the headwaters of his age. Augustine, rhetorician, convert, priest, bishop, in whose life and thought in the last days of the Roman Empire one can already discern the foundations of the Middle Ages. Descartes, gentleman of the Renaissance, tempted by Scepticism and Libertinism, fired by the ambition to reconstitute the whole field of human knowledge, in whose writings and life of seclusion one can see the beginnings of what we call modern philosophy. The one is the soul of the medieval period, the other of the modern; they are strikingly different in life and personality, yet the philosophy of each is strangely similar...



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