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Scientist, mathematician, traveller, soldier - and spy - Rene Descartes has been called the 'father of modern philosophy'. Born in 1596 into an era still dominated by the medieval mindset, he was one of the chief actors in the riveting drama that ushered in the modern world. Drawing on new research and his own insights as one of our leading philosophers, A. C. Grayling presents a stunningly accessible and fascinating portrait of the man and the remarkable era in which he lived.