Descartes’ Rules for the direction of the mind presents us with a theory of knowledge in which imagination, considered as an “aid” for the intellect, plays a key role. This function of schematization, which strongly resembles key features of Proclus’ philosophy of mathematics, is in full accordance with Descartes’ mathematical practice in later works such as La Géométrie from 1637. Although due to its reliance on a form of geometric intuition, it may sound obsolete, I would like to show that (...) this has strong echoes in contemporary philosophy of mathematics, in particular in the trend of the so called “philosophy of mathematical practice”. Indeed Ken Manders’ study on the Euclidean practice, along with Reviel Netz’s historical studies on ancient Greek Geometry, indicate that mathematical imagination can play a central role in mathematical knowledge as bearing specific forms of inference. Moreover, this role can be formalized into sound logical systems. One question of general epistemology is thus to understand this mysterious role of the imagination in reasoning and to assess its relevance for other mathematical practices. Drawing from Edwin Hutchins’ study of “material anchors” in human reasoning, I would like to show that Descartes’ epistemology of mathematics may prove to be a helpful resource in the analysis of mathematical knowledge. (shrink)