La maladie mortelle de Descartes - pneumonie ou empoisonnement ?

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This is a reply to Vincent Carraud/René Verdon « Remarques circonspectes sur la mort de Descartes » (published in Revue du dix-septième siècle, n° 265, 2014/4, pp. 719-726, online:, containing a critique of my "L'énigme de la mort de Descartes" Paris, 2011). I discuss the fatal illness and the death of Descartes, arguing that Descartes was very probably the victim of arsenical poisoning. The suspected murderer is a French priest, François Viogué, living with Descartes in 1650 at the French embassy in Stockholm who may have seen in Descartes an obstacle to the hoped for conversion of queen Christina of Sweden. As against Carraud/Verdon I stress the medical facts, in particular the fact that Descartes himself seems to have suspected poisoning, since he asked for an emetic shortly before his death.
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Archival date: 2015-10-29
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