39. Jacques Rohault (1620–1675) and his disciple, Pierre Sylvain Régis (1632–1707) were the chief French interpreters and militant proponents of the philosophy and scientific theories of Descartes in the late seventeenth century. The conquest of French intellectual circles at the end of the century by the formerly proscribed Cartesianism owed much to these two men. See Aram Vartanian, Diderot and Descartes (Princeton, 1953), pp. 25, 54, 219–20. French philosophy and Cartesianism seemed so thoroughly identical at the beginning of the century that, as d’Alembert points out, resistance to foreign philosophies became, for some, almost a matter of national pride.


 [ return to text ]