Monday, 3 December 2012

C is for...

This is 100% SOLID FACT: Descartes did some of his thinking in an oven. Except it probably wasn't a Zanussi Electric model. Intrigued? Watch this video for some fun-time learning from Mr Mark Steel. The oven features at about 1.19 (which is pretty good going for an oven). Just goes to prove that fact is stranger than fiction. Certainly useful for justifying going to the sauna more often anyway...woohoo! Becca x


  1. I believe this is a reference to the phrase "stove heated room" in the Meditations. Apparently, in the original French/Latin, it's ambiguous and it sounds like the room itself was an oven. So said the footnote in the translation I read.

  2. Ah, that makes sense. That's what I was imagining really, but it's always fun to exploit the ambiguities of language. I don't suppose you have the reference for that do you?

  3. I love this - it's so stupid! He is reading Descartes for Dummies!!

  4. Apparently the issue is that the word "poêle" can mean "stove heated room" or "giant oven for doing philosophy inside of." P. 7, fn. 3 of Donald Cress's translation of Discourse + Meditations:

    "There is no need to allege that Descartes sat in or on a stove. A poêle is simply a room heated by an earthenware stove."