Two editions of Descartes's treatise on human physiology were published in the 1660s, more than a decade after his death: Florent Schuyl's Renatus Des Cartes de homine (1662) and Claude Clerselier's L'Homme de Ren´´e Descartes (1664). The principal difference between them lies in the figures that illustrate the text. Schuyl's figures undermine Descartes's optimism; his anatomical sketches foreground human mortality,while his landscapes remind the reader of the fleeting nature of time and of the inevitability of death. In contrast, Clerselier's illustrations develop Descartes's comparison of the human body to a machine, which does not live nor, as a result, die. They thus obscure the fate of the author's dead body and in turn pave the way for the resurrection of his esprit.
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