Rene Descartes" "Rosicrucian Episode"
(Summary) The author of the supplement tries to solve the uncertainties about Rene Descartes"s putative membership in the elusive Rosicrucian fraternity at the beginning of 17th century. In the attempt to find out if it existed at all in his time, and if it did, then in which form, the author starts the exploration with the consideration of the basic Rosicrucian scriptures and concludes that their source is uncertain, although their Protestant position and political background is undeniable. It means that the Rosicrucianism is a result of the arising German nationalism, reformed Christianity and juncture of renaissance kabbalah and alchemy. It was expressed through the tendency for general reformation of science and society, which would be accomplished by a secret movement. On that basis, the author is of the opinion that Rene Descartes, as a former jesuit, foreigner and young man without clear political attitudes, could not possibly have been a member of the "Fraternity of Rosae Crucis". In the ensuing part the author gives a short review of Descartes"s search for Rosicrucians. The supplement ends with the author"s attempt to answer the question of the real relevance of Descartes"s "Rosicrucian episode" for the foundation and formation of Cartesian thought. After the analysis of the possible influence of Rosicrucian scriptures on the young philosopher"s thought, the author concludes that the direct influence of Rosicrucianism on Cartesian thought is minor, as Descartes was never oriented towards the restoration of sciences, which was suggested in Rosicrucian call for a "general reformation". However, the author believes that the indirect influence cannot be neglected, since the "Cartesian turn" occurred in an "epoch in which what is still a Hermetic, almost a "Rosicrucian", impulse towards the world results in valid scientific intuitions".
key words: Descartes, Cartesian thought, Rosicrucianism, secret societies, general reformation, Protestantism, renaissance philosophy of nature, occultism, alchemy.