Richard Watson (philosopher)

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Richard A. Watson
Born(1931-02-23)23 February 1931[1]
Died18 September 2019(2019-09-18) (aged 88)
EraContemporary philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
Main interests
History of philosophy

Richard Allan Watson (23 February 1931 – 18 September 2019) was an American philosopher, speleologist and author.[2]

Watson taught philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis for forty years. He was considered one of the foremost living authorities on Descartes.[3][4] He was an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy for Washington University in St. Louis.[5]

Watson earned a degree in geology specializing in "paleoclimatology of 10,000 years ago." This involved the development of agrarian societies in the Fertile Crescent.[6] From July 1965 to July 1967, he was president of the Cave Research Foundation.[7]

His book, Cogito, Ergo Sum: a life of René Descartes is a travelogue in the form of following Descartes's travels around Europe. It was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of its "25 Books to Remember from 2002."[6]


Richard A. Watson's publications include the following books and articles:

  • Cogito, Ergo Sum: a life of Rene Descartes. David R Godine. 2007 [2002]. ISBN 978-1-56792-335-3. Was chosen by the New York Public library as one of "25 Books to Remember from 2002"[8]
  • The Philosopher's Demise: Learning French. David R Godine. 2003. ISBN 978-1-56792-227-1.Has been translated into Italian
  • The Philosopher's Diet: how to lose weight and change the world. David R Godine. 1999. ISBN 978-1-56792-084-0.Has been translated into nine languages.
  • Niagara. Coffee House Press. 2000. ISBN 978-1-56689-006-9.. The biography of the first person to cross the Falls on a wire, and the first person(a woman) to go over the Falls in a barrel. The French translation has featured at the Saint-Malo Ettonants voyageurs Festival International du Lirre in 1997, where it won a translation award.
  • Descartes's Ballet: His Doctrine Of Will & Political Philosophy. St. Augustines Press. 2004. ISBN 978-1-58731-175-8.
  • In the Dark Cave. Star Bright Books. 2005. ISBN 978-1-59572-038-2.
  • Watson, Richard A. The Downfall of Cartesianism. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966.
  • Representational Ideas from Plato to Patricia Churchland (Kluwer Academic Publishers)
  • Under Plowman's Floor
  • The Runner
  • The Longest Cave (with Roger W. Brucker)(hb Alfred A. Knopf, pb Southern Illinois University Press)
  • The high road to Pyrrhonism / Ed. by Watson R.A., Force J.E. - San Diego: Hill, 1980. - XIV, 385 p. - (Studies in Hume a. Scott. philosophy; 2) Indices.: p. 369-385.



  1. ^ Richard A. Watson's Biography at the website.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Brothers Judd reviews.
  4. ^ a b Watson, Richard A. (31 March 2012). "René Descartes". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Richard Watson Emeritus Professor of Philosophy". Washington University in St. Louis. Archived from the original on 2011-08-11. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Watson, Richard (March 31, 2012). "Autobiography". Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
  7. ^ Brucker, Roger W.; Watson, Richard A. (1987) [1st pub. 1976 New York: Knopf]. The Longest Cave. Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press. p. 198. ISBN 0809313219.
  8. ^ Cogito, Ergo, Sum at Google Books. Retrieved 27 July 2010. See book back cover.
  9. ^ For reviews, see:
  10. ^ A reissue of the Humanities Press Edition of 1987.
  11. ^ A section on Berkeley in R.A.Watson's book "The breakdown of Cartesian metaphysics" constitutes a revised and completed variant of this paper.


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