Richard Watson (philosopher)

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

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

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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