Richard Watson (philosopher)

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Richard A. Watson
Born (1931-02-23) 23 February 1931 (age 91)[1]
Era Contemporary philosophy
Region Western philosophy
Main interests
History of philosophy

Richard A. Watson (born 1931) is an American philosopher, speleologist and author.

Watson taught philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis for forty years. He is considered one of the foremost living authorities on Descartes.[2][3] He is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy for Washington University in St. Louis.[4]

He has a degree in geology specializing in "paleoclimatology of 10,000 years ago." This involved the development of agrarian societies in the Fertile Crescent.[5]

His book, Cogito, Ergo Sum: a life of René Descartes was a travelogue in the form of following Rene Descarte's travels around Europe. It was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of its "25 Books to Remember from 2002."[5]


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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Was chosen by the New York Public library as one of "25 Books to Remember from 2002"[6]
  • The Philosopher's Demise: Learning French. David R Godine. 2003. ISBN 978-1-56792-227-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>Has been translated into nine languages.
  • Niagara. Coffee House Press. 2000. ISBN 978-1-56689-006-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • In the Dark Cave. Star Bright Books. 2005. ISBN 978-1-59572-038-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • 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. Brothers Judd reviews.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Watson, Richard A. (31 March 2012). "René Descartes". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. Retrieved 31 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Richard Watson Emeritus Professor of Philosophy". Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved March 31, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 Watson, Richard (March 31, 2012). "Autobiography".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Cogito, Ergo, Sum at Google Books. Retrieved 27 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> See book back cover.
  7. For reviews, see:
  8. A reissue of the Humanities Press Edition of 1987.
  9. A section on Berkeley in R.A.Watson's book "The breakdown of Cartesian metaphysics" constitutes a revised and completed variant of this paper.


  • Daues, Jessica (April 2, 2008). "Campus Author: Richard A. Watson". Washington University in St. Louis.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links