Descartes died in Stockholm on 11 February 1650 from pneumonia contracted during the freezing cold mornings spent in his philosophical colloquia with Queen Christina. According to Chanut, who stayed with him until the very end, his death was “sweet and very much like his life”. These words have always been held to be of fundamental importance in the different accounts of the philosopher’s death, especially in Adrien Baillet’s Vie de Monsieur Descartes. The literature that flourished around Descartes’ death has always presented this ‘trespassing’ as the final declaration of his philosophy, inspired by those principles he had theorized in his works as a philosophy of life and that he would play out even in the crowning moment as an ethic of wisdom which has to be lived out in the first person, and for the last time.
Keywords: Descartes’ death, philosophical principles, medical care, religious comfort.