Much of Nadler’s work exemplifies what the French call “haute vulgarisation,” high-level popularization. You don’t need to have aced Epistemology 101 to understand his books; you just need to pay close attention to his clear, patient exposition. In “The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter,” Nadler has, moreover, written his most inviting book yet.
Given its subtitle, “A Portrait of Descartes,” one would naturally expect an account of the life and thought of this key modern philosopher. But that subtitle is actually a sly pun.