Professor Clarke, who taught for many years at University College Cork, was best-known for his work on Descartes. From an e-mail forwarded by a colleague in Ireland:
Professor Desmond Clarke, one of Ireland's leading philosophers, died on 4 September.
He is best known for his work on Descartes, including Descartes: A Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and Descartes’s Theory of Mind (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2003).
His most recent book appeared this year: French Philosophy, 1572-1675 (Oxford University Press, 2016). He published widely on the 17th Century, in particular on theories of science, the work of Blaise Pascal, and women in philosophy, including: The Equality of the Sexes: Three Feminist Texts of the Seventeenth Century, trans. Desmond M. Clarke (Oxford University Press, 2013) and 'Pascal’s Philosophy of Science' in The Cambridge Companion to Pascal (Cambridge University Press, 2003).
Des Clarke was co-editor of the Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy series. Apart from history of philosophy, he published widely on political philosophy, human rights and legal theory, including the highly influential Church & State (Cork University Press, 1984.) In 2015 he was awarded the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Humanities.
He is survived by his wife, the philosopher Dolores Dooley, two daughters and grandchildren.
The funeral will be held at 11am on Wednesday 8 September at Newlands Cross Crematorium. Further details here.