The oldest child, Pierre, died soon after his birth on October 19, His sister, Jeanne, was probably born sometime the following year, while his surviving older brother, also named Pierre, was born on October 19, The Descartes clan was a bourgeois family composed of mostly doctors and some lawyers.
He has been called the "Father of Modern Philosophy", and much of subsequent Western philosophy can be seen as a response to his writings. He is responsible for one of the best-known quotations in philosophy: He was a pioneer and major figure in 17th Century Continental Rationalism often known as Cartesianism later advocated by Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibnizand opposed by the British Empiricist school of thought of HobbesLockeBerkeley and Hume.
He represents a major break with the Aristotelianism and Scholasticism of the Medieval period. His contribution to mathematics was also of the first order, as the inventor of the Cartesian coordinate system and the founder of analytic geometry, crucial to the invention of calculus and mathematical analysis.
He was also one of the key figures in the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th Centuries. However, he then abandoned his education and spent several years traveling and experiencing the world he later claimed that his formal education provided little of substance.
It was during this time in that he met the Dutch philosopher and scientist Isaac Beeckman - while walking through Breda in Holland, who sparked his interest in mathematics and the new physics.
Inhe returned to France, and soon afterward sold all his property at La Haye, investing the proceeds in bonds which provided him with a comfortable income for the rest of his life.
He returned to settle in Holland in The next year, he joined the University of Franeker; the year after that, Leiden University; and, inhe is recorded as attending Utrecht University.
In fact, in the years between andhe lived at 14 separate addresses in 10 different Dutch cities. It was during this 20 year period of frequent moves that he wrote almost all of his major works on philosophy, mathematics and science.
He shrewdly held off publication of his first work, "Le Monde" "The World"written between anddue to the condemnation of the works of Galileo Galilei - and Nicolaus Copernicus - by the Roman Catholic Church in The most famous of his works include: For a time, inCartesian philosophy was condemned by the University of Utrecht.
Descartes died of pneumonia on 11 February in Stockholm, Sweden, where he had been invited as a teacher for Queen Christina of Sweden. Work Back to Top Descartes lived during a very skeptical period, at a time before science as we know it existed, and after a long period of relative stagnation in philosophical thought during the Church-dominated and Aristotle -influenced late Middle Ages.
He had been impressed, in both his academic work and in his experience of the world at large, by the realization that there appeared to be no certain way of acquiring knowledge, and he saw his main task as the epistemological one of establishing what might be certain knowledge as a stepping stone towards the ultimate pursuit of truth.
His more immediate aim in this was to put scientific inquiry in a position where it was no longer subject to attack by Skepticsand he tried to do this by a kind of pre-emptive Skepticismessentially by being more skeptical than the Skeptics.
Only then did he allow himself to reconstruct knowledge piece by piece, such that at no stage was the possibility of doubt allowed to creep back in in order to acquire a firm foundation for genuine knowledge and to dispel any Skepticism.
He outlined four main rules for himself in his thinking: Never accept anything except clear and distinct ideas.
Divide each problem into as many parts are needed to solve it. Order your thoughts from the simple to the complex. Always check thoroughly for oversights. Using this process, which he detailed in his epochal "Discourse on the Method" of and expanded in the "Meditations on First Philosophy" ofDescartes attempted to narrow down, by what is sometimes called the method of doubt, what was certain and what contained even a shadow of a doubt.
For example, he realized that he could doubt even something as apparently fundamental as whether he had a body it could be that he was just dreaming of it or that it was an illusion created by an evil demonbut he could not, under any circumstances, doubt whether he had a mind or that he could think.
He followed this up with a pure, abstract thought experiment.A Time-line for the History of Mathematics (Many of the early dates are approximates) This work is under constant revision, so come back later.
Please report any errors to me at [email protected] Introduction - Rene Descartes. Rene Descartes is one of the most elegant writers of philosophy.
He is also one of the most important of the western philosophers due to his determination to find a certain foundation for philosophy / truth that could not be assaulted by the skeptics!.
His solution? Analytic geometry, also called coordinate geometry, mathematical subject in which algebraic symbolism and methods are used to represent and solve problems in geometry.
The importance of analytic geometry is that it establishes a correspondence between geometric curves . The Geometry of Rene Descartes (translated by David Eugene Smith and Marcia Latham), first published by Open Court in and by Dover in Discourse on the Method, , The Geometry, in Great Books of the Western World (2 nd edition), vol.
28, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Chicago, One of Descartes' most enduring legacies was his development of Cartesian or analytic geometry, which uses algebra to describe geometry.
He "invented the convention of representing unknowns in equations by x, y, and z, and knowns by a, b, and c ". With this volume Descartes founded modern analytical geometry. Reducing geometry to algebra and analysis and, conversely, showing that analysis may be translated into geometry, it opened the way for modern barnweddingvt.coms: