Rene Descartes

(March 31, 1596 – February 11, 1650)

René Descartes also known as Cartesius, was a noted French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. Dubbed the "Founder of Modern Philosophy" and the "Father of Modern Mathematics," he ranks as one of the most important and influential thinkers of modern times. For good or ill, much of subsequent western philosophy is a reaction to his writings, which have been closely studied from his time down to the present day.

Descartes founded 17th century continental rationalism, later advocated by Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibniz, and opposed by the empiricist school of thought, consisting of Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley & Hume. Leibniz, Spinoza and Descartes were all versed in mathematics as well as philosophy, and Descartes and Leibniz contributed significantly to science as well. As the inventor of the Cartesian coordinate system, Descartes founded analytic geometry, that bridge between algebra and geometry crucial to the invention of the calculus and analysis. Descartes's reflections on mind and mechanism began the strain of western thought that much later, impelled by the invention of the electronic computer and by the possibility of machine intelligence, blossomed into, e.g., the Turing test and John Searle's "Chinese room" argument. His work, La géométrie, includes his application of algebra to geometry from which we now have Cartesian geometry.

His most famous statement is Cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am.)

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


René Descartes 01

René Descartes 01
When it is not in our in our power to follow what is true, we ought to follow what is probable.


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