A reflection on rene descarte s a

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. Joachim Descartes fell into this latter category and spent most of his career as a member of the provincial parliament.

A reflection on rene descarte s a

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. His health was poor and he was granted permission to remain in bed until 11 o'clock in the morning, a custom he maintained for the rest of his life.

He then spent some time in Paris studying mathematics, before studying law at the University of Poitiers, in accordance with his father's wishes that he should become a lawyer, obtaining his law degree in 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.

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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 A reflection on rene descarte s a 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.

At the heart of Descartes' philosophical method was his refusal to accept the authority of previous philosophers, and even of the evidence of his own senses, and to trust only that which was clearly and distinctly seen to be beyond any doubt a process often referred to as methodological skepticism or Cartesian doubt or hyperbolic doubt.

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.

Philosophy-Rene Descartes. Sharing Options. Share on Facebook, opens a new window; Share on Twitter, opens a new window5/5(2). René Descartes (/ d eɪ ˈ k ɑːr t /, UK He also independently discovered the law of reflection, and his essay on optics was the first published mention of this law. Influence on Newton's mathematics. Current opinion is that Descartes had the most influence of anyone on the young Newton, and this is arguably one of Descartes' most Died: 11 February (aged 53), Stockholm, Swedish Empire. Descartes Reflection Paper Descartes was a very intelligent man and was knowledgeable in many subjects. One of which was his understanding of reason. One might ask themselves, “What is Reason?” According to Descartes, the ability to reason is a human trait that does not differ from person to person.

Divide each problem into as many parts are needed to solve it. Order your thoughts from the simple to the complex.

A reflection on rene descarte s a

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.


He imagined an evil spirit or "deceiving demon" whose sole intention was to mislead him, and asked whether there was anything about which the demon would not be able to mislead him. His conclusion was the act of thinking, that the demon could never make him believe that he was thinking when he was not because, after all, even a false thought is still a thought.

Having identified this single indubitable principle, that thought exists, he then argued that, if someone was wondering whether or not he existed, then the very act of thinking was, in and of itself, proof that he did in fact exist: It is worth mentioning here that, by "thinking", Descartes did not just mean conceptual thought, but all forms of consciousness, experience, feelings, etc.

A reflection on rene descarte s a

Having dispelled all doubt by this process, Descartes then worked to build up, or reconstitute, the world again.

But he was careful not to do this willy-nilly, but only according to his own very strict rules, so that the "reconstituted world" was not the same as the original one which he had dismantled piece by piece due to doubts. The way he achieved this which, it must be said, appears from a modern viewpoint like something of a conjuring trick was to argue that among the contents of our certain consciousness was the idea of God, which in itself he saw as proof of the existence of God.

He then argued that, if we have the overwhelming impression of the existence of a concrete world around us, as we do, then an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent God would ensure that such a world does in fact exist for us.

Furthermore, he asserted that the essence of this physical world was extension that it takes up spacecontrary to the extensionless world of the mind.René Descartes (/ d eɪ ˈ k ɑːr t /, UK He also independently discovered the law of reflection, and his essay on optics was the first published mention of this law.

Descartes, Rene | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Influence on Newton's mathematics. René Descartes (/ d eɪ ˈ k ɑːr t /, UK He also independently discovered the law of reflection, and his essay on optics was the first published mention of this law. Influence on Newton's mathematics. Current opinion is that Descartes had the most influence of anyone on the young Newton, and this is arguably one of Descartes' most Died: 11 February (aged 53), Stockholm, Swedish Empire.

1 Article 19 Meditations on First Philosophy: II, V, VI René Descartes Introduction: René Descartes was born in La Haye (now called Descartes), France, in As a youth he was educated by the. As a result, the world's first extended essay on physiological psychology was published only well after its author's death.

In this work, Descartes proposed a mechanism [see figure 2] for automatic reaction in response to external events.

An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

Reflection and refraction In his Optics, Descartes offered an explanation of the phenomena of reflection and refraction The goal is to generate rules which predict accurately the behavior of light when reflected or refracted.

White October 9, Descartes’ Quest In , Renè Descartes sought to deny and doubt all of his previous knowledge through his Meditations On First Philosophy.

His goal was to start fresh by constructing a new set of beliefs and only believing those affirmations that he deemed infallibly true.5/5(3).

Rene Descartes and the Legacy of Mind/Body Dualism