Rene descartes quotes about mathematics

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rene descartes quotes about mathematics

Rene Descartes Quotes (Author of Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy)

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Top 20 Rene Descartes Quotes - The French Philosopher & Mathematician

Apart from other things, he wrote some of the most influential works of modern philosophy which are still studied in universities across the world. He also formulated theories, developed concepts and made statements which became fundamental to Western philosophy. Apart from his work in philosophy, Descartes was a leading mathematician and scientist.

Rene Descartes Quotes and Sayings - Page 1

It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well. Each problem that I solved became a rule, which served afterwards to solve other problems. The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries. Perfect numbers like perfect men are very rare. Mathematics is a more powerful instrument of knowledge than any other that has been bequeathed to us by human agency.

In natural philosophy, he can be credited with several specific achievements: co-framer of the sine law of refraction, developer of an important empirical account of the rainbow, and proposer of a naturalistic account of the formation of the earth and planets a precursor to the nebular hypothesis. More importantly, he offered a new vision of the natural world that continues to shape our thought today: a world of matter possessing a few fundamental properties and interacting according to a few universal laws. This natural world included an immaterial mind that, in human beings, was directly related to the brain; in this way, Descartes formulated the modern version of the mind—body problem. In metaphysics, he provided arguments for the existence of God, to show that the essence of matter is extension, and that the essence of mind is thought. Descartes claimed early on to possess a special method, which was variously exhibited in mathematics, natural philosophy, and metaphysics, and which, in the latter part of his life, included, or was supplemented by, a method of doubt. Descartes presented his results in major works published during his lifetime: the Discourse on the Method in French, , with its essays, the Dioptrics , Meteorology , and Geometry ; the Meditations on First Philosophy i. Important works published posthumously included his Letters in Latin and French, —67 ; World, or Treatise on Light , containing the core of his natural philosophy in French, ; Treatise on Man in French, , containing his physiology and mechanistic psychology; and the Rules for the Direction of the Mind in Latin, , an early, unfinished work attempting to set out his method.

He was extensively educated, first at a Jesuit college at age 8, then earning a law degree at 22, but an influential teacher set him on a course to apply mathematics and logic to understanding the natural world. He was the youngest of three children, and his mother, Jeanne Brochard, died within his first year of life. His father, Joachim, a council member in the provincial parliament, sent the children to live with their maternal grandmother, where they remained even after he remarried a few years later. So did spending the next four years earning a baccalaureate in law at the University of Poitiers. Some scholars speculate that he may have had a nervous breakdown during this time. Descartes later added theology and medicine to his studies. So he traveled, joined the army for a brief time, saw some battles and was introduced to Dutch scientist and philosopher Isaac Beeckman, who would become for Descartes a very influential teacher.

Rene Descartes, French mathematician and philosopher was born in It was partly because of his contribution that western philosophy and mathematics flourished. He is also considered as precursor of rationalist school of thought.
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Quick Facts

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz. English version as given in John Veitch trans. And thereby make ourselves, as it were, the lords and masters of nature. Desmond M. Clarke, Penguin edition , Part 6,

His most important contributions were in the field of mathematics, where he was the first to fuse algebra with geometry, single-handedly inventing the modern field of analytic geometry. This idea sparked the modern school of Rationalism. For generations, philosophers would be captivated by the idea of a perfectly rational system of thought, one with no room for doubt or error. It was a compelling idea. It was also a controversial idea, because it sought to dethrone what had been the center of truth in Europe for centuries: Christianity.

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