rene descartes René Descartes (31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650), also known as Renatus Cartesius (latinized form),[2] was a Fre

- Image ID: B7AT16
rene descartes René Descartes (31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650), also known as Renatus Cartesius (latinized form),[2] was a Fre
19th era / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: B7AT16
René Descartes (31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650), also known as Renatus Cartesius (latinized form),[2] was a French philosopher, mathematician, scientist, and writer who spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic. He has been dubbed the "Father of Modern Philosophy," and much of subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which continue to be studied closely to this day. In particular, his Meditations on First Philosophy continues to be a standard text at most university philosophy departments. Descartes' influence in mathematics is also apparent, the Cartesian coordinate system allowing geometric shapes to be expressed in algebraic equations being named for him. He is accredited as the father of analytical geometry. Descartes was also one of the key figures in the Scientific Revolution. Descartes frequently sets his views apart from those of his predecessors. In the opening section of the Passions of the Soul, a treatise on the Early Modern version of what are now commonly called emotions, he goes so far as to assert that he will write on his topic "as if no one had written on these matters before". Many elements of his philosophy have precedents in late Aristotelianism, the revived Stoicism of the 16th century, or in earlier philosophers like St. Augustine. In his natural philosophy, he differs from the Schools on two major points: First, he rejects the analysis of corporeal substance into matter and form; second, he rejects any appeal to ends — divine or natural — in explaining natural phenomena. In his theology, he insists on the absolute freedom of God’s act of creation. Descartes was a major figure in 17th century continental rationalism, later advocated by Hobbes, Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibniz, and opposed by the empiricist school of thought consisting of Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. Leibniz, Spinoza and Descartes were all well versed in mathematics as well as philosophy,