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ReneDescartes is known as one of the greatest philosophers. His theories about the existenceof God and how they relate to human beings were too much for the minds of histimes. Rene often debated the relation between the mind and the body, beingskeptical of himself. He was one of theof the primary representatives in the scientific revolution and has beendescribed as the role model of a genius. He didn’t accept the mandate of otherphilosophers and refused to accept the transparency of his own feelings.ReneDescartes was born on March 31, 1596, in La Haye en Tourine, France. Hisparents were Joachim Descartes (1563-1640) and Jeanne Brochard (1566-1597). Hisfather who was the son of doctor studied law and worked in the Parliament ofBrittany, which left little time for raising a family.
His mother was thedaughter of a military figure. Rene Descartes was baptized as a Roman Catholic. Soonafter, his mother passed away during childbirth and he and his brother and sister were sentto live with his maternal grandmother. His father would later remarry; however,Rene Descartes or his siblings would not live with him and his step mother AnneMorin. Growing up Rene Descartes was an unhealthy child, suspected to have hadTuberculosis. These illnesses are believed to have been inherited from Reneísmother Jeanne.
From 1606 until 1614 Rene was educatedat the Jesuit College of La Flèchein Anjou studying Philosophy, Mathematics, Grammar and Ethics. The Jesuitphilosophy curriculum included the study of Aristotle. Aristotle is one of themost famous ancient Greek philosophers. The materials of study included logic,morals, physics, and metaphysics. At 16, René Descartes successfully completedhis education.
He then went on and studied at the University of Poitiers inFrance, earning himself a law degree from Poitiers in 1616. It was a degreethat he took to comply with his father’s wish. But that is not the road hewanted to follow. While in France, some say that there is little known abouthis life and spent most of his time isolated. Possibly, he was suffering amental breakdown. In Amsterdam, he had a relationship with a servant girl,Helena Jans van der Strom, with whom he had a daughter, Francine, who was bornin 1635 in Deventer. She died when she was only five years old in 1640. Herdeath inspired him to create a conceptual like figure of her.
This for him portrayed the grief and sadness thata parent suffers when their child has passed. ReneDescartes is known as the father of modern philosophy. He was the first majorindividual in the philosophical party known as rationalism, a technique ofunderstanding the world based on the use of reason as the means to obtainknowledge.
Descartes is known for many published works. But the most known of allhis big accomplishments is his share to the world of philosophy. He helpedexplain who we are, what we think and that we should think. He had severalviews on philosophy and the human mind but one of his most known sayings is”I think, therefore I am”. That saying is still considered to be oneof the most productive and well known quotes in philosophy. ‘Discourseon the Method’ was an autobiographical and philosophical writing written byRene. The book is one of the best views on modern philosophy. He wrote aboutnatural sciences, how our understanding of natural sciences should impact whowe are and how we think, how we must evolve our knowledge relating to naturalsciences and therefore evolve as a species.
The book is divided into six partsanalyzing to understand natural sciences, the rules that defined the methodused by the author, the maxims and morals accepted to be the basis of themethod, proof of soul and god, the understanding of physics, the human heartand soul of all living objects. Again, this is where he introduces the famousLatin saying “cogito ergo sum”, which translates to “I thinktherefor I am”. This phrase was originally written in French. For me ittranslates to, “I do exist when I am thinking”.While in the Netherlands,Rene Descartes published many essays after Galileo is condemned bythe Catholic Church in 1633.
Rene then decides not to publish Treatise onthe World. These essays were written in three parts, La Géométrie,Les Météores and La Dioptrique, they were writtenas an appendix to his famous Discourse on the Method.Inaddition to his accomplishments as a philosopher, Rene Descartes, is oftenreferred to as the Father of Analytical Geometry, also called coordinategeometry. Ideally this symbolizes the connection between Algebra and Geometry.
The relevance of analytic geometry is that it recognizes a similarity betweenalgebraic equations and geometric curves on graphs to find measurements andother useful information about geometric figures. In1649, Queen Christina of Sweden, who was a longtime friend, convinced ReneDescartes to go to Stockholm. On February 11, 1650, after only a few months inthat cold climate, he died of pneumonia. There are other theories that disputethe cause of death. Some believe Rene Descartes may have been poisoned witharsenic.