René Descartes The father of modern philosophy

Early Life:

Descartes was born on March, 31 1596 in Le Haye, France. His mother died when he was only one year old and his father remarried and left him to be raised my his grandmother. He studied military engineering, science, mathematics, and law at various universities throughout his early adult life. He also traveled and "studied the world", abandoning his father's wishes for him to become a lawyer. He moved quite a lot to places including Paris, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden. He also held various jobs such as working in the army, as a professor, and author of a large number of works.

Work:

Descartes invented analytical geometry after shutting himself in a room alone with only an oven for heat. He also wrote many essays and books, such as his first surviving work Compendium of Music, and what is perhaps his most well known work Discours de la méthode. It was in this famous work that Descartes discussed his philosophic ideas, leading him to become known as the "Father of Modern Philosophy", and his most famous idea cogito ergo sum, "I think therefore I am". Descartes also published works on dualism, the relationship between mind and body and used his knowledge in medicine to scientifically support his ideas. His ideas of dualism lasted long after he died.

Impact:

René Descartes had a large impact on many fields with his work. He invented a new kind of mathematics expanding that field and opening its scholars to new ideas. He also expanded the field of science with his studies in physics and his fundamental works in philosophy that paved the way for many philosophical thinkers after him. Descartes also studied medicine and advanced this field with his discoveries as well. Descartes also influenced many future scholars, most notably a young Isaac Newton. Without his works and discoveries, many fields would not be where they are today. Much of modern science and mathematics is due to Descartes works.

References:

"René Descartes." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Feb. 2017. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.

Watson, Richard A. "Rene Descartes." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 28 Apr. 2015. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.

Created By
Katelyn Kiker
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kekiker@clemson.edu

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