Rene descartes biography essay

He formed a relationship in Amsterdam with Helena Jans van der Strom with whom he has a daughter named Francine. At that time, Descartes was teaching at the Utrecht University.

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All of his major works were created in the 20 or more years that he stayed in the Netherlands where he was known to revolutionize mathematics and philosophy. He planned to publish Treatise of the World, but decided not to due to the reason that Galileo was condemned by the Catholic Church in He published Discourse on the Method in where he laid out four rules of thought that reiterated the firm foundation that knowledge should rest upon.

Descartes continued to publish his works on mathematics and philosophy and in , his Cartesian philosophy was condemned in the University of Utrecht. He was known to have had a long correspondence with Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia and in was awarded a pension by the King of France.

The cause of his death was pneumonia and other speculations regarding his death were entertained. His remains were buried in Stockholm but was later transferred to France and is currently resting between two graves in Paris Clarke, , p. Descartes gained his popularity and published his major works at a time that was popularly known as the Scientific Revolution.


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The Scientific Revolution was a period in the history of science where new ideas in physics, astronomy, biology, chemistry, human anatomy and other sciences led to the rejection of the prevailing doctrines that were currently embraced. This doctrines actually started in Ancient Greece Shapin, This doctrines continued until the Middle Ages and were replaced and reinforced by major philosophical works and discoveries of other scholars which laid out the foundations of modern science.

Rene Descartes is among the roster of scholars who was the source of one of the most important scientific developments. His most important work published was his Discourse on the Method in which helped establish the Scientific Method. The Discourse on the Method as one of the most significant works of Rene Descartes, is a treatise of philosophical and mathematical ideologies.

It is important for many reasons. It also introduces the concept of skepticism which has already been studied by other scholars but which he further modified.

Will Durant --- René Descartes (1596 - 1650)

He extends the idea that the world should be assessed with the absence of preconceived notions and from a fresh perspective. The book is considered to be organized in six parts such as how to think correctly, the Method of Science, Morals and Maxims deduced from this method, proof of God and the soul, physics, the heart, the soul of man and animals, and experiments. In summary, it clearly presents the idea that one should not only build on old foundations of knowledge but should look for feasible areas to build the knowledge upon.

He suggests that at first, one should not take anything for true. Secondly, he says that difficulties should be divided into many parts so as to be able to come up with adequate solutions for them. The third precept says that thoughts should be in order so as to attack the difficulty in a most efficient manner. The last of the four suggests the evaluation of the whole work to make sure that nothing is omitted in ways that make use of tables and diagrams.

The discourse also introduced the morals and the maxims that Descartes intended for everyone to adapt while conducting the method and this were divided in three parts. To appease the Catholic Church and avoid the same fate that Galileo experienced, Descartes also injected the existence and proof of God and the soul in his discourse.

He contends that God exists and that He guarantees that reasons are not misguided. Descartes also introduced the laws of nature such as the suns and the stars as well as the moon which he beliesved influneced the ebb and the flood. He also discussed a few points on gravitation and the examination of light and fire. His inquiries on medicine were also included such as the motion of blood in the heart and the arteries.

Lastly, a part of the work also touched on experiments which became the culmination of all his ideas.

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It was the where the Method was applied in mathematics and Science. Along with the Discourse on the Method are three essays that have contributed a lot to the improvement of his published work. These statements suggest that Hume believes in a more moderate form of skepticism, and believes that Cartesian methods are of no benefit. This logic that reason itself can justify the existence of a God runs counter to the argument of empiricism. For Hume, there was a firm demarcation between impressions and ideas.

Impressions, based on first-hand experience, are vivid and lively. Ideas, on the other hand, are copies of impressions that can be developed through resemblance, contiguity, or cause and effect. To Hume, certainty resided in the senses and, to Descartes, certainty resided in the mind. Overall, the statements opposing Descartes in the Enquiry outweigh the statements that support his methodology.

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Descartes’ Life and Works

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