René Descartes, "I think, then I exist"

René Descartes, "I think, then I exist"

Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician and physicist. He is considered the father of analytical geometry and modern philosophy.

René Descartes was born in Touraine, France, on March 31, 1596 and died in Stockholm, Sweden, on February 11, 1650. His name would be Renatus Cartesius in his Latinized form. The adjective is derived from his surname "Cartesius" Cartesian which applies in mathematics in reference, for example, to planes, axes or coordinates.

René Descartes is recognized as one of the main characters of the scientific revolution that developed during the 16th and 17th centuries as a continuation and heritage of the Renaissance. He is the first scientist with a high philosophical capacity whose vision is deeply affected by the new physics and the new astronomy.

After traveling through much of Europe, he settled in the Netherlands, where he would develop his philosophical and scientific objectives. In this way, in 1637 he published his famous "Discourse on Method" in which Descartes proposed a methodical doubt that tried to put all existing knowledge at the time to trial.

With his Discourse on the Method, he clearly departed from the scholastic taught until then at European universities. Thus, with great simplicity, since it is composed of only four norms, he tried to break with scholastic reasoning, based on the mathematical model, with which I try to put an end to the Aristotelian syllogism that was maintained and developed throughout the Middle Ages .

Descartes formulated his famous principle "Cogito ergo sum"(I think, then I exist) that was configured as one of the main elements of Western rationalism.

From here he formulated the well-known "Cartesian method", which consists in the decomposition of complex problems into simpler parts until the basic elements that are presented to the reason are evident. From these parts you can rebuild the entire complex.

In the field of physics, Descartes has been considered the father of mechanism, while, in mathematics, he is the analytic geometry. It has also been associated in geometry with those known as Cartesian axes, with the iatromechanics and mechanistic physiology in the field of medicine, and with the mind-body philosophical dualism and the matter-spirit metaphysical dualism, considering Descartes as the initiator of modern rationalist philosophy.

◄ PreviousNext ►
Christopher Scheiner and sunspotsGiovanni Battista Hodierna and deep space