A biography of the life and influence of rene descartes

Rene Descartes "If you would be a real seeker after truth, you must at least once in your life doubt, as far as possible, all things. While scholars point out other important 17th century thinkers, here is no question concerning Descartes' immense influence in bringing intellectual activity out of the middle ages and into the modern age. The modern age, here, refers to a period in which science, technology, and industry grew at a remarkable pace. This development was largely due to changes in the way people thought and learned.

A biography of the life and influence of rene descartes

Because Joachim was a councillor in the Parlement of Brittany in RennesDescartes inherited a modest rank of nobility.


Descartes returned to Poitou regularly until In addition to classical studies, science, mathematicsand metaphysics— Aristotle was taught from scholastic commentaries—they studied acting, music, poetry, dancing, riding, and fencing. In Descartes went to Poitiers, where he took a law degree in In he went to Breda in the Netherlands, where he spent 15 months as an informal student of mathematics and military architecture in the peacetime army of the Protestant stadholder, Prince Maurice ruled — In Breda, Descartes was encouraged in his studies of science and mathematics by the physicist Isaac Beeckman —for whom he wrote the Compendium of Music writtenpublishedhis first surviving work.

He also devised a universal method of deductive reasoningbased on mathematics, that is applicable to all the sciences. This method, which he later formulated in Discourse on Method and Rules for the Direction of the Mind written by but not published untilconsists of four rules: These rules are a direct application of mathematical procedures.

In addition, Descartes insisted that all key notions and the limits of each problem must be clearly defined. Descartes also investigated reports of esoteric knowledge, such as the claims of the practitioners of theosophy to be able to command nature.

Descartes shared a number of Rosicrucian goals and habits. Like the Rosicrucians, he lived alone and in seclusion, changed his residence often during his 22 years in the Netherlands, he lived in 18 different placespracticed medicine without charge, attempted to increase human longevity, and took an optimistic view of the capacity of science to improve the human condition.

At the end of his life, he left a chest of personal papers none of which has survived with a Rosicrucian physician—his close friend Corneille van Hogelande, who handled his affairs in the Netherlands. For him, this period was a time of hope for a revolution in science.

A biography of the life and influence of rene descartes

The English philosopher Francis Bacon —in Advancement of Learninghad earlier proposed a new science of observation and experiment to replace the traditional Aristotelian science, as Descartes himself did later. In Descartes moved to Paris.

There he gambled, rode, fenced, and went to the court, concerts, and the theatre. During this time Descartes regularly hid from his friends to work, writing treatisesnow lost, on fencing and metals.

He acquired a considerable reputation long before he published anything. Augustine as a replacement for Jesuit teaching. Be that as it may, within weeks Descartes left for the Netherlands, which was Protestant, and—taking great precautions to conceal his address—did not return to France for 16 years.

Residence in the Netherlands Descartes said that he went to the Netherlands to enjoy a greater liberty than was available anywhere else and to avoid the distractions of Paris and friends so that he could have the leisure and solitude to think.

He had inherited enough money and property to live independently.

Descartes' Life and Works (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

The Netherlands was a haven of tolerance, where Descartes could be an original, independent thinker without fear of being burned at the stake—as was the Italian philosopher Lucilio Vanini — for proposing natural explanations of miracles—or being drafted into the armies then prosecuting the Catholic Counter-Reformation.

In France, by contrast, religious intolerance was mounting. In the French Parlement passed a decree forbidding criticism of Aristotle on pain of death.

Although Mersenne and the philosopher Pierre Gassendi — did publish attacks on Aristotle without suffering persecution they were, after all, Catholic prieststhose judged to be heretics continued to be burned, and laymen lacked church protection.

In addition, Descartes may have felt jeopardized by his friendship with intellectual libertines such as Father Claude Picot d. In Descartes went to the university at Franeker, where he stayed with a Catholic family and wrote the first draft of his Meditations.

He matriculated at the University of Leiden in In his Letter to Voetius ofDescartes made a plea for religious tolerance and the rights of man. Claiming to write not only for Christians but also for Turks—meaning Muslims, libertines, infidels, deists, and atheists—he argued that, because Protestants and Catholics worship the same God, both can hope for heaven.

When the controversy became intense, however, Descartes sought the protection of the French ambassador and of his friend Constantijn Huygens —secretary to the stadholder Prince Frederick Henry ruled — Referring to her death, Descartes said that he did not believe that one must refrain from tears to prove oneself a man.

The World and Discourse on Method Injust as he was about to publish The WorldDescartes learned that the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei — had been condemned in Rome for publishing the view that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Because this Copernican position is central to his cosmology and physics, Descartes suppressed The World, hoping that eventually the church would retract its condemnation.

Although Descartes feared the church, he also hoped that his physics would one day replace that of Aristotle in church doctrine and be taught in Catholic schools.René Descartes's Influences. BACK; NEXT ; Check out the books, authors, and Big Ideas that influenced this critic.

Early life and education. Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Rushd was born in in Córdoba. His family was well-known in the city for their public service, especially in the legal and religious fields.

His grandfather Abu al-Walid Muhammad (d. ) was the chief judge of Córdoba and the imam of the Great Mosque of Córdoba under the Almoravids. Cogito, Ergo Sum: The Life of René Descartes is a general biography that pays about equal attention to Descartes the philosopher and Descartes the scientist and gives greatest attention to Descartes the man.

Some of Watson's appreciation of Descartes's life is conveyed by recounting his own experiences of Poitou (the region where Descartes was. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was one of the most influential thinkers during the Enlightenment in eighteenth century Europe.

His first major philosophical work, A Discourse on the Sciences and Arts, was the winning response to an essay contest conducted by the Academy of Dijon in In this work.

Explore the astonishing scientific and theological life of Blaise Pascal, 17th-century Renaissance man, on metin2sell.com Explore the history and discoveries of Isaac Newton, including his work in mathematics and optics and his groundbreaking laws of motion, at metin2sell.com

Descartes, Rene | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy