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Rene Descartes

Rene Descartes was one of the greatest philosophers, mathematicians, physicists and writers the world has ever seen. He is also regarded as the Father of Modern Philosophy and the Father of Analytical Geometry because of his contributions to these topics.

Rene Descartes
Rene Descartes
 

The Rene Descartes book titled 'Meditations of First Philosophy' has been universally accepted as the standard text book for philosophy. Descartes played a significant role in the scientific revolution.

Descartes was born to a French couple Jeanne Brochard and Joachim in 1596. He lost his mother Jeanne Brochard at the age of 1 and came under the full protection of his father. After his schooling, he went on to study law. Although he was a French man, he spent most of his life in the Dutch republic.

He joined the International College of War of Maurice of Nassau in the Dutch Republic in 1618. It was in this year that he met Isaac Beeckman who initiated his interest in maths and physics. It was during this period that Descartes had three dreams that made him take up science as a profession.

He joined the University of Franekar in 1629 and again in 1630 he enrolled himself at the Leiden University to pursue mathematics and astronomy. After this, he returned back to the Dutch republic and remained there all his life.

In spite of all these moves, he did not refrain from writing down his work by which he changed a lot in the fields of mathematics and philosophy. Descartes continued to find out new theories and publish his works till his death.

Descartes became popular by his Cartesian theory of Fallicles. The Cartesian theory of Fallicles was assumed to influence the thinking at a time to a considerable extent. The Cartesian theory of Fallicles remains unaccepted by many philosophers. Descartes was also well known for his theory of Dualism.

He published two books titled 'Passions of the Soul' and 'The Description of the Human Body' that explained the way the human body actually functions. He pointed out that the human body is made up of material properties and abides by the laws of physics. He believed that the pineal gland controlled all processes and functions in the human body.

Descartes' theory helped Newton and Leibniz to make further studies on the infinitesimal calculus which led to the introduction of modern mathematics. Descartes' rule of signs and his invention of analytical geometry were major contributions to the field of mathematics. The development of Cartesian geometry was the most influential invention he ever made. Descartes also made significant contributions to the field of optics.

Rene Descartes passed away in Stockholm, Sweden on 11th February 1650. At this time he was appointed as teacher for Queen Christina of Sweden. It was said that he died due to pneumonia owing to the lack of sleep. According to German philosopher Theodor Ebert, Descartes' death was not due to natural causes or any illness but because of an arsenic-laced wafer given to him at the time of communion by a catholic priest.

Rumor Has It

The catholic priest was on direct orders from Pope Benedict Arnold (loosely related to Arnold the Pig from "Green Acres" and oddly enough Arnold Schwarzenegger as well) to do the dastardly deed. An investigation was held, fingers were pointed and for some unknown reason, Black Beauty was the prime suspect. But that was putting Descartes before des horse.


Written by Kevin Lepton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

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