He has been called the "Father of Modern Philosophy", and much of subsequent Western philosophy can be seen as a response to his writings. He is responsible for one of the best-known quotations in philosophy: He was a pioneer and major figure in 17th Century Continental Rationalism often known as Cartesianism later advocated by Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibnizand opposed by the British Empiricist school of thought of HobbesLockeBerkeley and Hume. He represents a major break with the Aristotelianism and Scholasticism of the Medieval period.
The town of La Haye, which lies 47 kilometers south of Tours, has subsequently been renamed Descartes. When Descartes was thirteen and one-half months old, his mother, Jeanne Brochard, died in childbirth.
But he did not neglect his birth place in La Haye: He followed the usual course of studies, which included five or six years of grammar school, including Latin and Greek grammar, classical poets, and Cicero, followed by three years of philosophy curriculum.
By rule, the Jesuit philosophy curriculum followed Aristotle; it was divided into the then-standard topics of logic, morals, physics, and metaphysics. The Jesuits also included mathematics in the final three years of study. Aristotle himself frequently discussed the positions of his ancient predecessors.
Within this framework, and taking into account the reading of Cicero, Descartes would have been exposed in school to the doctrines of the ancient atomists, Plato, and the Stoics, and he would have heard of the skeptics.
Hence, although scholastic Aristotelian philosophy was dominant in his school years, it was not the only type of philosophy that he knew. His family wanted Descartes to be a lawyer, like his father and many other relatives. To this end, he went to Poitiers to study law, obtaining a degree in But he never practiced law or entered into the governmental service such practice would make possible Rodis-Lewis18— Instead, he became a gentleman soldier, moving in to Breda, to support the Protestant Prince Maurice against the Catholic parts of the Netherlands which parts later formed Belgiumwhich were controlled by Spain—a Catholic land, like France, but at this point an enemy.
Beeckman set various problems for Descartes, including questions about falling bodies, hydrostatics, and mathematical problems. Since antiquity, mathematics had been applied to various physical subject matters, in optics, astronomy, mechanics focusing on the leverand hydrostatics.
Beeckman and Descartes brought to this work a commitment to atoms as the basic constituents of matter; as had ancient atomists, they attributed not only size, shape, and motion but also weight to those atoms At this time, Descartes discovered and conveyed to Beeckman the fundamental insight that makes analytic geometry possible: Descartes himself did not foresee replacing geometrical constructions with algebraic formulas; rather, he viewed geometry as the basic mathematical science and he considered his algebraic techniques to provide a powerful alternative to actual compass-and-ruler constructions when the latter became too intricate.
Descartes attended the coronation and was returning to the army when winter caught him in the small town of Ulm or perhaps Neuburgnot far from Munich. On the night of November 10,Descartes had three dreams that seemed to provide him with a mission in life.
The dreams themselves are interesting and complex see Sebba Descartes took from them the message that he should set out to reform all knowledge. He decided to begin with philosophy, since the principles of the other sciences must be derived from it 6: Inhe recalled 3: Francisco Toledo —96Antonio Rubio —and the Coimbran commentators active ca.
And in he was able to rattle off the names of recent innovators in philosophy 1: He was in France part of the time, visiting Poitou to sell some inherited properties in and visiting Paris.
He went to Italy — Upon his return he lived in Paris, where he was in touch with mathematicians and natural philosophers in the circle of his long-time friend and correspondent Marin Mersenne — While in Paris, he worked on some mathematical problems and derived the sine law of refraction, which facilitated his work on formulating mathematically the shapes of lenses later published in the Dioptrics.
His major philosophical effort during these years was on the Rules, a work to convey his new method. In the Rules, he sought to generalize the methods of mathematics so as to provide a route to clear knowledge of everything that human beings can know.
His methodological advice included a suggestion that is familiar to every student of elementary geometry:Rodis-Lewis, Genevieve, , “Descartes' life and the development of his philosophy,” in The Cambridge Companion to Descartes, edited by John Cottingham, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.
21– 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. Immanuel Kant, (born April 22, , Königsberg, Prussia [now Kaliningrad, Russia]—died February 12, , Königsberg), German philosopher whose comprehensive and systematic work in epistemology (the theory of knowledge), ethics, and aesthetics greatly influenced all subsequent philosophy, especially the various schools of Kantianism and idealism.
Empedocles of Acragas (c. BC) Inventor of rhetoric and borderline charlatan. His arbitrary explanation of reality with 4 elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water) and 2 forces (Love and Strife) dominated Western thought for over two millenia.
At some point a longer list will become a List of Great Mathematicians rather than a List of Greatest Mathematicians. I've expanded my original List of Thirty to an even Hundred, but you may prefer to reduce it to a Top Seventy, Top Sixty, Top Fifty, Top Forty or Top Thirty list, or even Top Twenty, Top Fifteen or Top Ten List.
René Descartes () he concluded that his real path in life was the pursuit of true wisdom and science. Back in France, the young Descartes soon came to the conclusion that the key to philosophy, with all its uncertainties and ambiguity, was to build it on the indisputable facts of mathematics.
where he spent most of his adult.