René Descartes Biography

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World of Physics on René Descartes

René Descartes is often called the father of modern philosophy for his break with the Scholastic tradition that had previously dominated Western thought. Unlike the Scholastic philosophers, who respected the authority of Aristotle, Descartes believed that he could attain the greatest possible degree of certitude in both his philosophic and scientific investigations by relying on reason. Descartes's emphasis on objectivity and reason became fundamental to the methodology of later philosophers and scientists. In the field of mathematics, Descartes's most important contribution was his discovery of the principles that ultimately developed into the field of analytic geometry.

Descartes was born in the town of La Haye (now La Haye-Descartes), France. He received his early education at a Jesuit school, where he displayed a precocious facility in mathematics, and studied law at the University of Poitiers, from which he graduated in 1616. Two years later he went to the...

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This section contains 550 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the René Descartes Biography
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René Descartes from World of Physics. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.