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Rene Descartes

Socials 9H Project

Harry Kim

on 20 October 2011

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Transcript of Rene Descartes

March 31, 1596
Rene Descartes is
born on La Haye en
Touraine (later renamed
Descartes after him), France 1616
Graduated from
College Royal
Henry-Le-Grand Rene Descartes 1618-
Joins the
army, but as there was peace
treaty immediately afterwards,
studied mathematics in the army 1619
Decartes get a series
of "visions" in his dream
that turn him into
a philosopher 1622
Returns to France and writes
his first book "Rules for the
Direction of the Mind" 1641
Descartes writes "Meditation
on First Philosophy" which still is the basis of university philosophy. 1644
Writes "Principles of Philo-
sophy, which includes his
famous quote " Cogito ergo
sum" February 11, 1650
Dies in Stockholm from
pneumonia Descartes Timeline Key Ideas and Philosophies of Descartes Descartes'famous quote, "I think, therefore I am",
describes his main philosophy- doubting everything
and finding truth from there. He concluded that even if
everything in the world was doubtable and possibly was
not true (didn't exist), he himself existed, since without himself, there can't be a doubt. He doubted, which was the evidence that he existed. He also believed that soul was actually describable with science, and concluded that soul resided in the pineal gland in the brain (which we now know to be false). He also managed to logically show that God existed.
Descartes also was a great mathematician, who developed
the X- and Y-axis system in math, described the law of reflection, started the usage of superscribts to describe powers, and also the usage of algebra in geometry.

How Descartes
Influenced our World As shown in his key ideas, Descartes changed the world
greatly both mathematically and philosophically. His book "Meditation on First Philosophy" is still the basis of the university-level philosophy. Perhaps the most distinguishable and easily recognizable are his works in math, as we see them everyday (coordinats, laws of reflection, powers, and using xyz as unknowns and abc as knowns. Critical Thinking Questions 1. Why would Descartes study mathematics when he doubts the entire
existance of the world and will have no need for sharing his knowledge,
let alone possesing knowldge? 2. Back in the 1600-1700's, many people were mathematician/philosopher/scientist/politician/etc. at the same time and still made some great works for each subjects. Why is it that not so many "one person does it all" exists now? Bibliography "Rene Descartes." Last modified December 9, 2002. Accessed October 15, 2011. http://renedescartes.com/.

Wikipedia, "Rene Descartes." Accessed October 15, 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/René_Descartes.

Youtube, "Three Minute Philosophy: Rene Descartes." Last modified March 28, 2009. Accessed October 15, 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHihkRwisbE.

Smith, Kurt. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Descartes' Life and Works." Last modified September 20, 2010. Accessed October 15, 2011.

Lucidcafe, "Rene Descartes." Accessed October 16, 2011. http://www.lucidcafe.com/library/96mar/descartes.html.
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