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What books did Rene Descartes write?

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Quick Answer

Descartes' works include "Musicae Compendium," "The World," "Man," "Dioptrics," "The Meteors," "Geometry," "Discourse on the Method," "The Meditations," "Principles of Philosophy," "The Search for Truth," "The Description of the Human Body" and "Passions of the Soul." Some were published posthumously as were some essays and letters that were lesser known.

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Descartes was a French scholar, mathematician and philosopher who lived from 1596 to 1650. He is credited as the father of modern Western philosophy, analytic geometry and the Cartesian coordinate system (named for the Latin translation of Descartes' name). He also played a key role in the scientific revolution of Europe that subsequently lead to the social movement of the Enlightenment era.

The quote "I think therefore I am," remains the hallmark of Descartes' philosophy. It appeared for the first time in "Discourse on the Method," but was also referenced in later works. Descartes posited that because man can err in reasoning or be mislead by his senses, he must strip away all he believed was real and view it as merely an illusion. Inferring, however, that there is a being, a man who is capable of perceiving or pondering himself and his environment at all was undeniable proof that he, at the very least, existed. This proof became a pillar for many of Descartes' later arguments.

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  • Q:

    What are some interesting facts about Rene Descartes?

    A:

    French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes is behind many important concepts, from the Cartesian plane in mathematics to the "I think, therefore I am" philosophy. Descartes was born to humble beginnings, but he managed to become an important thinker and notable person.

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  • Q:

    What were Rene Descartes' discoveries?

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    Rene Descartes established a modern system of geometry, which described moving matter, and he set forth novel ideas in the field of philosophy. Descartes, born in 1596, earned the nickname "Father of Modern Philosophy," according to authors at Nebraska-Wesleyan University. He broke philosophical ground by discrediting former Aristotelian theories that the foundation for philosophy lay in emotion; rather than senses, Descartes asserted, philosophical explanations were based on science.

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  • Q:

    What are some inventions of Rene Descartes?

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    According to Wichita State University, Rene Descartes invented the Cartesian Plane, which is a theory of using ordered pairs to determine a specific point. This theory, explained in "La Geometrie," led to the invention of analytical geometry in which algebra is applied to geometry.

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  • Q:

    What were the contributions of Rene Descartes?

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    Rene Descartes, widely regarded as the father of modern philosophy, broke with the Aristotelian tradition, helping establish modern rationalism. He argued for a mechanistic universe in opposition to Aristotle's views on causality. He also made important contributions to mathematics and physics.

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