Although often remembered best for the quotation "I think, therefore I am," the philosopher and mathematician, Rene Descartes, also developed the Cartesian coordinate system, made significant contributions to the field of optics and devised a mechanistic model of physics. In addition to being considered the father of modern philosophy, based primarily on his breaking away from the previously adhered-to Scholastic-Aristotelian tradition, Descartes is also viewed as one of the major figures in the scientific revolution that was taking place in the 17th century. One of his most ambitious undertakings was the development of a systematic theory of deduction and knowledge based on methodological skepticism that eventually grew into 17th-century European rationalism.
Distrustful of reasoning based on sensory perceptions, which he believed could be deceptive, Descartes set out to determine a basic premise that would prove to be fully resistant to all forms of doubt. His famous statement "I think, therefore I am" was the result of this search, and it laid the foundation for a line of reasoning based on deduction and causal explanations existing within a mechanistic framework.
The mathematical system developed by Descartes and named after him, the Cartesian coordinate system, proved extremely influential by serving as a bridge between geometry and algebra. It paved the way for the later developments of calculus and mathematical analysis. Descartes' system provided an innovative means by which equations could be expressed geometrically in a two-dimensional plane based on their coordinates within the graphical field of x- and y-axes he designed.Learn More
Plato was a philosopher and mathematician who changed the way philosophy was perceived and practiced in the Western world. He abandoned political power in the oligarchy to seek out virtue. Influenced by Socrates, Plato wrote some of the most enduring pieces of philosophical literature, which have had noted influences on every subsequent culture that read them. He founded the Academy and taught Aristotle, who also shaped Western thought and behavior.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
Greek philosopher Aristotle created two classification systems to group living organisms based on several factors, including physical characteristics and perceived mental capacities. Aristotle organized living organisms physically on the basis of movement as well, which included walking, flying and swimming and in intellectual hierarchy through the Great Chain of Being, also called scala naturae. Aristotle introduced his systems of scientific classification in the 1600s, which classified organisms until the 1800s.Full Answer >