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Rene Descartes

Rene Descartes (1596-1650) was a French philosopher, mathematician, and writer who spent most of his life in the Dutch Republic. He has been dubbed the 'Father of Modern Philosophy', and much subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day. In particular, his Meditations on First Philosophy continues to be a standard text at most university philosophy departments. Descartes's influence in mathematics is equally apparent; the Cartesian coordinate system - allowing reference to a point in space as a set of numbers, and allowing algebraic equations to be expressed as geometric shapes in a two-dimensional coordinate system (and conversely, shapes to be described as equations) - was named after him. He is credited as the father of analytical geometry, the bridge between algebra and geometry, crucial to the discovery of infinitesimal calculus and analysis. Descartes was also one of the key figures in the Scientific Revolution and has been described as an example of genius. (from wikipedia.org)

Bernard Williams on Rene Descartes


Related Links
Rene Descartes - wikipedia
Rene Descartes (1596-1650) was a French philosopher, mathematician, and writer who spent most of his life in the Dutch Republic.
Mark Steel Lectures - Rene Descartes
This looks at the life and times of Rene Descartes who was a French philosopher and writer who spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic.
Marin Mersenne: The Birth of Modern Geometry
This film shows how Marin Mersenne encouraged cooperation between scientists and how he managed to break through the silence and publicize Descartes' development of coordinate geometry.
The Story of Maths - The Frontiers of Space
This episode focuses on the development of mathematical ideas in Europe, especially around the 16th - 19th centuries.

e-Books
Descartes
Author: John Pentland Mahaffy, 1839-1919. Subject: Rene Descartes, 1596-1650. Publisher: Edinburgh and London, W. Blackwood and sons. Book Contributor: University of California Libraries.
Descartes, his life and times
Author: Elizabeth Sanderson Haldane, 1862-1937. Subject: Rene Descartes, 1596-1650. Publisher: London : J. Murray. Book contributor: University of California Libraries.
The Principles of Descartes' Philosophy
Author: Benedictus de Spinoza, 1632-1677. Subject: Rene Descartes, 1596-1650. Publisher: Chicago : Open Court. Book Contributor: New York Public Library.
The geometry of Rene Descartes
Author: Rene Descartes (1596 - 1650); David Eugene Smith; Marcia L. Latham. Subject: Geometry; Analytic Geometry. Publisher: The Open Court Pub. Co., Chicago. Book contributor: Northeastern University, Snell Library.
A Discourse on Method, Meditations on First Philosophy, and Principles of Philosophy
Author: Rene Descartes, 1596-1650; John Veitch, 1829-1894. Subject: Science; Modern Philosophy. Publisher: London : Dent ; New York : Dutton.
The Method, Meditations and Philosophy of Descartes
Author: Rene Descartes, 1596-1650; translated by John Veitch, 1829-1894. Subject: Rene Descartes, 1596-1650; Science; Methodology; Philosophy. Publisher: Washington [D.C.] London, M. W. Dunne. Book contributor: The Library of Congress.
The Meditations, and selections from the Principles of Rene Descartes
Author: Rene Descartes, 1596-1650. Publisher: Chicago : Open Court. Language: English. Book Contributor: University of California Berkeley.