Selections From The Principles Of Philosophy

Overview

René Descartes (1596-1650), also known as Renatus Cartesius (latinized form), was a highly influential French philosopher, mathematician, scientist, and writer. He has been dubbed the “Father of Modern Philosophy, ” and much of subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which continue to be studied closely. Descartes was a major figure in 17th century continental rationalism, later advocated by Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibniz, and opposed by the empiricist school of thought consisting of ...
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Selections From The Principles Of Philosophy

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Overview

René Descartes (1596-1650), also known as Renatus Cartesius (latinized form), was a highly influential French philosopher, mathematician, scientist, and writer. He has been dubbed the “Father of Modern Philosophy, ” and much of subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which continue to be studied closely. Descartes was a major figure in 17th century continental rationalism, later advocated by Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibniz, and opposed by the empiricist school of thought consisting of Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. His most famous statement is: Cogito ergo sum (French: Je pense, donc je suis; English: I think, therefore I am), found in §7 of part I of Principles of Philosophy (Latin) and in part IV of Discourse on the Method (French). As the inventor of the Cartesian coordinate system, Descartes founded analytic geometry, the bridge between algebra and geometry, crucial to the invention of calculus and analysis. Descartes’ reflections on mind and mechanism began the strain of Western thought that much later, impelled by the invention of the electronic computer and by the possibility of machine intelligence, blossomed into the Turing test and related thought.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781409918332
  • Publisher: Dodo Press
  • Publication date: 11/7/2008
  • Pages: 82
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

René Descartes (French: [??ne deka?t]; Latinized: Renatus Cartesius; adjectival form: "Cartesian";[6] 31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French philosopher, mathematician, and writer who spent most of his adult 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' 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.
Descartes frequently sets his views apart from those of his predecessors. In the opening section of the Passions of the Soul, a treatise on the Early Modern version of what are now commonly called emotions, Descartes goes so far as to assert that he will write on this topic "as if no one had written on these matters before". Many elements of his philosophy have precedents in late Aristotelianism, the revived Stoicism of the 16th century, or in earlier philosophers like Augustine. In his natural philosophy, he differs from the schools on two major points: First, he rejects the analysis of corporeal substance into matter and form; second, he rejects any appeal to ends—divine or natural—in explaining natural phenomena. In his theology, he insists on the absolute freedom of God's act of creation.
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