(France: A philosopher and a mathematician)
LIFE: Descartes was born at La Haye (now called Descartes), and educated at the Jesuit College of La Flèche between 1606 and 1614. He joined a chorus of seventeenth century philosophers including Bacon, Hobbes and Locke. In 1618 he went to Holland to serve in the army of Prince Maurice of Nassau, and travelled to Germany with that army. His first substantial work was the Regulae or Rules for the Direction of Mind written in 1628-9 but not published until 1701. This work shows Descartes interest in method which he shared with many sixteenth and seventeenth century scientists, mathematicians and philosophers.
Philosophical theories: - He developed a dualistic theory of mind (conscious experience) and matter.
- He has done extensive research on meditation, reasoning and seeking truth in the sciences.
- He has extensively dwelt on the relationship of the soul to the body, the nature of emotions and the ways of controlling the emotions.
- His method of systematic doubt to arrive at the truth laid the foundation for subsequent developement of philosophy.
QUOTES:"A state is better governed which has few laws, and those laws strictly observed."
"Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it."