René Descartes

René Descartes (31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist who invented analytic geometry, linking the previously separate fields of geometry and algebra. One of the most notable intellectual figures of the Dutch Golden Age, Descartes is also widely regarded as one of the founders of modern philosophy and algebraic geometry.

Descartes has often been called the father of modern philosophy. He laid the foundation for 17th-century continental rationalism, later advocated by Spinoza and Leibniz. It was the 17th-century arch-rationalists like Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz who have given the "Age of Reason" its name and place in history. Leibniz, Spinoza, and Descartes were all well-versed in mathematics as well as philosophy, and Descartes and Leibniz contributed greatly to science as well.

His best known philosophical statement is "cogito, ergo sum" ("I think, therefore I am"; French: Je pense, donc je suis), found in Discourse on the Method (1637; in French and Latin) and Principles of Philosophy (1644, in Latin).


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