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René Descartes
René Descartes (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 continuesto be a standard text at most university philosophy departments. Descartes' influence in mathematics is equally apparent; the Cartesian coordinate system — allowing algebraic equations to be expressedas geometric shapes in a two-dimensional coordinate system — was named after him. He is credited as the father of analytical geometry, the bridge between algebra and geometry, crucial to the discoveryof 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 was a major figure in17th-century continental rationalism, later advocated by Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibniz, and opposed by the empiricist school of thought consisting of Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, Jean-Jacques Rousseau,and Hume. Leibniz, Spinoza and Descartes were all well versed in mathematics as well as philosophy, and Descartes and Leibniz contributed greatly to science as well.Religious Beliefs
The religious beliefs of René Descartes have been rigorously debated within scholarlycircles. He claimed to be a devout Roman Catholic, claiming that one of the purposes of the Meditations was to defend the Christian faith. However, in his own era, Descartes was accused of harboring secret...
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