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Retrieved November 30,from http: Next The embedded audio player requires a modern internet browser. You should visit Browse Happy and update your internet browser today! We may consider Descartes as the first of the modern school of mathematics. His father, who, as the name implies, was of good family, was accustomed to spend half the year at Rennes when the local parliament, in which he held a commission as councillor, was in session, and the rest of the time on his family estate of Les Cartes at La Haye.
On account of his delicate health he was permitted to lie in bed till late in the mornings; this was a custom which he always followed, and when he visited Pascal in he told him that the only way to do good work in mathematics and to preserve his health was never to allow anyone to make him get up in the morning before he felt inclined to do so; an opinion which I chronicle for the benefit of any schoolboy into whose hands this work may fall.
On leaving school in Descartes went to Paris to be introduced to the world of fashion. Here, through the medium of the Jesuits, he made the acquaintance of Mydorge, and renewed his schoolboy friendship with Mersenne, and together with them he devoted the two years of and to the study of mathematics.
At that time a man of position usually entered either the army or the church; Descartes chose the former profession, and in joined the army of Prince Maurice of Orange, then at Breda.
Walking through the streets there he saw a placard in Dutch which excited his curiosity, and stopping the first passer, asked him to translate it into either French or Latin. The stranger, who happened to be Isaac Beeckman, the head of the Dutch College at Dort, offered to do so if Descartes would answer it; the placard being, in fact, a challenge to all the world to solve a certain geometrical problem.
Descartes worked it out within a few hours, and a warm friendship between him and Beeckman was the result. This unexpected test of his mathematical attainments made the uncongenial life of the army distasteful to him, but under family influence and tradition he remained a soldier, and was persuaded at the commencement of the Thirty Years' War to volunteer under Count de Bucquoy in the army of Bavaria.
He continued all this time to occupy his leisure with mathematical studies, and was accustomed to date the first ideas of his new philosophy and of his analytical geometry from three dreams which he experienced on the night of November 10,at Neuberg, when campaigning on the Danube. He regarded this as the critical day of his life, and one which determined his whole future.
He resigned his commission in the spring ofand spent the next five years in travel, during most of which time he continued to study pure mathematics. In we find him settled at Paris, "a little well-built figure, modestly clad in green taffety, and only wearing sword and feather in token of his quality as a gentleman.
In Cardinal de Berulle, the founder of the Oratorians, met Descartes, and was so much impressed by his conversation that he urged on him the duty of devoting his life to the examination of truth. Descartes agreed, and the better to secure himself from interruption moved to Holland, then at the height of his power.
There for twenty years he lived, giving up all his time to philosophy and mathematics. Science, he says, may be compared to a tree; metaphysics is the root, physics is the trunk, and the three chief branches are mechanics, medicine, and morals, these forming the three applications of our knowledge, namely, to the external world, to the human body, and to the conduct of life.
He spend the first four years, toof his stay in Holland in writing Le Monde, which embodies an attempt to give a physical theory of the universe; but finding that its publication was likely to bring on him the hostility of the church, and having no desire to pose as a martyr, he abandoned it: In he published a work called Meditationes, in which he explained at some length his views on philosophy as sketched out in the Discours.
In he issued the Principia Philosophiae, the greater part of which was devoted to physical science, especially the laws of motion and the theory of vortices.
In he received a pension from the French court in honour of his discoveries. He went to Sweden on the invitation of the Queen inand died a few months later of inflammation of the lungs. In appearance, Descartes was a small man with large head, projecting brow, prominent nose, and black hair coming down to his eyebrows.
His voice was feeble. In disposition he was cold and selfish. Considering the range of his studies he was by no means widely read, and he despised both learning and art unless something tangible could be extracted therefrom.
He never married, and left no descendants, though he had one illegitimate daughter, who died young. As to his philosophical theories, it will be sufficient to say that he discussed the same problems which have been debated for the last two thousand years, and probably will be debated with equal zeal two thousand years hence.
It is hardly necessary to say that the problems themselves are of importance and interest, but from the nature of the case no solution ever offered is capable either of rigid proof or of disproof; all that can be effected is to make one explanation more probable than another, and whenever a philosopher like Descartes believes that he has at last finally settled a question it has been possible for his successors to point out the fallacy in his assumptions.
I have read somewhere that philosophy has always been chiefly engaged with the inter-relations of God, Nature, and Man. The earliest philosophers were Greeks who occupied themselves mainly with the relations between God and Nature, and dealt with Man separately.Rhetoric 10 Week 1 Reading Response In this weeks readings, we examined the account of Ren Descartes' life as a student, through which he discusses how he came to the conclusions that form the foundation for his philosophical ideas.
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Descartes’ interest in the mind and the laws that affect thinking, and in the body and the laws that affect physical machines, continued to fuel his interest in philosophy, anatomy and physiology throughout his life. If he were alive today, Descartes would likely find a .
In E. Pies, a German scholar, published a book questioning this account, based on a letter by Johann van Wullen, who had been sent by Christina to treat him, something Descartes refused, and more arguments against its veracity have been raised since. Descartes: The Life and times of a Genius.
This unexpected test of his mathematical attainments made the uncongenial life of the army distasteful to him, but under family influence and tradition he remained a soldier, and was persuaded at the commencement of the Thirty Years' War to volunteer under Count de Bucquoy in the army of Bavaria.
Descartes goes through numerous proofs of God’s existence through-out his Meditations, starting in Meditation 3 and continuing onto the end.
This is the first role God plays in Descartes system as it is like a building block, an essential part of the structure of the system, as he uses the idea of God (specifically a non-deceiving God) to prove conclusions and dispel any other doubts he may have.