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René Descartes

René Descartes (31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French philosopher, mathematician, and writer. He has been called 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. Mind-body problem, consciousness and conscious thought as the center of being, dualism are a few keywords that point to centuries old traditions that have been informed by Descartes’ writings.

He is perhaps best known for the philosophical statement Cogito ergo sum (Je pense, donc je suis, I think, therefore I am), found in part IV of Discourse on the Method (1637, written in French but with inclusion of Cogito ergo sum) and §7 of part I of Principles of Philosophy (1644, in Latin).

René Descartes died in 1650 at the age of 53 in Stockholm, Sweden, where he had been invited as a tutor for Queen Christina of Sweden.


Random Quote/Passage:

 
 "Le bon sens est la chose du monde la mieux partagée; car chacun pense en être si bien pourvu, que ceux même qui sont les plus difficiles à contenter en toute autre chose n'ont point coutume d'en désirer plus qu'ils en ont."
"Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for every one thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess."
 
 
Discours de la Méthode - René Descartes


Available Titles in French - English Bilingual Edition (Project Bilingual)


Discours de la Méthode





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