Rene Descartes

RENE DESCARTES was born into a family of some means in the small French town of La Haye on March 31, 1596. With the death of his mother when Descartes was barely one year old, he was raised by grandparents until the age of ten when he entered the Jesuit school at La Fleche. At eighteen, Descartes enrolled in the University of Poitiers, where he earned a degree in law. Not long thereafter, while Descartes was serving in the military in the Netherlands he became acquainted with a mathematician and physicist by the name of Isaac Beeckman, who sparked his intellectual interest. A family legacy permitted Descartes to pursue these interests in relative comfort.

From 1619 to 1628, Descartes lived in Paris, but spent a good bit of time traveling throughout Europe. It was during this time that he focused his attention on formulating a rational method that could free scientific think-ing and philosophical discourse from the rampant skepticism that threatened to drown discussion of Read More chevron_right