Rene Descartes Essay, Research Paper
Rene` Descartes was born in La Haye, Touraine(a former province
of France) March 31, 1596. He spent all of his childhood in France.
His father was a minor nobleman and counsillor of the Parliament of
Brittany, his title was noblesse de la robe. Descartes mother was not
as prominate as her husband but she was quite wealthy. The
nationality of both his parents is French. His religion was Roman
In 1606 at the age of eight Descartes enrolled in the Jesuit
college of La Fleche in Anjou, to study mathematics and Scholastic
philosophy, which was used to understand Christian doctrine. Upon
leaving school Descartes studied law at Poitiers University until
graduation in 1616 but he never attempted to practice law outside
school. He spent years wandering through Europe until he finally
settled in the Netherlands in 1618 where he joined the services of
Prince Maurice who was the leader of the UP of the Netherlands. He
make a trek to Italy in 1623 until 1624 and then he went to France and
stayed four years until 1628. When Descartes was in France focused
his studies on philosophy and the development of optics. Then after
selling all his property in France he moved to the Netherlands and to
such cities as Amsterdam and Leiden.
Rene` Descartes never had paying jobs he mainly did volunteer
work and received nothing in return for his work. For means to live
on Descartes received property from his mother which he turned around
and sold for 27,000 liveries. Some time after that he inherited
property for his father which he kept.
Descartes developed of an optical machine that would grind
non-spherical lenses for spectacles etc.
Descartes philosophy was sometimes called Cartesianism it carried
him into false reasons of a number of physical phenomena. While
Descartes was studying optics it led him to the discovery of the basic
law of reflection.
Descartes was often called the father of modern philosophy. He
tried to justify philosophy by using science and mathematics. Before
Descartes people used scholasticism, which was based on comparing the
views of recognized authorities. He rejected the method I quote: In
our search for the direct road to truth, we should busy ourselves with
no object about which we cannot attain a certitude equal to that of
the demonstrations of arithmetic and geometry. Which made him
determine to hold nothing true until he had established grounds for it
being true. While Descartes was in the Netherlands he published his
first work Philosophical Essays. The work focused on four subjects
geometry, optics, meteors, and Discourse on Method which is philosophy
speculations. while Descartes was in the Netherlands he formed a
friendship with the princess Elizabeth Stuart of Bohemia. Sometime
during the winter of 1649 Descartes was instructed to go to Stockholm
Sweden to give Queen Christina tutoring in philosophy. Then in 1650
while still Stockholm the severity of the winter caused him to get
pneumonia and die.
analytic geometry was introduced by Rene Descartes in 1637.
Analytic geometry is most commonly applied to the representation of
Equations involving two of three variables as curves in two or three
dimensions or surfaces in three dimensions, which allows problems in
algebra to be answered in geometry and problems in geometry to be
solved by algebra. The techniques of analytic geometry have been
generalized to four or more dimensions and have been combined with
other forms of geometry.
Rene Descartes was the first mathematician to use the last
letters of the alphabet to assign unknown qualities and the first
letters to designate known ones. He also invented the method of
indices(x)to express the powers of numbers. He also expressed the
Descartes rule of sign for finding the number of positive and negative
roots for any algebraic equation.
Descartes was a great man and he did many things in his life
including philosophy, science, mathematics. All of these subjects are
important say for instance math he made may contributions to
mathematics but some of them were minor and some were major but no
matter what they all impacted mathematics in some way most mathematics
today would not be complete if someone didn t make contributions.
Many things wouldn t be possible if not for him many of the activities
we do today are related to Descartes not only in the mathematical
sense but in the philosophy, and science sense. So in conclusion my
personal opinion of Descartes and how important is he to mathematics
and the world, he is a very large part of it and very important to it.