René Descartes Quotes (Author of Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy)
René Descartes - Meditations on First Philosophy (audiobook)
Rene Descartes | 10 Major Contributions And Accomplishments
His fundamental break with Scholastic philosophy was twofold. Second, he wanted to replace their final causal model of scientific explanation with the more modern, mechanistic model. Descartes attempted to address the former issue via his method of doubt. His basic strategy was to consider false any belief that falls prey to even the slightest doubt. This clearing of his previously held beliefs then puts him at an epistemological ground-zero.
He published other works that deal with problems of method, but this remains central in any understanding of the Cartesian method of science. Descartes is usually portrayed as one who defends and uses an a priori method to discover infallible knowledge, a method rooted in a doctrine of innate ideas that yields an intellectual knowledge of the essences of the things with which we are acquainted in our sensible experience of the world. In fact, Descartes sought to found our knowledge of things as much in experience and in experiment as in things a priori. He asks the reader to carefully observe an eyeball, say that of an ox, from which a portion of the rear has been removed with sufficient care to leave the eyeball fluid untouched. The portion removed is covered with a thin piece of paper. Descartes then describes how one can view the image formed on the back of the eyeball of objects at varying distances from the front of the eyeball, how the size of the image varies with distance, becomes fuzzier when the eyeball is squeezed, and so on.
Musings and miscellanea from the Frost Entomological Museum at Penn State
Apart from other things, he wrote some of the most influential works of modern philosophy which are still studied in universities across the world. He also formulated theories, developed concepts and made statements which became fundamental to Western philosophy.
He was the first major figure in the philosophical movement known as rationalism, a method of understanding the world based on the use of reason as the means to attain knowledge. Along with empiricism, which stresses the use of sense perception rather than pure reason, rationalism was one of the main intellectual currents of the Enlightenment, a cultural movement spanning the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that revolutionized the Western world. In tandem with men like John Locke, John Hobbes, and Voltaire, Descartes spurred society to re-examine its traditions and institutions, leading to massive social upheaval. Both the American and French Revolutions were based on Enlightenment theories, and the ways we approach science, math, philosophy, and the idea of the self were radically transformed during the period. Descartes was born in in La Haye, a small village near Tours, France. Because Descartes had always been somewhat sickly, his teachers allowed him to stay in bed until noon every day.