The French philosopher, mathematician and scientist René Perron Descartes often referred to as the the father
of modern western philosophy is said to have influenced most western philosophy
writings to this day. Descartes was born in a La Haye en Touraine (France) now
known as Indre-et-loire on the 31st of march in 1596. After Descartes’s
birth his mother (Jeanne Brochard) passed away. His health was always very
fragile, he grew up with his grandma and his great uncle, His father, Joachime
lived in Rennes as he was part of the parliament of Brittany.
at the age of 11 (1607) young Joachime was put in the Jesuit
for health reasons, he was introduced to mathematics and physics throughout the
seven years he spent there. when he graduated in 1614 he decided to aim for a
baccalaureate and licence in canon (church law) and civil law to make his father proud, which he then finished two
years later in 1616.
In 1618 the 22-year-old moved to Breda to join the
protestant Dutch states army and studied military engineering, these studies
motivated Descartes to pursue his fascination for maths, in the process of
doing so he met the school principal in Dordrecht Isaac Beeckman. In 1618 he
dedicated his first book to him (Compendium of music) which was then published
many years later. In 1620 he took part of the Battle of the White mountain
outside Prague .
Descartes left the army In 1620, he went to Paris and wrote
his first published text on method called “Regulae ad Directionem Ingenii
(Rules for the Direction of the Mind)”.
In 1623 at the age of 27 Descartes moved to The Hague
(Netherlands) where he sold all his belongings to invest in bonds which enabled
a pleasant income for to rest of his life. In 1627 Descartes went a lecture
given by Nicolas de Villiers a French scientist on the theorie of a new philosophy,
there Cardinal Berulle persistently tried to persuade Descartes to write his
own work of his own new philosophy.
In 1629 he went to the Franeker university and therefore
moved to Amsterdam, a year later he went to the university of Leiden where he worked
on the “Pappus’s hexagon theorem with Jacobus Golius and on astronomy with
Martin Hortensius”. In 1630 Isaac Beeckman accused him of plagiarising his
It was in Amsterdam where Descartes fell in love with Helena
Jans van der Storm and in 1635 had a daughter with, named Francine, who sadly
passed away at the age of five which brought a lot of sadness into his life
“Descartes said that he did not believe that one must refrain from tears to
prove oneself a man”. It is said that his daughter’s death influenced his work
as he changed his priorities from medicine to an urging interest for universal
answers. Descartes wrote most his books in the twenty years he lived in the Netherlands.
It was towards 1649 at the age of 53 that Descartes became
famous and recognised through the entire European continent for being one of
the greatest philosophers and scientist.
this recognition Descartes was invited by Queen Christina of Sweden to create a
scientific academy and to influence her with his ideas of love, he accepted the
offer, Descartes was scheduled to 3 meetings a week with the Queen at 5am in
her “cold and draughty castle”, it soon became obvious that not only did they
not appreciate each other and their ideas but that the working