Cogito, Ergo Sum
There have been numerous philosophers over the millennia that have proposed new and different ideas about the world we live in. Some of the subjects covered include life, humanity, god, and the afterlife. René Descartes focused on these topics as well as mathematics. Using his knowledge in mathematics and philosophy, he became a huge figure in the Scientific Revolution. He is best known for his popular phrase “cogito, ergo sum” which translates to “I think, therefore I am.” For his contributions to science and philosophy, he is considered one of the greatest thinkers in human history.
René Descartes was born on March 31, 1596 in France and lived with his grandmother after his mother died a year later. Around 1606, Descartes entered La Flèche, a Jesuit College, and stayed there until about 1614 where he studied Latin and Greek grammar, classical poets, logics, morals, physics, and mathematics (Cress). This was the typical Jesuit education at that time and was based on the teachings of Aristotle. He was also influenced by the ideas of the Scientific Revolution going on during his time. There were many advances in various subjects like mathematics, astronomy, and biology. People began to question the way they lived and began to focus more on science and facts. This was right after the Middle Ages where thinking differently was often condemned and when the Catholic Church had a lot of power. To increase his education, Descartes decided to travel the world and learn from other people instead of reading paper (Hatfield).
There are a few portraits of Descartes that have survived. He had black, wavy hair that was about shoulder length. He had a black moustache and soul patch in most portraits. Furthermore, he is shown wearing a black cape or coat that was common for the time period. He generally looks like the stereotypical male from the 1500’s.
Cartesian dualism is one idea heavily defended by Descartes. It basically says...