Rene Descartes was a 17th Century mathematician and French Philosopher whose life's work focused on providing a new prospective on the human perception of reality. The definition of this reality is seen as Descartes greatest life goal. Coined as the "Father of Modern Philosophy," (Cunningham & Reich, 2010, p. 385), Descartes laid the groundwork the philosophy and reality as we perceive it today. Descartes autobiography, Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences (Descartes, 2004) shares with the reader a glimpse into the mind of a brilliant, yet frail, man who provided an in depth explanation on the perception of human existence and the reality we live in today. The works, shortened to Discourse on Method for the modern day, outlined in Cunningham & Reich (2010), focuses on Descartes's proof as to the existence of God and is the crux of his argument and stance on the reality of man.
Background: Life & Work of the Father of Modern Philosophy
Descartes was born in LaHayer, France on March 31, 1596. Trained in Aristotelian school, he attended boarding school in a Jesuits-based boarding college at the age of 8 years old, going on to law school at the age of twenty two. His father placed increased focus on the importance of education, as he was a member of the provincial parliament of France. Descartes’ mother died while he was young and so he was raised by his grandmother and then sent to boarding school. Descartes schooling focused on theology and philosophy as well as science and mathematics, including the study of the metaphysical and geometry. He was first considered a mathematician and then philosopher by many, with his addition of his wo...
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Descartes, R. (2004). Discourse on the method of rightly conducting the reason and seeking truth in the sciences.Whitefish: Kessinger Publishing, LLC
Gillett, G. R. (1985). Brain, mind, and soul. Zygon, 20(4), 425-434.
Henry, John. (2001). The scientific revolution and the origins of modern science. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Publishing
Kraus, P., & Hunt, F. (2007). René Descartes Discourse on Method: Translated with an interpretive essay. Newburyport: Focus Publishing
René Descartes. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved Apr 11, 2014, from http://www.biography.com/people/rené-descartes-37613.
Vanhoozer, K. J. (2005). Discourse on matter: Hermeneutics and the 'miracle' of understanding. International Journal of Systematic Theology, 7(1), 5-37.
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