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At the age of 11, in 1607, he was sent to the boarding school, La Fleche, a Jesuit institution. He studied many subjects, including, mathematics, science, rhetoric, verbal arts, philosophy, and astronomy. However it was mathematics that most attracted the young Descartes. Although is believed to have received his degree from University of Poiters in civil and canon law between 1615 and 1616, there is a period on and off throughout 1614-1618, where Descartes fell out of the world, many believe that he may have some sort of emotional or mental break-down and was in seclusion n Paris, France (Skirry ). Descartes earliest accomplishments included contributions to the Scientific Revolution. It was he that established the “principle of inertia.” He presented the thinking that the universe, all of nature, and human beings are all a part of one great machine. He, also, established a philosophy called “the mind-body dichotomy” Descartes believed that a person’s mind is a separate entity from the physical body and enters in and out of the body through the pineal gland. This work took Descartes away from mathematics and hard science and into the world of philosophy. He would publish four books that are extremely significant. The first was titled “The Discourse on the Method, published in 1637. It was followed, in 1641, by “The Meditations on First Philosophy” and, “The Principles of Philosophy,” in 1644. The final major volume titled, “The Passions of the Soul,” was completed in 1649 (Weisstein). However, Descartes, most well-known and often referenced concept was, “I think therefore I am.” This statement always garners great philosophical debate. It is a phrase that can be perceived in many ways, depending on the user. However, it verifies the relevance of individuality and the power will. All of these works helped to form a unique perspective and perception of the world that would ultimately earn Descartes’ the title of “The father of modern philosophy.” He changed many of the traditional perspectives on nature, the natural world, and humanity’s relationship to it. Unfortunately, not all of those living in Descartes time were inspired and pleased with Descartes philosophies, theories, and principles. The Catholic Church was not a supporter of Descartes. They felt that much of his work could be perceived as directly challenging church doctrines and practices. In fact, Descartes work would eventually find itself added to the lists of books not considered approved reading by the Church. Interestingly enough Descartes believed his works, in fact, proved the likely existence of God; all the same the Church would never be a supporter of his work (Correas ). Rene Descartes continued his work but would eventually retire in the Netherlands. He met a maid in the house of a friend with whom he had a relationship. However, he did not marry this woman and they shared one daughter. Sadly she died from a fever around the age of five. He had agree to join the Court of Queen Kristina of Sweden and remained in the Netherlands for the last 20 years of his life. However, the health problems of his childhood never really left him. Rene Descartes died in February of 1650, at the age of 54 from complications related to pneumonia; no doubt contributed to by the cold Scandinavian weather (Skirry). This was the ...Show more

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Your Name Due Date Rene Descartes: Life and Times Joachim Descartes, and, his wife, Jeanne Brochard, welcomed their son, Rene, on March 31, 1596. The Descartes family was quite wealthy; the majority of the relatives were in the fields of medicine or law…
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