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Short biography of Descartes

18 November, 2019

Real name: René Descartes
Date of birth: March 31, 1596
Place of birth: The Hague, France
Death: February 11, 1649
Who was it ?: Mathematician, physicist and philosopher

René Descartes was born in The Hague in France on December 31st March 1596 His mother, Jeanne Broach, leaves the city shortly after Descartes’ birth and dies a few months later, leaving him a fortune. The grandmother and the father, with the help of a nurse, were left in charge of their education and education. The family of Descartes belonged to the lower nobility, his father was advisor to the Parliament of Brittany. His education took place from 8 to 16 years at La Flèche School, where he learned mathematics and philosophy, as well as languages ​​such as Greek and Latin in writings and readings of classical authors such as as Cicero, Virgil, Homer and Plato. But his main studies were about Aristotle. Because of his fragile state of health, he was not allowed to go to school in the morning, but he was very much appreciated by teachers for his early intellectual skills, his learning of physics and theological philosophy, but he also manifested a great interest in mathematics. At eighteen, he decided to study law and medicine at the University of Poitiers. He graduated in law in 1626. He never practices this profession.

Most of his adult life coincided with the Thirty Years War, in which he participated as a mercenary. At that time, there was a religious conflict between Catholics and Protestants that eventually turned into a struggle for hegemony. A period of Spanish decline began as France consolidated as the first continental power. Fast-growing trends such as the bourgeoisie and urban life are consolidated. The European life of this time is marked by the religious conflict between Catholics and Protestants. In 1623, he moved to Italy and stayed there until 1624, when he decided to live in France where he lived for 4 years. He devoted himself entirely to philosophy and studied with optical experiments. After selling all his properties, he went to Holland, residing in various cities such as Amsterdam, Leiden and Deventer, among others.

Because of the reflections and reflections of Descartes, on the search for absolutely true knowledge and on the search for a method to reach them, he is known to be the founder of modern rationalist philosophy. Rationalism seeks human knowledge in general, through a reason considered as the main and unique basis of value. Mathematics and logic are the knowledge that at that time were considered deductive knowledge. For Descartes, the ideal of science is a deductive science that starts from these simple natures and can extract truths from any object.

In 1648 he was invited to give private lessons to Queen Christina of Sweden in Stockholm. Because of the conditions in which he taught and his fragile health, he began to get sick and had symptoms of pneumonia. Descartes died at the age of 53, February 11, 1649, from pneumonia.

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