Accordingly, in May 1617, Descartes set out for the Netherlands and took service in the army of Prince Maurice of Orange.
1007), Rene Descartes, to whom the formula of Tobit ben Korra is sometimes ascribed, C. Rudolphus and others.
RENE DESCARTES (1596-1650), French philosopher, was born at La Haye, in Touraine, midway between Tours and Poitiers, on the 31st of March 1596, and died at Stockholm on the 1th of February 1650.
Joachim Descartes, his father, having purchased a commission as counsellor in the parlement of Rennes, introduced the family into that demi-noblesse of the robe which, between the bourgeoisie and the high nobility, maintained a lofty rank in French society.
The withdrawal of Mersenne in 1614 to a post in the provinces was the signal for Descartes to abandon social life and shut himself up for nearly two years in a secluded house of the faubourg St Germain.
During the leisure thus arising, Descartes one day had his attention drawn to a placard in the Dutch tongue; as the language, of which he never became perfectly master, was then strange to him, he asked a bystander to interpret it into either French or Latin.
On the death of this general Descartes quitted the imperial service, and in July 1621 began a peaceful tour through Moravia, the borders of Poland, Pomerania, Brandenburg, Holstein and Friesland, from which he reappeared in February 1622 in Belgium, and betook himself directly to his father's home at Rennes in Brittany.
At Rennes Descartes found little to interest him; and, after he had visited the maternal estate of which his father now put him in possession, he went to Paris, where he found the Rosicrucians the topic of the hour, and heard himself credited with partnership in their secrets.
Towards the end of the year Descartes was on his way to Italy.
For an instant Descartes seems to have concurred in the plan of purchasing a post at Chatellerault, but he gave up the idea, and settled in Paris (June 1625), in the quarter where he had sought seclusion before.
Till 1649 Descartes lived in Holland.
But when Descartes arrived, he found Paris rent asunder by the civil war of the Fronde.
It is to her that the Principles of Philosophy were dedicated; and in her alone, according to Descartes, were united those generally separated talents for metaphysics and for mathematics which are so characteristically co-operative in the Cartesian system.
And yet, though Rembrandt's " Nightwatch " is dated the very year after the publication of the Meditations, not a word in Descartes breathes of any work of art or historical learning.
Descartes was not in any strict sense a reader.
The science of Descartes was physics in all its branches, but especially as applied to physiology.
Such then was the work that Descartes had in view in Holland.
In 1636 Descartes had resolved to publish some specimens of the fruits of his method, and some general observations on its 7 lb.
In 1644 it appeared in a Latin version, revised by Descartes, as Specimina philosophica.
The dispute on the latter point between Fermat and Descartes was continued, even after the philosopher's death, as late as 1662.
Only survived five years at Utrecht, and it was reserved for Heinrich Regius (van Roy) - who in 1638 had been appointed to the new chair of botany and theoretical medicine at Utrecht, and who visited Descartes at Egmond in order more thoroughly to learn his views - to throw down the gauntlet to the adherents of the old methods.
As yet Descartes was not directly attacked.
Voet now issued, under the name of Martin Schoock, one of his pupils, a pamphlet with the title of Methodus novae philosophiae Renati Descartes, in which atheism and infidelity were openly declared to be the effect of the new teaching.
Descartes replied to Vat directly in a letter, published at Amsterdam in 1643.
What might have happened we cannot tell; but Descartes threw himself on the protection of the French ambassador and the prince of Orange, and the city magistrates, from whom he vainly demanded satisfaction in a dignified letter,2 were snubbed by their superiors.
In the Discourse of Method Descartes had sketched the main points in his new views, with a mental autobiography which might explain their origin, and with some suggestions of as to their applications.
In 1644 the third great work of Descartes, the Principia philosophiae, appeared at Amsterdam.
It was about 1648 that Descartes lost his friends Mersenne and Mydorge by death.
The ambassador recovered, but Descartes fell a victim to the same disease, inflammation of the lungs.
Descartes never married, and had little of the amorous in his temperament.
Descartes accepted the philosophic mission, and in the spring of 1629 he settled in Holland.
Descartes was not disposed to be a martyr; he had a sincere respect for the church, and had no wish to begin an open conflict with established doctrines.
Undoubtedly, says Descartes, the world was in the beginning created in all its perfection.
When Descartes complained to the authorities of this unfair treatment, 4 the only reply was an order by which all mention of the name of Cartesianism, whether favourable or adverse, was forbidden in the university.
Civility, and the name of Descartes was no longer proscribed.
Through Chanut, with whom she was on terms of familiarity, she came to hear of Descartes, and a correspondence which the latter nominally carried on with the ambassador was in reality intended for the eyes of the queen.
Philosophy, particularly that of Descartes, was becoming a fashionable divertissement for the queen and her courtiers, and it was felt that the presence of the sage himself was necessary to complete the good work of education.
An invitation to the Swedish court was urged upon Descartes, and after much hesitation accepted; a vessel of the royal navy was ordered to wait upon him, and in September 1649 he left Egmond for the north.
Wanted Descartes to draw up a code for a proposed academy of the sciences, and to give her an hour of philosophic instruction every morning at five.
His friend Chanut fell dangerously ill; and Descartes, who devoted himself to attend in the sick-room, was obliged to issue from it every morning in the chill northern air of January, and spend an hour in the palace library.
With Descartes the use of exponents as now employed for denoting the powers of a quantity becomes systematic; and without some such step by which the homogeneity of successive powers is at once recognized, the binomial theorem could scarcely have been detected.
Thus Descartes gave to modern geometry that abstract and general character in which consists its superiority to the geometry of the ancients.