Descartes Sentence Examples
Accordingly, in May 1617, Descartes set out for the Netherlands and took service in the army of Prince Maurice of Orange.
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.
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.Advertisement
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.
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.Advertisement
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.Advertisement
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.
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.Advertisement
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.Advertisement
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.
The best account of Descartes's mental history during his life in Holland is contained in his letters, which extend over the whole period, and are particularly frequent in the latter half.
The first public teacher of Cartesian views was Henri Renery, a Belgian, who at Deventer and afterwards at Utrecht had introduced the new philosophy which he had learned Spread of from personal intercourse with Descartes.
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.
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.
The answer to that question is the method of Descartes.
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.
In another question connected with this, the problem of drawing tangents to any curve, Descartes was drawn into a controversy with Pierre (de) Fermat (1601-1663), Gilles Persone de Roberval (1602-1675), and Girard Desargues (1593-1661).
Fermat and Descartes agreed in regarding the tangent to a curve as a secant of that curve with the two points of intersection coinciding, while Roberval regarded it as the direction of the composite movement by which the curve can be described.
In pure algebra Descartes expounded and illustrated the general methods of solving equations up to those of the fourth degree (and believed that his method could go beyond), stated the law which connects the positive and negative roots of an equation with the changes of sign in the consecutive terms, and introduced the method of indeterminate coefficients for the solution of equations.'
The Geometry of Descartes, unlike the other parts of his essays, is not easy reading.
The very moment when we begin to think, says Descartes, when we cease to be merely receptive, when we draw back and fix our attention on any point whatever of our belief, - that moment doubt begins.
The remedy proposed by Descartes is (while not neglecting our duties to others, ourselves and God) to let doubt range unchecked through the whole fabric of our customary convictions.
At this point Gassendi arrested Descartes and addressed his objections to him as pure intelligence, - O mens!
The God of Descartes is not merely the creator of the material universe; he is also the father of all truth in the intellectual world.
To attach a clear and definite meaning to the Cartesian doctrine of God, to show how much of it comes from the Christian theology and how much from the logic of idealism, how far the conception of a personal being as creator and preserver mingles with the pantheistic conception of an infinite and perfect something which is all in all, would be to go beyond Descartes and to ask for a solution of difficulties of which he was 1 Ouvres, vi.
Every moment one expects to find Descartes saying with Hobbes that man's thought has created God, or with Spinoza and Malebranche that it is God who really thinks in the apparent thought of man.
After all, the metaphysical theology of Descartes, however essential in his own eyes, serves chiefly as the ground for constructing his theory of man and of the universe.
Such explanation of physical phenomena is the main problem of Descartes, and it goes on encroaching upon territories once supposed proper to the mind.
Descartes began with the certainty that we are thinking beings; that region remains untouched; but up to its very borders the mechanical explanation of nature reigns unchecked.
Descartes has laid down three laws of nature, and seven secondary laws regarding impact.
In both these doctrines of a priori science Descartes has not been subverted, but, if anything, corroborated by the results of experimental physics; for the so-called atoms of chemical theory already presuppose, from the Cartesian point of view, certain aggregations of the primitive particles of matter.
This finer matter which collects in the centre of each vortex is the first matter of Descartes - it constitutes the sun or star.
Descartes professedly assumed a simplicity in the phenomena which they did not present.
In doing what he did, Descartes actually exemplified that reduction of the processes of nature to mere transposition of the particles of matter, which in different ways was a leading idea in the minds of Bacon, Hobbes and Gassendi.
The defects of Descartes lie rather in his apparently imperfect apprehension of the principle of movements uniformly accelerated which his contemporary Galileo had illustrated and insisted upon, and in the indistinctness which attaches to his views of the transmission of motion in cases of impact.
Besides the last two parts of the Principles of Philosophy, the physical writings of Descartes include the Dioptrics and Meteors, as well as passages in the letters.
Attempts have been made, principally founded on some remarks of Huygens, to show that Descartes had learned the principles of refraction from the manuscript of a treatise by Willebrord Snell, but the facts are uncertain; and, so far as Descartes founds his optics on any one, it is probably on the researches of Kepler.
The doctrine of the circulation of the blood, which Descartes adopted from Harvey, supplied additional arguments in favour of his mechanical theory, and he probably did much to popularize the discovery.
From the brain these spirits are conveyed through the body by means of the nerves, regarded by Descartes as tubular vessels, resembling the pipes conveying the water of a spring to act upon the mechanical appliances in an artificial fountain.
It is not much comfort to learn further from Descartes that " he denies life to no animal, but makes it consist in the mere heat of the heart.
It also encouraged vivisection - a practice common with Descartes himself.
In the psychology of Descartes there are two fundamental 2 Ib.
Unfortunately, Descartes is too lordly a philosopher to explain distinctly what either understanding or will may mean.
The philosophy of Descartes fought its first battles and gained its first triumphs in the country of his adoption.
Descartes occasionally had not scrupled to interpret the Scriptures according to his own tenets, while still maintaining, when their letter contradicted him, that the Bible was not meant to teach the sciences.
Clerselier (the friend of Descartes and his literary executor), his son-in-law Rohault (who achieved that relationship through his Cartesianism), and others, opened their houses for readings to which the intellectual world.
The cardinal de Retz in his leisurely age at Commercy found amusement in presiding at disputations between the more moderate Cartesians and Don Robert Desgabets, who interpreted Descartes in an original way of his own.
Descartes, in his correspondence with the Jesuits, had shown an almost cringing eagerness to have their powerful organization on his side.
In 1669, when the chair of philosophy at the College Royal fell vacant, one of the four selected candidates had to sustain a thesis against " the pretended new philosophy of Descartes."
Regis was constrained to hold back for ten years his System of Philosophy; and when it did appear, in 1690, the name of Descartes was absent from the title-page.
In 1705 Cartesianism was still subject to prohibitions from the authorities; but in a project of new statutes, drawn up for the faculty of arts at Paris in 1720, the Method and Meditations of Descartes were placed beside the Organon and the Metaphysics of Aristotle as text-books for philosophical study.
A Latin abridgment of philosophy, dated 1784, tells us that the innate ideas of Descartes are founded on no arguments, and are now universally abandoned.
Borelli (1608-1679) as its most notable name, entered in a way on the mechanical study of anatomy suggested by Descartes, but was probably much more dependent upon the positive researches of Galileo.
His chief opponent was Samuel Parker (1640-1688), bishop of Oxford, who, in his attack on the irreligious novelties of the Cartesian, treats Descartes as a fellow-criminal in infidelity with Hobbes and Gassendi.
For an account of the metaphysical doctrines of Descartes, in their connexions with Malebranche and Spinoza, see Cartesianism.
In1859-1860Foucher de Careil published in two parts some unedited writings of Descartes from copies taken by Leibnitz from the original papers.
Descartes had left untouched, or nearly `so, the difficult problem of the relation between the universal element or thought and the particular desires or inclinations.
Rene Descartes, a faithful though not an unsuspected Roman Catholic, founded modern philosophy by his startingpoint of universal doubt and by his arguments in reply.
One may regard him as an idealist, though Scottish intuitionalism - especially in the writings of Professor John Veitch - has claimed him for its own; and indeed Descartes's two substances of active mind and passive extended matter are very much akin to " Natural Dualism."
Descartes's preliminary statement of the argument in somewhat popular form brings it very near the lines of the cosmological proof.
The radical side of Descartes appears again in his offering his own type of theism as a substitute for the old proofs - not a supplement.
Descartes was an expert; Bacon was the prophet of a great, if half comprehended, future; and the science they loved was struggling for its infant life against a mass of traditional prejudices, which sought to foreclose every question by confident assertions about the purposes of God and Nature.
A difficult question arose for Descartes's philosophy, when it had to explain the union in man of the absolutely opposite substances, 4 Cf.
Really, he urged, there could be only one substance - Descartes himself had dropped a passing hint to that effect - and the bold deductive reasoning of Spinoza's Ethics, in process if not in result, betrays its kinship to the ontological argument, with its affirmation of what must be.
John Locke, the real father of English philosophy, took the field against what he regarded as Descartes's impossible programme of " Innate Ideas."
In the philosophy of Descartes we meet with a dualism of mind and matter which does not easily lend itself to the conception of evolution.
Yet Descartes, in his Principia Philosophiae, laid the foundation of the modern mechanical conception of nature and of physical evolution.
Descartes's account of the mind and its passions is thoroughly materialistic, and to this extent he works in the direction of a materialistic explanation of the origin of mental life.
According to Flint, 4 there were four men who in this and the preceding century seized and made prominent this idea, namely, Bodin, Bacon, Descartes and Pascal.
The enunciation by Descartes of the conception that the physical universe, whether living or not living, is a mechanism, and that, as such, it is explicable on physical principles.
Like Rene Descartes, he was present at the siege of La Rochelle in 1627.
Between Roberval and Descartes there existed a feeling of ill - will, owing to the jealousy aroused in the mind of the former by the criticism which Descartes offered to some of the methods employed by him and by Pierre de Fermat; and this led him to criticize and oppose the analytical methods which Descartes introduced into geometry about this time.
Pierre Poiret (1646-1719) exhibits a violent reaction against the mechanical philosophy of Descartes, and especially against its consequences in Spinoza.
From its origin in Descartes and onwards through Locke and Berkeley, modern philosophy carried with it, Reid contends, the germ of scepticism.
He thus takes substantially the same ground as Descartes, but he rejected the a priori method.
An enthusiastic disciple of Descartes, he wrote several works in philosophy and theology, which by their freedom of thought aroused considerable hostility.
Such an absolute continuity is sometimes assumed without warrant; but Descartes already recognized that the world was no continuous process, " Tria mirabilia fecit Dominus; res ex nihilo, liberum arbitrium et hominem Deum."
It was expounded by Geulincx and Malebranche to avoid the difficulty of Descartes's dualism of thought and extension, and to explain causation.
She had thirteen children - Frederick Henry, drgwned at sea in 1629; Charles Louis, elector palatine, whose daughter married Philip, duke of Orleans, and became the ancestress of the elder and Roman Catholic branch of the royal family of England; Elizabeth, abbess and friend of Descartes; Prince Rupert and Prince Maurice, who died unmarried; Louisa, abbess; Edward, who married Anne de Gonzaga, "princesse palatine," and had children; Henrietta Maria, who married Count Sigismund Ragotzki but died childless; Philip and Charlotte, who died childless; Sophia, who married Ernest Augustus, elector of Hanover, and was mother of George I.
His mathematical bent, however, soon diverted him from legal studies, and the perusal of some of his earliest theorems enabled Descartes to predict his future greatness.
Berulle encouraged Descartes' philosophical studies, and it was through him that the Samaritan Pentateuch, recently brought over from Constantinople, was inserted in Lejay's Polyglot Bible.
His work, however, was little known at the time, and later was overshadowed by the greater work of Descartes (1596-1650).
The main work of Descartes, so far as algebra was concerned, was the establishment of a relation between arithmetical and geometrical measurement.
So far the development of algebra and geometry had been mutually independent, except for a few isolated applications of geometrical constructions to the solution of algebraical problems. Certain minds had long suspected the advantages which would accrue from the unrestricted application of algebra to geometry, but it was not until the advent of the philosopher Rene Descartes that the co-ordination was effected.
Descartes strengthened these views, both by experiments and geometrical investigations, in his Meteors (Leiden, 1637).
The geometrical theory, which formed the basis of the investigations of Descartes and Newton, afforded no explanation of the supernumerary bows, and about a century elapsed before an explanation was forthcoming.
His object was to popularize among his countrymen the astronomical theories of Descartes; and it may well be doubted if that philosopher ever ranked a more ingenious or successful expositor among his disciples.
Its merits were recognized by Descartes, among the first, nine years after its publication.
We shall now briefly describe Comte's principal conceptions in sociology, his position in respect to which is held by himself, and by others, to raise him to the level of Descartes or Leibnitz.
Since then many have held that Descartes, Spinoza and Leibnitz were indebted to him for their main principles.
So far as Descartes is concerned, it is highly improbable that he had seen any of Bruno's works.
His philosophical opinions grew out of a diligent study of Descartes and Malebranche.
The most that can be said about him is that he was an intelligent student of Descartes and Malebranche, and had the ability to apply the results of his reading to the facts of his experience.
The most remarkable of the works from this period are - (I) the Bestimmung des Menschen (Vocation of Man, 1800), a book which, for beauty of style, richness of content, and elevation of thought, may be ranked with the Meditations of Descartes; (2) Der geschlossene Handelsstaat, 1800 (The Exclusive or Isolated Commercial State), a very remarkable treatise, intensely socialist in tone, and inculcating organized protection; (3) Sonnenklarer Bericht an das grossere Publicum iiber die neueste Philosophie, 1801.
Descartes, consistently with this doctrine, denies the existence of atoms as parts of matter, which by their own nature are indivisible.
Descartes's own attempts to deduce the different qualities and actions of bodies in this way are not of much value.
More than a century was required to invent methods of investigating the conditions of the motion of systems of bodies such as Descartes imagined.
He also crossed swords more than once with the Dutch Presbyterian champion, Voetius, still remembered for his attacks on Descartes.
Luther and his contemporaries had not in any degree the modern idea of progress, which first becomes conspicuous with Bacon and Descartes, but believed, on the contrary, that the strangling of reason was the most precious of offerings to God.
This can be understood only by a study of the details, of Descartes' philosophy (see Cartesianism).
True it was precisely against this that Descartes' immediate successors struggled.
To Descartes, who made extension the sole essential property of matter, and matter a necessary condition of extension, the bare existence of bodies apparently at a distance was a proof of the existence of a continuous medium between them.
The Jesuits, on the other hand, claimed Corneille and Moliere, as well as Descartes and Bossuet, Fontenelle, Montesquieu and Voltaire.
Considered as a history of algebra, this work is strongly objected to by Jean Etienne Montucla on the ground of its unfairness as against the early Italian algebraists and also Franciscus Vieta and Rene Descartes and in favour of Harriot; but Augustus De Morgan, while admitting this, attributes to it considerable merit.
Certain actions being admittedly automatic, Descartes maintained that, in regard of the lower animals, all action is purely mechanical.
Turenne, Moliere, Bossuet, Maintenon (Louvre), La Valliere, Sevigne, Montespan, Descartes (Castle Howard), all the beauties and celebrities of his day, sat to him.
Essentially, therefore, Descartes's process is that known later as the process of isoperimeters, and often attributed wholly to Schwab.2 In 16J5 appeared the Arithmetica Infinitorum of John Wallis, where numerous problems of quadrature are dealt with, the curves being now represented in Cartesian co-ordinates, and algebra playing an important part.
There is no sign of any intimate knowledge of ancient or scholastic thought; to the doctrines of Spinoza, Leibnitz, Malebranche, Norris, the attitude is one of indifference or lack of appreciation, but the influence of Descartes and specially of Locke is evident throughout.
In the philosophies of Descartes and Locke a large share of attention had been directed to the idea of matter, which was held to be the abstract, unperceived background of real experience, and was supposed to give rise to our ideas of external things through its action on the sentient mind.
Literary men owed him also much; not only did he throw his famous library open to them, but he pensioned all their leaders, including Descartes, Vincent Voiture (1598-1648), Jean Louis Guez de Balzac (1597-1654) and Pierre Corneille.
Thereupon Spinoza advanced a pantheism which supposed that bodies and souls are not, as Descartes thought, different substances, but merely attributes - the one the extension and the other the thought of one substance, Nature or God.
According to one alternative, which consistently flowed from the psychological idealism of Descartes, as well as from his own monadism, he suggested that bodies are real phenomena; phenomena, because they are aggregates of monads, which derive their unity only from appearing together to our perceptions; real phenomena well founded, because they result from real monads.
This third position isarelic of ancient metaphysical realism; although it must be remembered that Kant does not go to the length of Descartes and Locke, who supposed that from mere ideas we could know bodies and souls, but suggests that beneath the phenomena of outer and inner sense the thing in itself may not be heterogeneous (ungleichartig).
In a way they returned to the wider opinions of Aristotle, which had come down to Descartes and Locke, that reason in going beyond sense knows more things than phenomena; yet they would not hear of external bodies, or of bodies at all.
This final distinction between bodily and spiritual substances we owe to Descartes.
Gunther (1783-1863), " Cartesius correctus," erected too mystical an edifice on the psychological basis of Descartes to sustain a satisfactory realism.
In France, the home of Cartesian realism, after the vicissitudes of sensationalism and materialism, which became connected in French the French mind with the Revolution, the spirit of Descartes revived in the 19th century in the spiritualistic realism of Victor Cousin.
Saisset in the spiritualistic school, the influence of Descartes began to give way to that of Leibnitz.
Etienne Vacherot deserted Descartes for Hegel.
Hence Descartes began the reform of psychology not only by the appeal to consciousness, " I think," but also by opposing body and soul, no longer as matter and form, but as different substances.
These great improvements, due to the genius of Galileo, of Bacon, of Descartes, are the fresh beginnings of modern thought, from which we dare not turn back without falling into obscurantism.
Descartes helped to generalize and establish the notion of the fundamental character of uniform motion in a straight line, but otherwise his speculations did not point in the direc tion of sound progress in dynamics; and the next substantial advance that was made in the principles of the subject was due to Huygens (1629-1695).
This attitude may be studied in Descartes, Leibnitz and Wolff.
It is based on Descartes' fundamental principle that knowledge must be clear, and seeks to give to philosophy the certainty and demonstrative character of mathematics, from the a priori principle of which all its claims are derived.
Malebranche was from that hour consecrated to philosophy, and after ten years' study of the works of Descartes he produced the famous De la recherche de la verite, followed at intervals by other works, both speculative and controversial.
Luminous arcs (T), tangential to the upper and lower parts of each halo, also occur, and in the case of the inner halo, the arcs may be prolonged to form a quasi-elliptic halo.1 The physical explanation of halos originated with Rene Descartes, who ascribed their formation to the presence of icecrystals in the atmosphere.
Among the abbesses was the celebrated Elizabeth (1618-1680), eldest daughter of the elector palatine Frederick V., who was a philosophical princess, and a pupil of Descartes.
He visited Paris, resided for a time at Rheims and then settled at La Fleche, famous in the history of philosophy as the school of Descartes.
He has been described as an initiateur plutot qu'un createur, chiefly because he introduced at Lausanne the philosophy of Descartes in opposition to the reigning Aristotelianism, and also as a Calvinist pendant (for he was a pastor) of the French abbes of the 18th century.
He was welcomed back into the scientific coterie about Mersenne, and forthwith had the task assigned him of criticizing the Meditations of Descartes, which had been sent from Holland, before publication, to Mersenne with the author's request for criticism from the most different points of view.
About the same time also Mersenne sent to Descartes, as if they came from a friend in England, another set of objections which Hobbes had to offer on various points in the scientific treatises, especially the Dioptrics, appended by Descartes to his Discourse on Method in 1637; to which Descartes replied without suspecting the common authorship of the two sets.
Hobbes was more eager to bring forward his own philosophical and physical ideas than careful to enter into the full meaning of another's thought; and Descartes was too jealous, and too confident in his conclusions to bear with this kind of criticism.
Though it was forthwith printed in the course of the year 1642, he was content to circulate a limited number of copies privately 1; and when he found his work received with applause (it was praised even by Descartes), he seems to have taken this recognition of his philosophical achievement as an additional reason for deferring publication till the earlier works of the system were completed.
In a letter of Jacqueline's, dated the 27th of September, an account of a visit paid by Descartes to Pascal is given, which, like the other information on the relations of the two, give strong suspicion of mutual jealousy.
Descartes, however, gave Pascal the very sensible advice to stay in bed as long as he could (it may be remembered that the philosopher himself never got up till eleven) and to take plenty of beef-tea.
They owe not a little to Descartes, for Pascal's indebtedness to his predecessor is unquestionable from the literary side, whatever may be the case with the scientific. But Descartes had had neither the opportunity, nor the desire, nor probably the power, to write anything of the literary importance of the Provinciales.
He was a great mathematician in an age which produced Descartes, Fermat, Huygens, Wallis and Roberval.
The cycloid was a famous curve in those days; it had been discussed by Galileo, Descartes, Fermat, Roberval and Torricelli, who had in turn exhausted their skill upon it.
He was educated at the Jesuit College of La Fleche, where he was a fellow-pupil and friend of Descartes.
His greatest service to philosophy was his enthusiastic defence of Descartes, whose agent he was in Paris and whom he visited in exile in Holland.
These curves were investigated by Rene Descartes, Sir Isaac Newton, Colin Maclaurin and others.
The word was reintroduced in modern philosophy probably by Rene Descartes (or by his followers) who, in the search for a definite self-evident principle as the basis of a new philosophy, naturally turned to the familiar science of mathematics.
Formerly classified by the ancient Greeks with halos, rainbows, &c., under the general group of "meteors," they came to receive considerable attention at the hands of Descartes, Christiaan Huygens, and Sir Isaac Newton; but the correct explanation of coronae was reserved until the beginning of the 19th century, when Thomas Young applied the theories of the diffraction and interference of light to this phenomenon.
Telesio was the head of the great South Italian movement which protested against the accepted authority of abstract reason, and sowed the seeds from which sprang the scientific methods of Campanella and Bruno, of Bacon and Descartes, with their widely divergent results.
The philosophy of Descartes was the reigning system at the university; Clarke, however, mastered the new system of Newton, and contributed greatly to its extension by publishing an excellent Latin version of the Traite de physique of Jacques Rohault (1620-1675) with valuable notes, which he finished before he was twenty-two years of age.
When Descartes, having faithfully and successfully followed the mathematico-physical inquiry of his more strictly scientific predecessors, found himself compelled to raise the question how it was possible for him to know what in truth he seemed to know so certainly, the problem entered on a new phase.
With Descartes intuition does not connote givenness, but its objects are evident at a glance when induction has brought them to light.
It is in virtue of this view of derived or mediate knowledge that Descartes speaks of the (subsumptive) syllogism as " of avail rather in the communication of what we already know."
The celebrated Regulae of Descartes are precepts directed to the achievement of the new methodological ideal in any and every subject matter, however reluctant.
Descartes's guarantee of the validity of my clear and distinct perceptions is the veracity of God.
Though the logical method of Descartes has a great and enduring influence, it is the dualism and the need of God to bridge it, the doctrine of " innate " ideas, i.e.
The invaluable tractate De Intellectus emendatione, in which the agreement with and divergence from Descartes on the question of method could have been fully elucidated, is unhappily not finished.
The birth of modern physical science on the other hand in the investigations of Bacon and Descartes obscured the metaphysical issue by the predominance of the mechanical principles of natural philosophy.
Thus Descartes maintained the absolute dualism of the res cogitans and the res extensa.
How is it that he shares with Descartes the honour of inaugurating modern philosophy?
That the direct objects of knowledge, the realities of experience, were after all only our ideas or from perceptions was the lesson of every thinker from Descartes to Hume.
The mastery of Latin which he acquired from Van den Ende opened up to Spinoza the whole world of modern philosophy and science, both represented at that time by the writings of Descartes.
The impulse towards natural science which he had received from Van den Ende would be strengthened by the reading of Descartes; he gave over divinity, we are told, to devote himself entirely to these new studies.
Before their conclusion Spinoza had parted company from Descartes, and the leading positions of his own system were already clearly determined in his mind.
The histories of philosophy may quite correctly describe his theory as the logical development of Descartes's doctrines of the one Infinite and the two finite substances, but Spinoza himself was never a Cartesian.
He brought his pantheism and his determinism with him to the study of Descartes from the mystical theologians of his race.
It is, in a manner, Spinoza's "organon" - the doctrine of method which he would substitute for the corresponding doctrines of Bacon and Descartes as alone consonant with the thoughts which were shaping themselves or had shaped themselves in his mind.
Not deeming it prudent to initiate the young man into his own system, he took for a textbook the second and third parts of Descartes's Principles, which deal in the main with natural philosophy.
As he proceeded he put Descartes's matter in his own language and cast the whole argument into a geometric form.
At the request of his friends he devoted a fortnight to applying the same method to the first or metaphysical part of Descartes's philosophy, and the sketch was published in 1663, with an appendix entitled Cogitata metaphysica, still written from a Cartesian standpoint (defending, for example, the freedom of the will), but containing hints of his own doctrine.
The book was revised by Dr Meyer for publication and furnished by him, at Spinoza's request, with a preface in which it is expressly stated that the author speaks throughout not in his own person but simply as the exponent of Descartes.
The French philosopher Descartes, who died at Christina's court at Stockholm in 1650, found his chief, though posthumous, disciple in Andreas Rydelius (1671-1738), bishop of Lund, who was the master of Dalin, and thus connects us with the next epoch.
The prime fact in philosophy was to him, as to Augustine and Descartes, the certainty of individual consciousness.
Thus Campanella, though neither an original nor a systematic thinker, is among the precursors, on the one hand, of modern empirical science, and on the other of Descartes and Spinoza.
Followed thereon an independent philsophical Treatise on the Existence of God, wherein Fenelon rewrote Descartes in the spirit of St Augustine.
To this higher manifestation of Pneuma can be traced back the " esprits animaux " of Descartes and Leibnitz, which continue to play so great a part even in Locke.
In physics, Descartes had prepared the way for the final triumph of the mechanical explanation of the world in Newton's system.
Francis Schooten (Commentary on Descartes) assigns the invention of the curve to Rene Descartes and the first publication on this subject after Descartes to Marin Mersenne.
A famous period in the history of the cycloid is marked by a bitter controversy which sprang up between Descartes and Roberval.
The evaluation of the area of the curve had made Roberval famous in France, but Descartes considered that the value of his investigation had been grossly exaggerated; he declared the problem to be of an elementary nature and submitted a short and simple solution.
Their chief authorities were Plato and the Neo-platonists (between whom they made no adequate distinction), and among modern philosophers, Descartes, Malebranche and Boehme.
He therefore bought an English edition of Euclid with an index of propositions at the end of it, and, having turned to two or three which he thought likely to remove his difficulties, he found them so selfevident that he put aside Euclid " as a trifling book," and applied himself to the study of Descartes's Geometry.
The study of Descartes's Geometry seems to have inspired Newton with a love of the subject, and to have introduced him to the higher mathematics.
During the seven years of enforced abandonment of teaching he produced, besides the Fragmens, the edition of the works of Proclus (6 vols., 1820-1827), and the works of Descartes (ii vols., 1826).
This observational method Cousin regards as that of the 18th century, - the method which Descartes began and abandoned, and which Locke and Condillac applied, though imperfectly, and which Reid and Kant used with more success, yet not completely.
The principle of classification first presented itself in the Geometrie of Descartes (1637).
Descartes in the Geometric defined and considered the remarkable curves called of ter him the ovals of Descartes, or simply Cartesians, which will be again referred to.
The doctrine of geometrical continuity and the application of algebra to geometry, developed in the 16th and 17th centuries mainly by Kepler and Descartes, led to the discovery of many properties which gave to the notion of infinity, as a localized space conception, a predominant importance.
The metaphysical works of Descartes had appeared a few years before he went to Oxford, and the Human Nature and Leviathan of Hobbes during his undergraduate years.
It does not seem that Locke read extensively, but he was attracted by Descartes.
Descartes and Spinoza had speculated there; it had been the home of Erasmus and Grotius; it was now the refuge of Bayle.
His latest labour was the editing of the Latin poems of his friend Benedict Stay on the philosophy of Descartes, with scientific annotations and supplements.
The modern treatment of the problem from Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza and Leibnitz down to Kant is too much inwoven into the metaphysical systems of individual great philoso phers to afford the possibility of detailed treatment in the present article.
Descartes advocates a kind of freedom which is apparently consistent with forms both of determinism and indeterminism.
The physics and psychology of Descartes were much studied in England, and his metaphysical system was certainly the most important antecedent of Locke's; but Descartes hardly touched ethics proper.
In 1642 he was engaged by Mersenne in controversy with Descartes.
His objections to the fundamental propositions of Descartes were published in 1642; they appear as the fifth in the series contained in the works of Descartes.
The objections to Descartes - one of which at least, through Descartes's statement of it in the appendix of objections in the Meditationes has become famous - have no speculative value, and in general are the outcome of the crudest empiricism.
He ought to hold, and in disputing with Descartes he did apparently hold, that the evidence of the senses is the only convincing evidence; yet he maintains, and from his special mathematical training it was natural he should maintain, that the evidence of reason is absolutely satisfactory.
This notion, it is plain, tended rather towards Descartes's theory of vortices than towards Newton's theory of gravitation.
The extraordinary advances made by him in this branch of knowledge were owing to his happy method of applying mathematical analysis to physical problems. As a pure mathematician he was, it is true, surpassed in profundity by more than one among his pupils and contemporaries; and in the wider imaginative grasp of abstract geometrical principles he cannot be compared with Fermat, Descartes or Pascal, to say nothing of Newton or Leibnitz.
Claude Mydorge (1585-1647), a French geometer and friend of Descartes, published a work De sectionibus conicis in which he greatly simplified the cumbrous proofs of Apollonius, whose method of treatment he followed.
While Desargues and Pascal were founding modern synthetic geometry, Rene Descartes was developing the algebraic representation of geometric relations.
Descartes (Dioptrique, 1637) describes microscopes wherein a concave mirror, with its concavity towards the object, is used, in conjunction with a lens, for illuminating the object, which is mounted on a point fixing it at the focus of the mirror.
In the same volume are treatises on "Geometric Loci, or Spherical Tangencies," and on the "Rectification of Curves," besides a restoration of "Apollonius's Plane Loci," together with the author's correspondence addressed to Descartes, Pascal, Roberval, Huygens and others.
This later period is opened by Descartes and Galileo, and reaches consummation in the work of Newton.
First there was a critical, rationalist idealism, often involving a return to Descartes, Kant, Hegel or Husserl.
His more general research interests include metaphysics, the philosophy of mind and Early Modern Philosophy, especially Descartes and Locke.
The world almost divides into two, but stops short of the split as Descartes reverts back to the comfort of medieval scholasticism.
Descartes, known as Du Perron, from a small estate destined for his inheritance, soon showed an inquisitive mind.
The natural phenomena of Switzerland, and the political complications in the Valtellina, where the Catholic inhabitants had thrown off the yoke of the Grisons and called in the Papal and Spanish troops to their assistance, delayed him some time; but he reached Venice in time to see the ceremony of the doge's wedlock with the Adriatic. After paying his vows at Loretto, he came to Rome, which was then on the eve of a year of jubilee - an occasion which Descartes seized to observe the variety of men and manners which the city then embraced within its walls.
The princess was obliged to quit Holland, but kept up a philosophical correspondence with Descartes.
Thus Descartes is a type of that spirit of science to which erudition and all the heritage of the past seem but elegant trifling.
The World was consigned to his desk; and although doctrines in all essential respects the same constitute the physical portion of his Principia, it was not till after the death of Descartes that fragments of the work, including Le Monde, or a treatise on light, and the physiological tracts L'Momme and La Formation du foetus, were given to the world by his admirer Claude Clerselier (1614-1684) in 1664.
Descartes soon had a formidable list of objections to reply to.
In the second edition appeared the seventh - objections from Pere Bourdin, a Jesuit teacher of mathematics in Paris; and subsequently another set of objections, known as those of Hyperaspistes, was included in the collection of Descartes's letters.
The anonymous objections are very much the statement of common-sense against philosophy; those of Caterus criticize the Cartesian argument from the traditional theology of the church; those of Arnauld are an appreciative inquiry into the bearings and consequences of the meditations for religion and morality; while those of Hobbes (q.v.) and Gassendi - both somewhat senior to Descartes and with a dogmatic system of their own already formed - are a keen assault upon the spiritualism of the Cartesian position from a generally " sensational " standpoint.
The Instantiae of Gassendi appeared at Amsterdam in 1644 as a reply to the reply which Descartes had published of his previous objections; and the publication by Heinrich Regius of his work on physical philosophy (Fundamenta physices, 1646) gave the world to understand that he had ceased to be a thorough adherent of the philosophy which he had so enthusiastically adopted.
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.
The end of all study, says Descartes, in one of his earliest writings, ought to be to guide the mind to form true and sound judgments on every thing that may be presented to it.3 The sciences in their totality are but the intelligence of man; and all the details of knowledge have no value save as they strengthen the understanding.
All along mathematics was regarded by Descartes rather as the envelope than the foundation of his method; and the " universal mathematical science " which he sought after was only the prelude of a universal science of all-embracing character.2 The method of Descartes rests upon the proposition that all the objects of our knowledge fall into series, of which the members are more or less known by means of one another.
Descartes establishes a philosophic monotheism, - by which the medieval polytheism of substantial forms, essences and eternal truths fades away before God, who is the ruler of the intellectual world no less than of the kingdom of nature and of grace.
These doctrines of inertia, and of the composite character of curvilinear motion, were scarcely apprehended even by Kepler or Galileo; but they follow naturally from the geometrical analysis of Descartes.
Descartes regards matter as uniform in character throughout the universe; he anticipates, as it were, from his own transcendental ground, the revelations of spectrum analysis as applied to the sun and stars.
The spherical particles are the second matter of Descartes, and their tendency to propel one another from the centre in straight lines towards the circumference of each vortex is what gives rise to the phenomenon of light radiating from the central star.
If Descartes had contented himself with thus explaining the phenomena of gravity, heat, magnetism, light and similar forces by means of the molecular movements of his vortices, even such a theory would have excited admiration.
I Descartes, with an, xnusual fondness for the letter of Scripture, quotes oftener than once in support of this monstrous doctrine the dictum, " the blood is the life "; and he remarks, with some sarcasm possibly, that it is a comfortable theory for the eaters of animal flesh.
In the moral sphere the passions or emotions (which Descartes reduces to the six primitive forms of admiration, love, hatred, desire, joy and sadness) are the perceptions or sentiments of the mind, caused and maintained by some movement of the vital spirits, but specially referring to the mind only.
Though rejected by the Jesuits, who found peripatetic formulae a faithful weapon against the enemies of the church, Cartesianism was warmly adopted by the Oratory, which saw in Descartes something of St Augustine, by Port Royal, which discovered a connexion between the new system and Jansenism, and by some amongst the Benedictines and the order of Ste Genevieve.
Unwise admirers and malicious opponents exaggerated the theological bearings of his system in this detail; and the efforts of the Jesuits succeeded in getting the works of Descartes, in November 1663, placed upon the index of prohibited books,- donec corrigantur.
But this doctrine was a criticism and a divergence, no less than a consequence, from the principles in Descartes; and it brought upon Malebranche the opposition, not merely of the Cartesian physicists, but also of Arnauld, Fenelon and Bossuet, who found, or hoped to find, in the Meditations, as properly understood, an ally for theology.
Popular enthusiasm, however, was with Malebranche, as twenty years before it had been with Descartes; he was the fashion of the day; and his disciples rapidly increased both in France and abroad.
It was the great work of Descartes to exclude rigorously from science all explanations which were not scientifically verifiable; and the prevalence of materialism at certain epochs, as in the enlightenment of the 18th century and in the German philosophy of the middle, 9th, were occasioned by special need to vindicate the scientific position, in the former case against the Church, in the latter case against the pseudo-science of the Hegelian dialectic. The chief definite periods of materialism are the pre-Socratic and the post-Aristotelian in Greece, the 18th century in France, and in Germany the, 9th century from about 1850 to 1880.
Geulincx principally deals with the question, left in an obscure and unsatisfactory state by Descartes, of the relation between soul and body.
Whereas Descartes made the union between them a violent collocation, Geulincx practically called it a miracle.
Still, Descartes has marked idealist traits, as when he refurbishes the ontological argument with clearer emphasis on the perfect being as " necessarily " existent 5 - reasoning a shade less quantitative or a shade more subtle than Anselm's.
Notwithstanding the elaborate disguise which fear of the powers that were led Descartes to throw over his real opinions, it is impossible to read the Principes de la philosophie without acquiring the conviction that this great philosopher held that the physical world and all things in it, whether living or not living, have originated by a process of evolution, due to the continuous operation of purely physical causes, out of a primitive relatively formless matter.'
Buffier's aversion to scholastic refinements has given to his writings an appearance of shallowness and want of metaphysical insight, and unquestionably he failed entirely even to indicate the nature of that universality and necessity which he ascribed to his "eternal verities"; he was, however, one of the earliest to recognize the psychological as distinguished from the metaphysical side of Descartes's principle, and to use it, with no inconsiderable skill, as the basis of an analysis of the human mind, similar to that enjoined by Locke.
The great development of all branches of mathematics in the two centuries following Descartes has led to the term algebra being used to cover a great variety of subjects, many of which are really only ramifications of arithmetic, dealt with by algebraical methods, while others, such as the theory of numbers and the general theory of series, are outgrowths of the application of algebra to arithmetic, which involve such special ideas that they must properly be regarded as distinct subjects.
The dominant factors in the r 7th-century medicine were the discovery of the circulation by William Harvey (published in 1628), the mechanical philosophy of Descartes and the contemporary progress of physics, the teaching of Van Helmont and the introduction of chemical explanations of morbid processes, and finally, combined of all these, and inspiring them, the rise of the spirit of inquiry and innovation, which may be called the scientific movement.
The name is often wrongly spelt Codgers and Coggers; the "o" is really long, the accepted derivation being from Descartes' Cogito, ergo sum, and thus meaning "The society of thinkers."
The first part ends with a reply to objections based on the universal consent of men, on the assurance given by touch of the extra existence of the visible world, and on the truth and goodness of God (Descartes), which would be impugned if our senses deceived us.
In this respect Descartes' dictum - cogito ergo sum - may be said to have struck the keynote of modern philosophy, and all subsequent speculation to have been merely a prolonged commentary upon it.
Of more or less isolated thinkers may be mentioned Francois de la Mothe le Vayer (1588-1672), whose Cinq Dialogues appeared after his death under the pseudonym of Orosius Tubero; Samuel Sorbiere (1615-1670), who translated the Hypotyposes Pyrrhoneae of Sextus Empiricus; Simon Foucher (1644-1696), canon of Dijon, who wrote a History of the Academics, and combated Descartes and Malebranche from a sceptical standpoint.
We, on the contrary, mainly through the influence of Descartes, rather ask what are the things we know, and therefore, some more and some less, come to connect ontology with epistemology, and in consequence come to treat metaphysics in relation to psychology and logic, from which epistemology is an offshoot.
Descartes, the founder of psychological idealism, having proceeded from the conscious fact, cogito ergo sum, to the non sequitur that I am a soul, and all a soul can perceive is its ideas, nevertheless went on to the further illogical conclusion that from these mental ideas I can (by the grace of God) infer things which are extended substances or bodies, as well as thinking substances or souls.
Descartes died in 1650 in the communion of the Church, his philosophy contained seeds of revolt; and the sensualism of Locke, popularized in Italy by Genovesi, prepared the way for revolution.
Thus or otherwise he had become sufficiently known by 1645 to be chosen as a referee, with Descartes, Roberval and others, in the famous controversy between John Pell and the Dane Longomontanus over that problem of the squaring of the circle which was seen later on to have such a fatal charm for himself.
It is the paradox involved in the function of intuition, the acceptance of the psychological characters of clearness and distinctness as warranty of a truth presumed to be trans-subjective, that leads to Descartes's distinctive contribution to the theory of knowledge.
Kepler divined its possibility; but his thoughts, derailed (so to speak) by the false analogy of magnetism, brought him no farther than to the .rough draft of the scheme of vortices expounded in detail by Rene Descartes in his Principia Philosophiae (1644).
His great work De maxims et minimis brought him into conflict with Rene Descartes, but the dispute was chiefly due to a want of explicitness in the statement of Fermat (see Infinitesimal Calculus).
In disgust, Descartes started for the west to take part in the siege of La Rochelle, and entered the city with the troops (October 1628).
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.
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.
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.
Descartes laid down the lines on which modern philosophy and science were to build.