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René Descartes, famous French mathematician, was born March 31, 1596 in Lay Haye en Touraine, France. He was well educated, and started Jesuit college at eight years old. He also earned a law degree at age twenty-two. A teacher influenced him to apply mathematics and logic ‘to understanding the natural world.’ He is called the father of modern philosophy. His most famous observation: “I think; therefore I am.” René, out of three children, was the youngest. Jeanne Brochard, his mother, passed away before he was even a year old. Joachim, his father, sent them off to their grandmothers house. His father was worried about his sons education, so he sent René to La Flèche to attend Jesuit college of Henri IV. He studied logic, rhetoric, metaphysics, mathematical arts, natural philosophy, as well as ethics. He later added theology and medicine. In 1614, René attended Poitiers where got a law degree. He also went to Breda in the Netherlands in 1618 and spent a little over a year as an informal student, taking mathematics and military agriculture. After school, he traveled, and joined the army (for a brief time). René traveled to south and north Europe, where he studied “the book of the world.” He was never married, but did have a daughter named Francine. She was born in the Netherlands in 1635. She died of scarlet fever at five years old, and this really hurt her dad. He also said “he did not believe that one must refrain from tears to prove oneself a man”. Descartes moved there in 1628 since France was too busy for him to focus on his work. While living there, he moved into eighteen different places. He always lived alone. He also could practice medicine with no charge, he tried to increase human longevity. Before his death, he left a close friend, Corneille van Hogelande with a box full of personal papers. None of the personal papers were found. Renè Descartes died February 11, 1650 in Stockholm, Sweden, where he had moved less than a year ago. He died of pneumonia.  Descartes is known as the first modern philosopher. In Bohemia, 1619, he created analytic geometry, which is “a method of solving algebraic problems geometrically, while solving geometric problems algebraically”. He is most famous for his work, published in 1641, Meditations de Prima Philosophia (Meditations On First Philosophy). In this book, he gives a “philosophical groundwork for the possibility of the sciences.” He is also a first major figure in the movement, a method of understanding the world on the use of reason to “attain knowledge”, known as rationalism. He took part in modern ideas, mostly ones that involved science, the scientific method, and rational thought. Other major works by Renè include Geometry, Principles of Philosophy, the Passions of the soul, The Word, and even more. Renè Descartes was a hard working man, and knew his way around math and science. He was brought up well educated and became very successful. Not only did he help geometry with coming up with a solving method, he also has other methods for different things. He helped shape what we use as algebra and geometry today. He took a major part in modern ideas. He has multiple pieces of work that include science and math, which helps people modern day understand math and science a lot better.  

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