March 1596 – 11 February 1650)
was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist.
Dubbed the father of modern western philosophy.
Descartes's Meditations on
continues to be a standard text at most university philosophy
Descartes's influence in mathematics is equally apparent.
He is credited as the father of analytical geometry.
His best known philosophical statement is
"Cogito ergo sum"
(French: Je pense, donc je suis; I think, therefore I am), found in
Discourse on the Method
(1637; written in French but with inclusion
of "Cogito ergo sum").
Descartes refused to accept the authority of previous philosophers,
and refused to trust his own senses. Descartes laid the foundation
for 17th-century continental rationalism, later advocated by Baruch
Spinoza and Gottfried Leibniz, and opposed by the empiricist school
of thought consisting of Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. Leibniz,
Spinoza and Descartes were all well-versed in mathematics as well as
philosophy, and Descartes and Leibniz contributed greatly to science
as well. ---WikiPedia