Rene Descartes: A Philosopher and a Rationalist

Some names leave a brilliant remark behind even after they leave. We are familiar with many such names. Among few well-known names, Rene Descartes is one.

Rene Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist who had spent half portion of his life in the Dutch Republic. Descartes is famous as the founder of modern philosophy.

Let’s know more about Rene Descartes here:

Quick Facts of Rene Descartes

Full Name

Rene Descartes

Nick Name


Birth Date

March 31, 1596

Age of Death

53 years old (1596 – 1650)



Birth Place

Descartes, France

Father’s Name

Joachim Descartes

Mother’s Name

Jeanne Brochard


Jeanne Descartes

Anne Descartes

Pierre Descartes

Joachim Descartes


Cartesian coordinate system and Cartesian Method








University of Poitiers

Leiden University

University of Franeker

Prytanee National Militaire







Military Personnel

Marital Status

Never Married



Net Worth


Social Media


Early life and Family

Rene Descartes was born on 1596 March 31. His birthplace is La Haye en Touraine, the province of Touraine. Currently, according to research, it is Descartes, Indre-et-Loire.

The Great Philosopher Rene Descartes
The Great Philosopher Rene Descartes

His father, Joachim, worked as a member in the Parliament of Brittany at Rennes. Rene’s mother died as soon as she gave birth to Descartes. Her name was Jeanne Brochard. While he was a child, he was raised by his grandmother and his uncle.

Rene’s father left Descartes back in La Haye with his grandmother and uncle because his father remarried another woman. 


In 1606 Rene was admission to the Jesuit College that was located in La fleche. The college was established in 1604. Henry IV established the college. 

During this period, Rene had a fragile health condition. Here, Descartes was introduced to maths and physics, which included Galileo’s work. 

Furthermore, Rene finished his graduation in the year 1614. After finishing graduation, Descartes decided in 1615 to join the University of Poitiers, where Rene earned a Baccala Wiet and License in canon and additionally in civil law too at the year 1616.

Also check: Jean Piaget: Swiss Psychologist and Cognitive Development

According to Joachim, Rene’s father, he wished to make Rene study law, making him a lawyer. After a while, Rene Descartes shifted to Paris.

However, Rene aimed and planned to be a professional military officer around the year 1618. Descartes joined in mercenary, which is known as the Protestant Dutch States Army, which was located in Breda. This was done under the order of Maurice of Nassau.

Rene Descartes Learning and Searching
Rene Descartes Learning and Searching

Furthermore, Rene Descartes tackled a study of military engineering, which was initiated through Simon Stevin. Rene got more courage, positivity in Breda towards increasing his education of mathematics.

Around 1628, Rene Descartes came back to the Dutch Republic. In 1929, the month of April, Rene was admission to the University of Franeker. Rene studied under the command of Adrian Metius.

The next year, below the tag “Poitevin,” Rene started at Leiden University to continue his further education in mathematics and Jacobus Golius. Jacobus made him familiar with the hexagon theorem, along with astronomy, along Martin Hortensius.

Personal Life

While Rene went to Amsterdam, Rene had fallen in love with a servant girl. Her name was Jans Van Der Storm. Rene and Jans had a daughter. However, their daughter passed away and left the World at the age of 5; she had a scarlet. Rene and Jans lost their cute little daughter. Additionally, this was a tragic loss for them.

Also check: Francis Crick: Biophysicist and Co-discover of James Watson

During this phase of life, Descartes always told “Do not believe in one must refrain through tears to prove himself a man” he genuinely versed a great word. Descartes moved on with his life in a correct manner hiding the loss of his daughter.

Contribution of Rene Descartes

Rene wrote his great works when he was 20 plus. In this instance, Rene stayed in the Netherlands; Descartes established an expansion towards mathematics and philosophy.

In 1633, Descartes rejected the thinking to publish Treatise on the World; this was done because Galileo lost through the Italian Inquisition.

After 1637, Rene published his work through three articles: The Meteors, Dioptrics and geometry, started by the introduction.

Furthermore, Rene initiated to publish his many works keeping in mind Mathematics and Philosophy his entire life. In 1641, Rene published a metaphysics treatise, Meditations de Prima Philosophia.

Statue of Rene Descartes
Statue of Rene Descartes

In the year 1649, Rene was known as Europe’s most well-known philosopher and scientist. The following year Descartes was called by the royal Queen Christina of Sweden. Christina invited Rene to plan a brand new scientific academy and the educator in her ideas above love. 

Queen Christina was keen to publish “Passion of the Soul” by Rene Descartes. The idea was taken by Rene after Rene shifted to Sweden in mid-winter.

What is Rene Descartes famous for? 

Must this question strike hard in our mind, right? She is known as the first modern philosopher who is well- known for making a vital connection between geometry and algebra. Descartes made our mathematics easier by allowing us to solve problems of Geometry via algebraic equations.

Also check: Charles Hard Townes: Physicist, Inventor & Researcher

Four ideas of Rene Descartes:

1. The idea of the finite mind

2. The idea of indefinite mind

3. The idea of God

4. The idea of mind and body

Net Worth of Rene Descartes

The net worth of Rene Descartes was $1 million – $2million. He received this sort of amount through the career of philosophy. 

According to many types of research, the annual income of Rene Descartes is still unknown. 


  • Rene’s mother died as soon as he was born.
  • Descartes got his education from Issac Beeckman 
  • According to one theory, Rene Descartes mentions that Rene is a spy
  • Descartes always talked about the Prophetic dreams that took him to the way of education
  • When Rene got news about the house arrest of Galileo in 1633, Descartes decided not to publish his work
  • “Father of Modern Western Philosophy” is Rene Descartes
  • Rene is popular for the most influential mathematician during his instance
  • Rene exchanged Philosophical letters with Princess of Bohemia 
  • According to a Conspiracy Theory, Descartes was also once assassinated
  • His daughter died at the age of 5

The contribution Of Rene Descartes towards medicine 

Rene always gave importance to medicine and prioritizing a good deal of his portion of life to medical studies.

Rene’s work also gave a world for reaccessing the before criteria that closely wrote Rene out from the Medical record. 

Rationalist Rene Descartes
Rationalist Rene Descartes

The novel was written by Rene named anti-Aristotelian methodology also played a critical part in the field of medicine of the many decades.

Furthermore, Descartes’s thoughts related to mechanical physiology via which the human body’s roles can be elaborate without occult services influence during that period.

Descartes’s thinking has changed the record of thinking of humans in the World. Rene Descartes always mentioned, “NO I AM DIFFERENT.” 

Descartes’s dualism theory

In psychology, Rene is most popular for his thinking of Dualism. Similarly, his theory of Dualism indicates that there are two realms to the presence. The first one is the physical realm, and the other one is the surroundings and the matter presents around us. This is present as the “Realm of matter and energy.”

Also check: Max Born: The Quantum Physicist and Nobel Prize Winner

Have you heard about the four rules for the Direction of the mind by Rene Descartes? They are here :

  • Accept not as much as true that is not self-proved
  • Portion the errors into the easy part
  • Solve difficulties by initiating from easy to complex
  • Again check the reason behind everything

Death of Rene

Rene Descartes arranged to revise lessons and topics to Queen Christina after the Queen’s birthday. The revision was done a week thrice at 5 am morning. 

Rene faced Pneumonia on February 1. 10 days fighting with pneumonia Descartes left the World on 11 days.

Rene Descartes Quotes

  • If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.
  • I hope that posterity will judge me kindly, not only as to the things which I have explained but also to those which I have intentionally omitted so as to leave to others the pleasure of discovery.
  • Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have.
  • Perfect numbers like perfect men are very rare.
  • The two operations of our understanding, intuition, and deduction, on which alone we have said we must rely in the acquisition of knowledge.
  • Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it.
  • One cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another.


  1. Who was Rene Descartes and what did he believe?

Descartes was also a rationalist and believed in the power of innate ideas. 

  1. What is Rene Descartes known for in philosophy?

Rene Descartes invented analytical geometry and introduced skepticism as an essential part of the scientific method.

  1. What is Rene Descartes psychology?

Rene Descartes considered the “father of modern philosophy” Descartes developed many ideas that lead to the creation of many modern fields of study.

  1. What are the two major ideas according to Rene Descartes?

Scholars agree that Descartes recognizes at least three innate ideas: the idea of God, the idea of (finite) mind, and the idea of (indefinite) body.

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