Rene Descartes biography at QuotationFun

A Short Biography of Rene Descartes

Author Name:

Rene Descartes

Born As:

Other Names:

Also known as Renatus Cartesius


31 Mar 1596


11 Feb 1650

author picture
Philosopher, scientist and mathematician                          
Selected Works:

Handwritten letter by Descartes - 1638

Compendium Musicae. A treatise on music theory and the aesthetics of music written for Descartes' early collaborator Isaac Beeckman - 1618

Regulae ad directionem ingenii. Rules for the Direction of the Mind. Incomplete. 1626–1628. First published posthumously in 1684.

Le Monde, The World and L'Homme  - Man. Man was first published in Latin translation in 1662; The World in 1664.

Discours de la méthode  - Discourse on the Method. An introduction to the Essais, which include the Dioptrique, the Météores and the Géométrie - 1637.

La Géométrie - Geometry. Descartes' major work in mathematics - 1637.  English translation by Michael Mahoney  -  1979.

Meditationes de prima philosophia - Meditations on First Philosophy, also known as Metaphysical Meditations - 1641 In Latin; a French translation, probably done without Descartes' supervision, was published in 1647. Includes six Objections and Replies. A second edition, published the following year, included an additional objection and reply, and a Letter to Dinet.

Principia philosophiae - Principles of Philosophy - 1644, a Latin textbook at first intended by Descartes to replace the Aristotelian textbooks then used in universities. A French translation, Principes de philosophie by Claude Picot, under the supervision of Descartes, appeared in 1647 with a letter-preface to Queen Christina of Sweden.

Notae in programma - Comments on a Certain Broadsheet - 1647. A reply to Descartes' one-time disciple Henricus Regius.

The Description of the Human Body - 1647. Published posthumously.

Responsiones Renati Des Cartes - 1648 - Conversation with Burman.

Notes on a Q&A session between Descartes and Frans Burman - 1648
Rediscovered in 1895 and published for the first time in 1896. An annotated bilingual edition, Latin with French translation, edited by Jean-Marie Beyssade, was published in 1981.

Les passions de l'âme - Passions of the Soul. Dedicated to Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia - 1649.

Correspondence. Published by Descartes' literary executor Claude Clerselier - 1657. The third edition, in 1667, was the most complete; Clerselier omitted, however, much of the material pertaining to mathematics.                          
Mother Jeanne Brochard
Father Joachim                          
Dubbed the "Father of Modern Philosophy