Rene Descartes

Rene Descartes (1596 ~ 1650)



  • Had a vision of great potential for progress if mathematical method were to be applied to all fields of knowledge
  • Deductive Reasoning: Specific information can be logically deduced from general information: Only reason can give us certainty


  • Descartes concluded that he had a clear idea of a perfect entity in his mind. The idea of perfection cannot come from himself, which is imperfect. It must have originated from the perfect entity itself (God).
  • The idea of God is innate, not from experience.
  • With the certainty of God’s existence, whatever we perceive with our reason corresponds with reality.
    • Perfect and good God would not deceive us.
  • Dualism (2 Substances)
    • Mind (Thought): purely conscious
    • Body (Matter): extension


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