Babinet would later become an examiner there. At the Restoration he left the Army to become a teacher.
History of Mathematics We may consider Descartes as the first of the modern school of mathematics. His father, who, as the name implies, was of good family, was accustomed to spend half the year at Rennes when the local parliament, in which he held a commission as councilor, was in session, and the rest of the time on his family estate of Les Cartes at La Haye.
On account of his delicate health he was permitted to lie in bed until late in the mornings; this was a custom which he always followed, and when he visited Pascal in he told him that the only way to do good work in mathematics and to preserve his health was never to allow anyone to make him get up in the morning before he felt inclined to do so; an opinion which I chronicle for the benefit of any schoolboy into whose hands this work may fall.
On leaving school in Descartes went to Paris to be introduced to the world of fashion. Here, through the medium of the Jesuits, he made the acquaintance of Mydorge, and renewed his schoolboy friendship with Mersenne, and together with them he devoted the two years of and to the study of mathematics.
Rene descartes mathematician essays for scholarships that time a man of position usually entered either the army or the church; Descartes chose the former profession, and in joined the army of Prince Maurice of Orange, then at Breda.
Walking through the streets there he saw a placard in Dutch which excited his curiosity, and stopping the first passer, asked him to translate it into either French or Latin.
Rene descartes mathematician essays for scholarships stranger, who happened to be Isaac Beeckman, the head of the Dutch College at Dort, offered to do so if Descartes would answer it; the placard being, in fact, a challenge to all the world to solve a certain geometrical problem.
Descartes worked it out within a few hours, and a warm friendship between him and Beeckman was the result. He continued all this time to occupy his leisure with mathematical studies, and was accustomed to date the first ideas of his new philosophy and of his analytical geometry from three dreams which he experienced on the night of November 10,at Neuberg, when campaigning on the Danube.
He regarded this as the critical day of his life, and one which determined his whole future. He resigned his commission in the spring ofand spent the next five years in travel, during most of which time he continued to study pure mathematics. In Cardinal de Berulle, the founder of the Oratorians, met Descartes, and was so much impressed by his conversation that he urged on him the duty of devoting his life to the examination of truth.
Descartes agreed, and the better to secure himself from interruption moved to Holland, then at the height of his power. There for twenty years he lived, giving up all his time to philosophy and mathematics.
Science, he says, may be compared to a tree; metaphysics is the root, physics is the trunk, and the three chief branches are mechanics, medicine, and morals, these forming the three applications of our knowledge, namely, to the external world, to the human body, and to the conduct of life.
He spend the first four years, toof his stay in Holland in writing Le Monde, which embodies an attempt to give a physical theory of the universe; but finding that its publication was likely to bring on him the hostility of the church, and having no desire to pose as a martyr, he abandoned it: In he published a work called Meditationes, in which he explained at some length his views on philosophy as sketched out in the Discours.
In he issued the Principia Philosophiae, the greater part of which was devoted to physical science, especially the laws of motion and the theory of vortices. In he received a pension from the French court in honor of his discoveries.
He went to Sweden on the invitation of the Queen inand died a few months later of inflammation of the lungs. In appearance, Descartes was a small man with large head, projecting brow, prominent nose, and black hair coming down to his eyebrows. His voice was feeble.
In disposition he was cold and selfish. Considering the range of his studies he was by no means widely read, and he despised both learning and art unless something tangible could be extracted therefrom. He never married, and left no descendants, though he had one illegitimate daughter, who died young.
As to his philosophical theories, it will be sufficient to say that he discussed the same problems which have been debated for the last two thousand years, and probably will be debated with equal zeal two thousand years hence.
It is hardly necessary to say that the problems themselves are of importance and interest, but from the nature of the case no solution ever offered is capable either of rigid proof or of disproof; all that can be effected is to make one explanation more probable than another, and whenever a philosopher like Descartes believes that he has at last finally settled a question it has been possible for his successors to point out the fallacy in his assumptions.
I have read somewhere that philosophy has always been chiefly engaged with the inter-relations of God, Nature, and Man. The earliest philosophers were Greeks who occupied themselves mainly with the relations between God and Nature, and dealt with Man separately. Finally, modern philosophers concern themselves chiefly with the relations between Man and Nature.
Analytic geometry does not consist merely as is sometimes loosely said in the application of algebra to geometry; that had been done by Archimedes and many others, and had become the usual method of procedure in the works of the mathematicians of the sixteenth century.
Descartes asserted that a point in space could be similarly determined by three co-ordinates, but he confined his attention to plane curves. It was at once seen that in order to investigate the properties of a curve it was sufficient to select, as a definition, any characteristic geometrical property, and to express it by means of an equation between the current co-ordinates of any point on the curve, that is, to translate the definition into the language of analytical geometry.
The equation so obtained contains implicitly every property of the curve, and any particular property can be deduced from it by ordinary algebra without troubling about the geometry of the figure.
This may have been dimly recognized or foreshadowed by earlier writers, but Descartes went further and pointed out the very important facts that two or more curves can be referred to one and the same system of co-ordinates, and that the points in which two curves intersect can be determined by finding the roots common to their two equations.
I need not go further into details, for nearly everyone to whom the above is intelligible will have read analytical geometry, and is able to appreciate the value of its invention. It is somewhat difficult to follow the reasoning, but the obscurity was intentional.Rene Descartes Mathematician "Father of Modern Mathematics" December 13, Rene Descartes was born in La Haye, Touraine (France) in March of and died at .
Rene Descartes: History of Mathematics We may consider Descartes as the first of the modern school of mathematics. René Descartes was born near Tours on March 31, , and died at Stockholm on February 11, ; thus he was a contemporary of Galileo and Desargues.
Rene Descartes: An Author Study Rene Descartes was a 17th Century mathematician and French Philosopher whose life's work focused on providing a new prospective on the human perception of reality. The definition of this reality is seen as Descartes greatest life goal.
Rene Descartes Rene Descartes was born March 31, in La Haye, Touraine. Descartes was the son of a minor nobleman and belonged to a family that had produced a number of learned men. At the age of eight, he was enrolled in the Jesuit school of La Fleche in . During his fifty four years of life, Rene Descartes was quite the academic, spending much of his time attending school or writing books and developing complex theories and philosophies.
He was a great thinker, and was naturally drawn to mathematics because of “the certainty of its demonstrations” (Burton, p.
The past decade has seen a rapid growth in interest in Descartes' thought, and especially in the relationship between his philosophical and scientific work.
The chapters in this volume represent the best current work on Descartes' philosophy and science, with contributions from an international roster of leading Descartes scholars, including Alan Gabbey, Jean-Marie Beyssade Gary Hatfield.