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Rene Descartes, French mathematician

Rene Descartes, French mathematician

H404/0310

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Credit

HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES LIBRARY / NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES LIBRARY / NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Rene Descartes (1596-1650), French mathematician and philosopher. His coat-of-arms (upper right) mark his self-styled title of Lord of Perron. The Latin inscription names him as Renatus Cartesius, and names the Dutch city of the Hague. Descartes lived and worked in the Netherlands for 16 years. The inscription also mentions Queen Christina of Sweden, Descartes' last employer. The final line gives his birth and death dates as 31 March 1596, and 11 February 1650. Descartes is most famous for the co-ordinate Cartesian geometry that bears his name, and his philosophy, summed up by: "I think, therefore I am".

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