I think, therefore I am!

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The Greatest Modern Philosopher!The French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650)is still considered as the Father of Modern Philosophy. He was the first scientist-philosopher to organize the process of thought and link it to the meaning of one's very existence! His famous argument was "Cogito ergo sum" ("I think therefore I am")!

"Cogito ergo sum"

Meaning, `I think therefore I am.'

Through this ultimate rationalistic view, Descartes attempts to prove the existence of one's self not through one's sense experience but through reasoning. His logic is flawed however, because Descartes presupposes the "I", in "I think."

He is famous for espousing Cartesian dualism: the view that mind and body are separate, distinct substances. He is also famous for placing human consciousness or subjectivity at the forefront of epistemology.

He is also one of the greatest scientists in history, having worked on mathematics, mechanics, optics and many other fields. As a mathematician, he has elaborated the modern concept of mathematical function, which he derived from his research on set theory (Do you remember good old Cartesian Product ?). He also discovered (among others) some of optics' fundamental laws (including the famous principle stating that "light always chooses the quickest path between two points"). Laws of refraction bear his name in many countries (you can also find them under the name of "Snell laws").
René Descartes' most fundamental work was his Meditations. In these contributions, he works to beat the skeptic at his own game: there is something that is knowable. The question then becomes what is truly knowable.
Descartes developed the Cartesian coordinate system for graphing equations and geometric shapes. Modern maps use a grid system that can be traced back to Cartesian graphing techniques.
He was the first modern philosopher, who believed that science and mathematics could explain and predict events in the physical world!

I have published a brief Life-sketch in a simple Question-Answer format bereft of jargon and also a page about the Vortex Theory of René Descartes!. I have also planned to add a few more pages on the theories of Descartes and also things that the viewers have asked for.
Please record your comments and suggestions for adding subjects for discussion on this site by sending a mail to skichu at gmail dot com.

A cynic observed that a philosopher learns the following when he participates in a course on philosophy:
the futility of reason!
the uselessness of your very own mind!
the amazing limitations of human thought!
the extreme foolishness of understanding anything at all!

Here is yet another one!
"The charm of philosophy is that it provides no answers to the timeless questions it poses."
    ~ Prof. Jeremey Gratham, President of the Philosophers Union

Now, some fun at his expence!

One evening René Descartes went to relax at a local tavern. The tender approached and said, "Ah, good evening Monsieur Descartes! Shall I serve you the usual drink?". Descartes replied, "I think not.", and promptly vanished!