Rene' Descartes

Rene’ Descartes is a French Philosopher who is also known as the father of modern philosophy because of his widely known philosophical conclusion known as “Cogito; ergo sum” which implies “I think therefore I am”. Descartes, a mathematician, decided to apply his certainly seeming methods of his mathematical reasoning to philosophy. Descartes own search for truth is well reflected in his various endeavors aimed to learn various issues from the world. It is also through his own search for truth that it can be ascertained that Descartes knowledge was acquired from the entire world and not just through his education and schooling. The world is known for having contributed greatly towards Descartes’ immense knowledge. It is as a result of this that individuals should appreciate anything and anyone around them in order to acquire knowledge (Magner, 2002).  

The Socrates in search of wisdom and truth

Descartes depicts himself as being a sort of Socrates who is in search f wisdom and truth. The culmination in the discovery of his method is depicted during the two parts of his early philosophical doubts. Descartes believed that his own ways of thinking can be reformed through the four rules namely: Accepting nothing that is not distinct and clear, secondly, the division of difficult subjects into many portions or parts, thirdly, starting with the simplest problems and then lastly, being comprehensive. In order to achieve his greatest wishes of having all the life’s deep questions being certain as the mathematical results he made, Descartes decided to start from scratch to ensure that this aim was achieved.  

The search for Truth

Descartes own search for truth is reflected through his endeavors and believes that searching for truth was man’s worthwhile occupation and through his resolve to join towards this cause with proper humility. In order to search for this truth, Descartes requires using a specific method in order to do this. Descartes therefore decided that Math was the only model methods that can be used because of its ability in producing very specific or certain demonstrations about its conclusions. Through a dangerous and difficult project, Descartes decides to his worldview from the scratch through very secure principals. After setting the four basic rules that will be used during his project, Descartes sets out to set out an assumption that all the found knowledge he came across with will be attainable through the use of the constant or same forms of reasoning used by the mathematicians. He therefore opts to do this through the adoption of interim, morality in order to adopt one that is based on a secure foundation or footing (Magner, 2002).   

As he starts his exploration towards searching for truth, Descartes strongly believes that his knowledge is not entirely dependent on knowledge acquired through his neither schooling nor education but rather through the world. In his exploration in searching for truth, Descartes realizes that his own existence was the only thing that he was incapable of doubting since the contemplation of his own existence yields to the possibility regarding his non-existence. The next realization makes Descartes to realize that his imperfection that leads him in postulating God’s perfect existence. Minus any kind of imperfection, Descartes, form his own nature opts to educe God’s nature. Descartes also attributes God’s perfect existence as being a must exist. The gradual creation of the world through field laws which acted on initial chaos of matter are discounted by Descartes’ traditional instantaneous special man’s creation citing lack of evidence from the previous instance.
What Descartes was certain of

In the description of his ideas, Descartes used either ‘clear’ or ‘obscure’, ‘distinct’ or ‘confused’, ‘true’ or ‘false’ and materially false to imply various meanings. According to Frankfurt and other people, it was ascertained that Descartes’ aim was not entirely at truth but rather towards subjective certainty.  Zauderer Namaman however disagrees on this by saying that Descartes was not only out to seek for certainty alone but also searching for truth.  The foundations for knowledge according to Descartes were not only confined to Philosophy but to mathematics because its model of knowledge was based on models which were undeniable. It is therefore through this that he learnt that any individual who was seeking for truth should actually look for the certainty that equaled geometrical or arithmetical demonstration. From the world, Descartes was also able to learn that and basically rely from the reason of perceiving something distinctly or clearly without dependence or reference on any sensory experience. Descartes was also certain that genuine knowledge was possible and that the material world can be achieved through mathematically based scientific knowledge. It is through his certainty that we a s human beings can have the intellectual ability of reaching the world’s understanding as well as the ability to make sound judgments concerning it (Ross, 1997).


Even though Descartes was widely recognized in many academic circles because of his philosophical and mathematical abilities, the teachings of his works in various learning institutions were very controversial. Like for instance, Henri De Roy, A professor of Medicine at Utrecht University was condemned by the University’s Rector because of teaching Descartes’ physics. It is through Descartes’ mathematical and philosophical works that other individuals and the human race in general can realize that one does not need to and dependant on the knowledge acquired though school or the education system in order to be successful. He instead (Descartes) strongly believes that the world has got so many things that individuals can learn from.

Order now

Related essays