Sunday, 19 August 2007
Descartes:"Je pense, donc je suis."...
On our journey back to Holland we found a camping site in the town of Descartes, named after the philosopher by that name! His most famous statement is: Cogito ergo sum (French: Je pense, donc je suis; English: I think, therefore I am).
He lived from 1596-1650.
Descartes was born in La Haye en Touraine (now Descartes), Indre-et-Loire, France. When he was one year old, his mother Jeanne Brochard died of tuberculosis. His father Joachim was a judge in the High Court of Justice. At the age of eleven, he entered the Jesuit Collège Royal Henry-Le-Grand at La Flèche. After graduation, he studied at the University of Poitiers, earning a Baccalauréat and License in law in 1616, in accordance with his father's wishes that he should become a lawyer.
Descartes never actually practiced law, however, and in 1618, during the Thirty Years' War, he entered the service of Maurice of Nassau, leader of the United Provinces of the Netherlands. His reason for becoming a mercenary was to see the world and to discover the truth.
René Descartes died on February 11, 1650 in Stockholm, Sweden, where he had been invited as a teacher for Queen Christina of Sweden