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[dey-kahrt; French dey-kart] /deɪˈkɑrt; French deɪˈkart/
[ruh-ney;; French ruh-ney] /rəˈneɪ;; French rəˈneɪ/ (Show IPA),
1596–1650, French philosopher and mathematician. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Descartes
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Descartes attempted what Leucippus, Democritus, Epicurus, and their followers thought to be impossible.

  • Descartes therefore made evidence the touchstone of certainty.

  • In many respects Descartes belongs to the second group, and in some respects James and Comte belong to the first.

  • From the time of Descartes to Hume and Kant it has had little or nothing to do with facts of science.

    Meno Plato
  • The philosophy of the seventeenth century that of Descartes and Leibnitz maybe condensed in one word mechanism.

    Women of the Teutonic Nations Hermann Schoenfeld
  • The system of Spinoza is less personal and also less dualistic than that of Descartes.

    Meno Plato
  • It is true that Descartes makes no mention of modern writers, except once of Cardan.

    William Oughtred Florian Cajori
  • At last Descartes was snatched from the world in the flower of his age at Stockholm.

British Dictionary definitions for Descartes


/ˈdeɪˌkɑːt; French dekart/
René (rəne). 1596–1650, French philosopher and mathematician. He provided a mechanistic basis for the philosophical theory of dualism and is regarded as the founder of modern philosophy. He also founded analytical geometry and contributed greatly to the science of optics. His works include Discours de la méthode (1637), Meditationes de Prima Philosophia (1641), and Principia Philosophiae (1644)
adjective Cartesian
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Descartes in Science
French mathematician and philosopher who discovered that the position of a point can be determined by coordinates, a discovery that laid the foundation for analytic geometry.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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