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[kahr-tee-zhuh n] /kɑrˈti ʒən/
of or relating to Descartes, his mathematical methods, or his philosophy, especially with regard to its emphasis on logical analysis and its mechanistic interpretation of physical nature.
a follower of Cartesian thought.
Origin of Cartesian
1650-60; < New Latin Cartesiānus, equivalent to Cartesi(us) (Latinization of Descartes) + -ānus -an
Related forms
Cartesianism, noun
post-Cartesian, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Cartesian
Historical Examples
  • This famous Newton, this destroyer of the Cartesian system, died in March, anno 1727.

  • This is the cause of gravity, according to the Cartesian system.

  • It may not be without some application to the modern no less than the original Cartesian doctrine.

    Pascal John Tulloch
  • Though no longer quite the Cartesian dualism, this is still a dualism.

    The Mind and the Brain

    Alfred Binet
  • He was expelled from the order at Nantes, for being a Cartesian.

  • It would be even more absurd to attribute to them a Cartesian dualism.

    Bygone Beliefs H. Stanley Redgrove
  • His system is the perfection and the truth of the Cartesian.

  • On the Cartesian proofs there is a special work by Huber, 'Die cartes.

    Theism Robert Flint
  • It was in the atmosphere of the Cartesian spirit that a theory of Progress was to take shape.

  • It was to be developed by men who were imbued with the Cartesian spirit.

British Dictionary definitions for Cartesian


/kɑːˈtiːzɪən; -ʒjən/
of or relating to the works of René Descartes
of, relating to, or used in Descartes' mathematical system: Cartesian coordinates
of, relating to, or derived from Descartes' philosophy, esp his contentions that personal identity consists in the continued existence of a unique mind and that the mind and body are connected causally See also dualism (sense 2)
a follower of the teachings and methods of Descartes
Derived Forms
Cartesianism, noun
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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Word Origin and History for Cartesian

1650s, from Cartesius, Latinized form of the name of French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes (1596-1650), + -ian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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