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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. 2017.
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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.

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

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

  • Spiritualist as he was, Descartes was not disposed to be the martyr of thought.

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

    Women of the Teutonic Nations Hermann Schoenfeld
  • As he could not forgive Descartes, so Cousin cannot forgive him for his depreciation of Descartes.

    Pascal John Tulloch
  • It is true that Descartes makes no mention of modern writers, except once of Cardan.

    William Oughtred Florian Cajori
  • Descartes therefore made evidence the touchstone of certainty.

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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