[ dā-kärt′ ]
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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for descartes, rené
[ (day-kahrt) ]
A seventeenth-century French philosopher. He is known for his statement “I think; therefore I am.” Descartes relied on reason to explain the workings of the universe; his ideas are often called “Cartesianism,” after the Latin form of his name.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.