[kahr-tee-zhuh n]
  1. 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.
  1. a follower of Cartesian thought.

Origin of Cartesian

1650–60; < New Latin Cartesiānus, equivalent to Cartesi(us) (Latinization of Descartes) + -ānus -an
Related formsCarte·sian·ism, nounpost-Car·te·sian, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for post-cartesian


  1. of or relating to the works of René Descartes
  2. of, relating to, or used in Descartes' mathematical systemCartesian coordinates
  3. 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 causallySee also dualism (def. 2)
  1. a follower of the teachings and methods of Descartes
Derived FormsCartesianism, 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

Word Origin and History for post-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