Saint Thomas Aquinas was an Italian Dominican friar, Catholic priest, Doctor of the Church. He is an immensely influential philosopher and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is known as the Doctor Angelicus and the Doctor Communis; the name Aquinas identifies his ancestral origins in the county of Aquino in present-day Lazio, Italy. He was the father of Thomism, his influence on Western thought is considerable, much of modern philosophy developed or opposed his ideas in the areas of ethics, natural law and political theory. Unlike many currents in the Church of the time, Thomas embraced several ideas put forward by Aristotle—whom he called "the Philosopher"—and attempted to synthesize Aristotelian philosophy with the principles of Christianity, his best-known works are the Disputed Questions on Truth, the Summa contra Gentiles, the Summa Theologiae. His commentaries on Scripture and on Aristotle form an important part of his body of work. Furthermore, Thomas is distinguished for his eucharistic hymns, which form a part of the Church's liturgy.
The Catholic Church honors Thomas Aquinas as a saint and regards him as the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood, indeed the highest expression of both natural reason and speculative theology. In modern times, under papal directives, the study of his works was long used as a core of the required program of study for those seeking ordination as priests or deacons, as well as for those in religious formation and for other students of the sacred disciplines. Thomas Aquinas is considered philosophers. Pope Benedict XV declared: "This Order... acquired new luster when the Church declared the teaching of Thomas to be her own and that Doctor, honored with the special praises of the Pontiffs, the master and patron of Catholic schools." The English philosopher Anthony Kenny considers Thomas to be "one of the dozen greatest philosophers of the western world". Thomas was most born in the castle of Roccasecca, Aquino, in the Kingdom of Sicily, c. 1225, According to some authors, he was born in the castle of Landulf of Aquino.
Though he did not belong to the most powerful branch of the family, Landulf of Aquino was a man of means. As a knight in the service of King Roger II, he held the title miles. Thomas's mother, belonged to the Rossi branch of the Neapolitan Caracciolo family. Landulf's brother Sinibald was abbot of the first Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino. While the rest of the family's sons pursued military careers, the family intended for Thomas to follow his uncle into the abbacy. At the age of five Thomas began his early education at Monte Cassino but after the military conflict between the Emperor Frederick II and Pope Gregory IX spilled into the abbey in early 1239, Landulf and Theodora had Thomas enrolled at the studium generale established by Frederick in Naples, it was here that Thomas was introduced to Aristotle and Maimonides, all of whom would influence his theological philosophy. It was during his study at Naples that Thomas came under the influence of John of St. Julian, a Dominican preacher in Naples, part of the active effort by the Dominican order to recruit devout followers.
There his teacher in arithmetic, geometry and music was Petrus de Ibernia. At the age of nineteen Thomas resolved to join the founded Dominican Order. Thomas's change of heart did not please his family. In an attempt to prevent Theodora's interference in Thomas's choice, the Dominicans arranged to move Thomas to Rome, from Rome, to Paris. However, while on his journey to Rome, per Theodora's instructions, his brothers seized him as he was drinking from a spring and took him back to his parents at the castle of Monte San Giovanni Campano. Thomas was held prisoner for one year in the family castles at Monte San Giovanni and Roccasecca in an attempt to prevent him from assuming the Dominican habit and to push him into renouncing his new aspiration. Political concerns prevented the Pope from ordering Thomas's release, which had the effect of extending Thomas's detention. Thomas passed this time of trial tutoring his sisters and communicating with members of the Dominican Order. Family members became desperate to dissuade Thomas.
At one point, two of his brothers resorted to the measure of hiring a prostitute to seduce him. According to legend, Thomas drove her away wielding a fire iron and two angels appeared to him as he slept and strengthened his determination to remain celibate. By 1244, seeing that all of her attempts to dissuade Thomas had failed, Theodora sought to save the family's dignity, arranging for Thomas to escape at night through his window. In her mind, a secret escape from detention was less damaging than an open surrender to the Dominicans. Thomas was sent first to Naples and to Rome to meet Johannes von Wildeshausen, the Master General of the Dominican Order. In 1245 Thomas was sent to study at the Faculty of the Arts at the University of Paris, where he most met Dominican scholar Albertus Magnus the holder of the Chair of Theology at the College of St. James in Paris; when Albertus was sent by his superiors to teach at the new studium generale at Cologne in 1248, Thomas followed him, declining Pope Innocent
Herbert Paul Grice publishing under the name H. P. Grice, H. Paul Grice, or Paul Grice, was a British philosopher of language, whose work on meaning has influenced the philosophical study of semantics, he is known for his theory of implicature. Born and raised in Harborne, in the United Kingdom, he was educated at Clifton College and at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. After a brief period teaching at Rossall School, he went back to Oxford where he taught at St John's College until 1967. In that year, he moved to the United States to take up a professorship at the University of California, where he taught until his death in 1988, he returned to the UK in 1979 to give the John Locke lectures on Aspects of Reason. He reprinted many of his essays and papers in Studies in the Way of Words, he had two children. One of Grice's two most influential contributions to the study of language and communication is his theory of meaning, which he began to develop in his article'Meaning', written in 1948 but published only in 1957 at the prodding of his colleague, P.
F. Strawson. Grice further developed his theory of meaning in the fifth and sixth of his William James lectures on "Logic and Conversation", delivered at Harvard in 1967; these two lectures were published as'Utterer's Meaning and Intentions' in 1969 and'Utterer's Meaning, Sentence Meaning, Word Meaning' in 1968, were collected with the other lectures as the first section of Studies in the Way of Words in 1989. In the 1948 article'Meaning', Grice describes "natural meaning" using the example of "Those spots mean measles." And describes "non-natural meaning" using the example of "John means that he'll be late" or "'Schnee' means'snow'". Grice does not define these two senses of the verb'to mean', does not offer an explicit theory that separates the ideas they're used to express. Instead, he relies on five differences in ordinary language usage to show that we use the word in two different ways. For the rest of'Meaning', in his discussions of meaning in'Logic and Conversation', Grice deals with non-natural meaning.
His overall approach to the study of non-natural meaning came to be called "intention-based semantics", because it attempts to explain non-natural meaning based on the idea of a speakers' intentions. To do this, Grice made two kinds of non-natural meaning: Utterer's meaning: What a speaker means by an utterance. Timeless meaning: The kind of meaning that can be possessed by a type of utterance, such as a word or a sentence; the two steps in intention-based semantics are to define utterer's meaning in terms of speakers' overt audience-directed intentions, to define timeless meaning in terms of utterer's meaning. The net effect is to define all linguistic notions of meaning in purely mental terms, to thus shed psychological light on the semantic realm. Grice tries to accomplish the first step by means of the following definition: A meantNN something by x" is equivalent to "A uttered x with the intention of inducing a belief by means of the recognition of this intention". Grice generalises this definition of speaker meaning in'Meaning' so that it applies to commands and questions, which, he argues, differ from assertions in that the speaker intends to induce an intention rather than a belief.
Grice's initial definition was controversial, gives rise to a variety of counterexamples, so adherents of intention-based semantics—including Grice himself, Stephen Schiffer, Jonathan Bennett, Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson, Stephen Neale—have attempted to improve on it in various ways while keeping the basic idea intact. Grice next turns to the second step in his program: explaining the notion of timeless meaning in terms of the notion of utterer's meaning, he does so tentatively with the following definition: x meansNN that so-and-so" might as a first shot be equated with some statement or disjunction of statements about what "people" intend to effect by x. The basic idea here is that the meaning of a word or sentence results from a regularity in what speakers use the word or sentence to mean. Grice would give a much more detailed theory of timeless meaning in his sixth Logic and Conversation lecture. A more influential attempt to expand on this component of intention-based semantics has been given by Stephen Schiffer.
Grice's most influential contribution to philosophy and linguistics is his theory of implicature, which started in his 1961 article,'The Causal Theory of Perception', was most developed in his 1967 "Logic and Conversation", at Harvard's'William James Lectures'. According to Grice, what a speaker means by an utterance can be divided into what the speaker "says" and what the speaker thereby "implicates". Grice makes it clear that the notion of saying he has in mind, though related to a colloquial sense of the word, is somewhat technical, referring to it as "a favored notion of'saying' that must be further elucidated". Nonetheless, Grice never settled on a full elucidation or definition of his favoured notion of saying, the interpretation of this notion has become a contentious issue in the philosophy of language. One point of controversy surrounding Grice's favoured notion of saying is the connection between it and his concept of ut
In philosophy, empiricism is a theory that states that knowledge comes only or from sensory experience. It is one of several views of epistemology, the study of human knowledge, along with rationalism and skepticism. Empiricism emphasises the role of empirical evidence in the formation of ideas, rather than innate ideas or traditions. However, empiricists may argue. Empiricism in the philosophy of science emphasises evidence as discovered in experiments, it is a fundamental part of the scientific method that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world rather than resting on a priori reasoning, intuition, or revelation. Empiricism used by natural scientists, says that "knowledge is based on experience" and that "knowledge is tentative and probabilistic, subject to continued revision and falsification". Empirical research, including experiments and validated measurement tools, guides the scientific method; the English term empirical derives from the Ancient Greek word ἐμπειρία, cognate with and translates to the Latin experientia, from which the words experience and experiment are derived.
A central concept in science and the scientific method is that it must be empirically based on the evidence of the senses. Both natural and social sciences use working hypotheses that are testable by observation and experiment; the term semi-empirical is sometimes used to describe theoretical methods that make use of basic axioms, established scientific laws, previous experimental results in order to engage in reasoned model building and theoretical inquiry. Philosophical empiricists hold no knowledge to be properly inferred or deduced unless it is derived from one's sense-based experience; this view is contrasted with rationalism, which states that knowledge may be derived from reason independently of the senses. For example, John Locke held that some knowledge could be arrived at through intuition and reasoning alone. Robert Boyle, a prominent advocate of the experimental method, held that we have innate ideas; the main continental rationalists were advocates of the empirical "scientific method".
Vaisheshika darsana, founded by the ancient Indian philosopher Kanada, accepted perception and inference as the only two reliable sources of knowledge. This is enumerated in his work Vaiśeṣika Sūtra; the earliest Western proto-empiricists were the Empiric school of ancient Greek medical practitioners, who rejected the three doctrines of the Dogmatic school, preferring to rely on the observation of phantasiai. The Empiric school was allied with Pyrrhonist school of philosophy, which made the philosophical case for their proto-empiricism; the notion of tabula rasa connotes a view of mind as an blank or empty recorder on which experience leaves marks. This denies; the image dates back to Aristotle: What the mind thinks must be in it in the same sense as letters are on a tablet which bears no actual writing. Aristotle's explanation of how this was possible was not empiricist in a modern sense, but rather based on his theory of potentiality and actuality, experience of sense perceptions still requires the help of the active nous.
These notions contrasted with Platonic notions of the human mind as an entity that pre-existed somewhere in the heavens, before being sent down to join a body on Earth. Aristotle was considered to give a more important position to sense perception than Plato, commentators in the Middle Ages summarized one of his positions as "nihil in intellectu nisi prius fuerit in sensu"; this idea was developed in ancient philosophy by the Stoic school. Stoic epistemology emphasized that the mind starts blank, but acquires knowledge as the outside world is impressed upon it; the doxographer Aetius summarizes this view as "When a man is born, the Stoics say, he has the commanding part of his soul like a sheet of paper ready for writing upon." During the Middle Ages Aristotle's theory of tabula rasa was developed by Islamic philosophers starting with Al Farabi, developing into an elaborate theory by Avicenna and demonstrated as a thought experiment by Ibn Tufail. For Avicenna, for example, the tabula rasa is a pure potentiality, actualized through education, knowledge is attained through "empirical familiarity with objects in this world from which one abstracts universal concepts" developed through a "syllogistic method of reasoning in which observations lead to propositional statements which when compounded lead to further abstract concepts".
The intellect itself develops from a material intellect, a potentiality "that can acquire knowledge to the active intellect, the state of the human intellect in conjunction with the perfect source of knowledge". So the immaterial "active intellect", separate from any individual person, is still essential for understanding to occur. In the 12th century CE the Andalusian Muslim philosopher and novelist Abu Bakr Ibn Tufail included the theory of tabula rasa as a thought experiment in his Arabic philosophical novel, Hayy ibn Yaqdhan in which he depicted the development of the mind of a feral child "from a tabula rasa to that o
Western philosophy is the philosophical thought and work of the Western world. The term refers to the philosophical thinking of Western culture, beginning with Greek philosophy of the pre-Socratics such as Thales and Pythagoras, covering a large area of the globe; the word philosophy itself originated from the Ancient Greek: philosophia "the love of wisdom". The scope of philosophy in the ancient understanding, the writings of the ancient philosophers, were all intellectual endeavors; this included the problems of philosophy. In the pre-Socratic period, ancient philosophers first articulated questions about the "arche" of the universe. Western philosophy is said to begin in the Greek cities of western Asia Minor with Thales of Miletus, active c. 585 BC and was responsible for the opaque dictum, "all is water." His most noted students were Anaximander and Anaximenes of Miletus Pythagoras, from the island of Samos off the coast of Ionia lived in Croton in southern Italy. Pythagoreans hold that "all is number," giving formal accounts in contrast to the previous material of the Ionians.
They believe in metempsychosis, the transmigration of souls, or reincarnation. A key figure in Greek philosophy is Socrates. Socrates studied under several Sophists but transformed Greek philosophy into a branch of philosophy, still pursued today, it is said that following a visit to the Oracle of Delphi he spent much of his life questioning anyone in Athens who would engage him, in order to disprove the oracular prophecy that there would be no man wiser than Socrates. Socrates used a critical approach called the "elenchus" or Socratic method to examine people's views, he aimed to study human things: the good life, justice and virtue. Although Socrates wrote nothing himself, some of his many disciples wrote down his conversations, he was tried for corrupting the impiety by the Greek democracy. He was sentenced to death. Although his friends offered to help him escape from prison, he chose to remain in Athens and abide by his principles, his execution consisted of drinking the poison hemlock and he died in 399 BC.
Plato was a student of Socrates. Plato founded the Academy of Athens and wrote a number of dialogues, which applied the Socratic method of inquiry to examine philosophical problems; some central ideas of Plato's dialogues are the immortality of the soul, the benefits of being just, that evil is ignorance, the Theory of Forms. Forms are universal properties that constitute true reality and contrast with the changeable material things he called "becoming". Aristotle was a pupil of Plato. Aristotle was the first systematic philosopher and scientist, he wrote about physics, zoology, aesthetics, theater, rhetoric and logic. Aristotelian logic was the first type of logic to attempt to categorize every valid syllogism. Aristotle tutored Alexander the Great, who in turn conquered much of the ancient world at a rapid pace. Hellenization and Aristotelian philosophy exercised considerable influence on all subsequent Western and Middle Eastern philosophers, including Hellenistic, Byzantine, Western medieval and Islamic thinkers.
Medieval philosophy is the philosophy of Western Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages extending from the Christianization of the Roman Empire until the Renaissance. Medieval philosophy is defined by the rediscovery and further development of classical Greek and Hellenistic philosophy, by the need to address theological problems and to integrate the widespread sacred doctrines of Abrahamic religion with secular learning. Early medieval philosophy was influenced by the likes of Stoicism, but, above all, the philosophy of Plato himself; some problems discussed throughout this period are the relation of faith to reason, the existence and unity of God, the object of theology and metaphysics, the problems of knowledge, of universals, of individuation. The prominent figure of this period was Augustine of Hippo who adopted Plato's thought and Christianized it in the 4th century and whose influence dominated medieval philosophy up to end of the era but was checked with the arrival of Aristotle's texts.
Augustinianism was the preferred starting point for most philosophers up until the 13th century. The Carolingian Renaissance of the 8th/9th century was fed by Church missionaries travelling from Ireland, most notably John Scotus Eriugena, a Neoplatonic philosopher; the modern university system has roots in the European medieval university, created in Italy and evolved from Catholic Cathedral schools for the clergy during the High Middle Ages. Thomas Aquinas, an academic philosopher and the father of Thomism, was immensely influential in Catholic Europe. Philosophers from the Middle Ages include the Christian philosophers Augustine of Hippo, Anselm, Gilbert de la Porrée, Peter Abelard, Roger Bacon, Thomas Aq
John Dewey was an American philosopher and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey is one of the primary figures associated with the philosophy of pragmatism and is considered one of the fathers of functional psychology. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Dewey as the 93rd most cited psychologist of the 20th century. A well-known public intellectual, he was a major voice of progressive education and liberalism. Although Dewey is known best for his publications about education, he wrote about many other topics, including epistemology, aesthetics, logic, social theory, ethics, he was a major educational reformer for the 20th century. The overriding theme of Dewey's works was his profound belief in democracy, be it in politics, education, or communication and journalism; as Dewey himself stated in 1888, while still at the University of Michigan, "Democracy and the one, ethical ideal of humanity are to my mind synonymous."Known for his advocacy of democracy, Dewey considered two fundamental elements—schools and civil society—to be major topics needing attention and reconstruction to encourage experimental intelligence and plurality.
Dewey asserted that complete democracy was to be obtained not just by extending voting rights but by ensuring that there exists a formed public opinion, accomplished by communication among citizens and politicians, with the latter being accountable for the policies they adopt. John Dewey was born in Vermont to a family of modest means, he was one of four boys born to Lucina Artemisia Rich Dewey. Their second son was named John, but he died in an accident on January 17, 1859; the second John Dewey was born October 20, 1859, forty weeks after the death of his older brother. Like his older, surviving brother, Davis Rich Dewey, he attended the University of Vermont, where he was initiated into Delta Psi, graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1879. A significant professor of Dewey's at the University of Vermont was Henry Augustus Pearson Torrey, the son-in-law and nephew of former University of Vermont president Joseph Torrey. Dewey studied with Torrey between his graduation from Vermont and his enrollment at Johns Hopkins University.
After two years as a high-school teacher in Oil City and one teaching elementary school in the small town of Charlotte, Dewey decided that he was unsuited as a primary or secondary school teacher. After studying with George Sylvester Morris, Charles Sanders Peirce, Herbert Baxter Adams, G. Stanley Hall, Dewey received his Ph. D. from the School of Arts & Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. In 1884, he accepted a faculty position at the University of Michigan with the help of George Sylvester Morris, his unpublished and now lost dissertation was titled "The Psychology of Kant." In 1894 Dewey joined the newly founded University of Chicago where he developed his belief in Rational Empiricism, becoming associated with the newly emerging Pragmatic philosophy. His time at the University of Chicago resulted in four essays collectively entitled Thought and its Subject-Matter, published with collected works from his colleagues at Chicago under the collective title Studies in Logical Theory. During that time Dewey initiated the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where he was able to actualize the pedagogical beliefs that provided material for his first major work on education, The School and Society.
Disagreements with the administration caused his resignation from the university, soon thereafter he relocated near the East Coast. In 1899, Dewey was elected president of the American Psychological Association. From 1904 until his retirement in 1930 he was professor of philosophy at Columbia University. In 1905 he became president of the American Philosophical Association, he was a longtime member of the American Federation of Teachers. Along with the historians Charles A. Beard and James Harvey Robinson, the economist Thorstein Veblen, Dewey is one of the founders of The New School. Dewey's most significant writings were "The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology", a critique of a standard psychological concept and the basis of all his further work. While each of these works focuses on one particular philosophical theme, Dewey included his major themes in most of what he published, he published more than 700 articles in 140 journals, 40 books. Reflecting his immense influence on 20th-century thought, Hilda Neatby wrote "Dewey has been to our age what Aristotle was to the Middle Ages, not a philosopher, but the philosopher."Dewey married Alice Chipma
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher, poet, social critic and religious author, considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He wrote critical texts on organized religion, morality, ethics and the philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor and parables. Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a "single individual", giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment, he was against literary critics who defined idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, thought that Swedenborg, Fichte, Schelling and Hans Christian Andersen were all "understood" far too by "scholars". Kierkegaard's theological work focuses on Christian ethics, the institution of the Church, the differences between purely objective proofs of Christianity, the infinite qualitative distinction between man and God, the individual's subjective relationship to the God-Man Jesus the Christ, which came through faith.
Much of his work deals with Christian love. He was critical of the practice of Christianity as a state religion that of the Church of Denmark, his psychological work explored the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices. Kierkegaard's early work was written under the various pseudonyms that he used to present distinctive viewpoints and to interact with each other in complex dialogue, he explored complex problems from different viewpoints, each under a different pseudonym. He wrote many Upbuilding Discourses under his own name and dedicated them to the "single individual" who might want to discover the meaning of his works. Notably, he wrote: "scholarship want to teach that becoming objective is the way. Christianity teaches that the way is to become subjective, to become a subject." While scientists can learn about the world by observation, Kierkegaard emphatically denied that observation could reveal the inner workings of the world of the spirit. Some of Kierkegaard's key ideas include the concept of "subjective and objective truths", the knight of faith, the recollection and repetition dichotomy, the infinite qualitative distinction, faith as a passion, the three stages on life's way.
Kierkegaard wrote in Danish and the reception of his work was limited to Scandinavia, but by the turn of the 20th century his writings were translated into French and other major European languages. By the mid-20th century, his thought exerted a substantial influence on philosophy and Western culture. Kierkegaard was born to an affluent family in Copenhagen, his mother, Ane Sørensdatter Lund Kierkegaard, had served as a maid in the household before marrying his father, Michael Pedersen Kierkegaard. She was an unassuming figure: quiet and not formally educated, but Henriette Lund, her granddaughter, wrote that she "wielded the sceptre with joy and protected like a hen protecting her chicks", she wielded influence on her children so that Peter said that his brother preserved many of their mother's words in his writings. His father, on the other hand, was a well-to-do wool merchant from Jutland, he was a "very stern man, to all appearances dry and prosaic, but under his'rustic cloak' demeanor he concealed an active imagination which not his great age could blunt".
He was interested in philosophy and hosted intellectuals at his home. The young Kierkegaard read the philosophy of Christian Wolff, he preferred the comedies of Ludvig Holberg, the writings of Georg Johann Hamann, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Edward Young, Plato those referring to Socrates. Copenhagen in the 1830s and 1840s had crooked streets where carriages went. Kierkegaard loved to walk them. In 1848, Kierkegaard wrote, "I had real Christian satisfaction in the thought that, if there were no other, there was one man in Copenhagen whom every poor person could accost and converse with on the street. Our Lady's Church was at one end of the city. At the other end was the Royal Theatre where Fru Heiberg performed. Based on a speculative interpretation of anecdotes in Kierkegaard's unpublished journals a rough draft of a story called "The Great Earthquake", some early Kierkegaard scholars argued that Michael believed he had earned God's wrath and that none of his children would outlive him, he is said to have believed that his personal sins indiscretions such as cursing the name of God in his youth or impregnating Ane out of wedlock, necessitated this punishment.
Though five of his seven children died before he did, both Kierkegaard and his brother Peter Christian Kierkegaard outlived him. Peter, seven years Kierkegaard's elder became bishop in Aalborg. Julia Watkin thought Michael's early interest in the Moravian Church could have led him to a deep sense of the devastating effects of sin. Kierkegaard came to hope that no one would retain their sins though they have been forgiven, and by the same token that no one who believed in the forgiveness of sin would live their own life as an objection against the existence of forgiveness. He made the point; this fear of not finding forgiveness is devastating. Edna H. Hong quoted Kierkegaard in her 1984 book, For
René Descartes was a French philosopher and scientist. A native of the Kingdom of France, he spent about 20 years of his life in the Dutch Republic after serving for a while in the Dutch States Army of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange and the Stadtholder of the United Provinces, he is considered one of the most notable intellectual figures of the Dutch Golden Age. Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy continues to be a standard text at most university philosophy departments. Descartes' influence in mathematics is apparent, he is credited as the father of analytical geometry, the bridge between algebra and geometry, used in the discovery of infinitesimal calculus and analysis. Descartes was one of the key figures in the Scientific Revolution. Descartes refused to accept the authority of previous philosophers, he set his views apart from those of his predecessors. In the opening section of the Passions of the Soul, an early modern treatise on emotions, Descartes goes so far as to assert that he will write on this topic "as if no one had written on these matters before".
His best known philosophical statement is "I think, therefore I am", found in Discourse on the Method and Principles of Philosophy. Many elements of his philosophy have precedents in late Aristotelianism, the revived Stoicism of the 16th century, or in earlier philosophers like Augustine. In his natural philosophy, he differed from the schools on two major points: first, he rejected the splitting of corporeal substance into matter and form. In his theology, he insists on the absolute freedom of God's act of creation. Descartes laid the foundation for 17th-century continental rationalism advocated by Spinoza and Leibniz, was opposed by the empiricist school of thought consisting of Hobbes, Locke and Hume. Leibniz and Descartes were all well-versed in mathematics as well as philosophy, Descartes and Leibniz contributed to science as well. René Descartes was born in La Haye en Touraine, France, on 31 March 1596, his mother, Jeanne Brochard, died soon after giving birth to him, so he was not expected to survive.
Descartes' father, was a member of the Parlement of Brittany at Rennes. René lived with his great-uncle. Although the Descartes family was Roman Catholic, the Poitou region was controlled by the Protestant Huguenots. In 1607, late because of his fragile health, he entered the Jesuit Collège Royal Henry-Le-Grand at La Flèche, where he was introduced to mathematics and physics, including Galileo's work. After graduation in 1614, he studied for two years at the University of Poitiers, earning a Baccalauréat and Licence in canon and civil law in 1616, in accordance with his father's wishes that he should become a lawyer. From there he moved to Paris. In Discourse on the Method, Descartes recalls, I abandoned the study of letters. Resolving to seek no knowledge other than that of which could be found in myself or else in the great book of the world, I spent the rest of my youth traveling, visiting courts and armies, mixing with people of diverse temperaments and ranks, gathering various experiences, testing myself in the situations which fortune offered me, at all times reflecting upon whatever came my way so as to derive some profit from it.
Given his ambition to become a professional military officer, in 1618, Descartes joined, as a mercenary, the Protestant Dutch States Army in Breda under the command of Maurice of Nassau, undertook a formal study of military engineering, as established by Simon Stevin. Descartes, received much encouragement in Breda to advance his knowledge of mathematics. In this way, he became acquainted with Isaac Beeckman, the principal of a Dordrecht school, for whom he wrote the Compendium of Music. Together they worked on free fall, conic section, fluid statics. Both believed that it was necessary to create a method that linked mathematics and physics. While in the service of the Catholic Duke Maximilian of Bavaria since 1619, Descartes was present at the Battle of the White Mountain outside Prague, in November 1620. According to Adrien Baillet, on the night of 10–11 November 1619, while stationed in Neuburg an der Donau, Descartes shut himself in a room with an "oven" to escape the cold. While within, he had three dreams and believed that a divine spirit revealed to him a new philosophy.
However, it is that what Descartes considered to be his second dream was an episode of exploding head syndrome. Upon exiting, he had formulated analytical geometry and the idea of applying the mathematical method to philosophy, he concluded from these visions that the pursuit of science would prove to be, for him, the pursuit of true wisdom and a central part of his life's work. Descartes saw clearly that all truths were linked with one another so that finding a fundamental truth and proceeding with logic would open the way to all science. Descartes discovered this basic truth quite soon: his famous "I think, therefore I am". In 1620 Descartes left the army, he visited Basilica della Santa Casa in Loreto visited various countries before returning to France, during the next few years spent time in Paris. It was there that he compo