60+ Best Rene Descartes Quotes: Exclusive Selection

René Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. Profoundly inspirational Rene Descartes quotes will get you through anything when the going gets tough and help you succeed in every aspect of life.

Famous Rene Descartes Quotes

The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as of the greatest virtues.

Because reason is the only thing that makes us men, and distinguishes us from the beasts, I would prefer to believe that it exists, in its entirety, in each of us.

But possibly I am something more than I suppose myself to be.

The two operations of our understanding, intuition and deduction, on which alone we have said we must rely in the acquisition of knowledge.

We never understand a thing so well, and make it our own, as when we have discovered it for ourselves.

When writing about transcendental issues, be transcendentally clear.

One cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another.

Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it.

When I was examining what I was, I realized that I could pretend that I had no body… but I could not pretend in the same way that I did not exist.

I also considered how the same person, with the same mind, who was brought up from infancy either among the French or the Germans, becomes different from what they would have been if they had always lived among the Chinese or among the cannibals.

The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries.

The first precept was never to accept a thing as true until I knew it as such without a single doubt.

Among all those who up to this time made discoveries in the sciences, it was the mathematicians alone who had been able to arrive at demonstrations.

An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?

To live without philosophizing is in truth the same as keeping the eyes closed without attempting to open them.

There is nothing so strange and so unbelievable that it has not been said by one philosopher or another.

Give me extension and motion and I will construct the universe.

For me, everything in nature is mathematics.

With me, everything turns into mathematics.

In order to seek truth, it is necessary once in the course of our life to doubt, as far as possible, of all things.

If I found any new truths in the sciences, I can say that they follow from, or depend on, five or six principal problems which I succeeded in solving and which I regard as so many battles where the fortunes of war were on my side.

It is only prudent never to place complete confidence in that by which we have even once been deceived.

We do not describe the world we see, we see the world we can describe.

Even the mind depends so much on temperament and the disposition of one’s bodily organs that, if it is possible to find a way to make people generally wiser and more skillful than they have been in the past, I believe that we should look for it in medicine.

There is nothing more ancient than the truth.

These long chains of perfectly simple and easy reasonings by means of which geometers are accustomed to carry out their most difficult demonstrations had led me to fancy that everything that can fall under human knowledge forms a similar sequence.

Conquer yourself rather than the world.

If we possessed a thorough knowledge of all the parts of the seed of any animal, we could from that alone deduce the whole conformation and figure of each of its members.

Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it.

By ‘God’, I understand, a substance which is infinite, independent, supremely intelligent, supremely powerful.

Illusory joy is often worth more than genuine sorrow.

I paid special attention to Arithmetic and Geometry.

To know what people really think, pay attention to what they do, rather than what they say.

But in my opinion, all things in nature occur mathematically.

I am accustomed to sleep and in my dreams to imagine the same things that lunatics imagine when awake.

It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.

‘God’ created both myself and everything else.

Mathematics is a more powerful instrument of knowledge than any other that has been bequeathed to us by human agency.

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.

I hope that posterity will judge me kindly, not only as to the things which I have explained, but also to those which I have intentionally omitted so as to leave to others the pleasure of discovery.

It is in the nature of our mind to construct general propositions on the basis of our knowledge of particular ones.

Everything is self-evident.

Perfect numbers like perfect men are very rare.

Our convictions result from custom and example very much more than from any knowledge that is certain.

I am indeed amazed when I consider how weak my mind is and how prone to error.

I could not possibly be of such a nature as I am, and yet have in my mind the idea of a God, if God did not in reality exist.

Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.

Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems.

Doubt everything.

The chief cause of human errors is to be found in the prejudices picked up in childhood.

Traveling is almost like talking with those of other centuries.

When it is not in our power to follow what is true, we ought to follow what is most probable.

It is true that medicine as it is currently practiced contains little of much use.

Truths will be discovered by an individual rather than a whole people.

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