René Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. Descartes has been heralded as the first modern philosopher. He was extensively educated, first at a Jesuit college at age 8, then earning a law degree at 22, but an influential teacher set him on a course to apply mathematics and logic to understanding the natural world. Insightful Rene Descartes quotes will inspire you to explore new thoughts regarding life, self, philosophy, and more.
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Most Famous Rene Descartes Quotes
To live without philosophizing is in truth the same as keeping the eyes closed without attempting to open them. Descartes
I think; therefore I am. Rene Descartes
There is nothing so strange and so unbelievable that it has not been said by one philosopher or another.Descartes
It is only prudent never to place complete confidence in that by which we have even once been deceived. Rene Descartes
In order to seek truth, it is necessary once in the course of our life to doubt, as far as possible, of all things. Descartes
Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power. Rene Descartes
Truths will be discovered by an individual rather than a whole people. Descartes
But in my opinion, all things in nature occur mathematically. Rene Descartes
The first precept was never to accept a thing as true until I knew it as such without a single doubt. Descartes
The thinking of the mind is twofold: understanding and willing. Rene Descartes
One cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another. Descartes
Those who reason most powerfully and are the most successful at ordering their thoughts so as to make them clear and intelligible will always be best able to persuade others of what they say, even if they speak in the thickest of dialects. Rene Descartes
We do not describe the world we see, we see the world we can describe. Descartes
It cannot be denied that he has had many exceptional ideas, and that he is a highly intelligent man. For my part, however, I have always been taught to take a broad overview of things, in order to be able to deduce from them general rules, which might be applicable elsewhere Rene Descartes
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. Descartes
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. Rene Descartes
To live without philosophizing is in truth the same as keeping the eyes closed without attempting to open them. Descartes.
The very desire to seek the truth often causes people, who do not know how it should be sought correctly, to make judgments about things that they do not perceive and in that way they make mistakes. Rene Descartes
It is in the nature of our mind to construct general propositions on the basis of our knowledge of particular ones. Descartes
It is useful to know something of the manners of different nations, that we may be enabled to form a more correct judgment regarding our own, and be prevented from thinking that everything contrary to our customs is ridiculous and irrational, a conclusion usually come to by those whose experience has been limited to their own country. Rene Descartes
Our convictions result from custom and example very much more than from any knowledge that is certain. Descartes
Hope is the desire of the soul to be convinced that the dream will come true. Rene Descartes
There is nothing more ancient than the truth. Descartes
We do not see the world we see, we see the world we can describe. Rene Descartes
When it is not in our power to follow what is true, we ought to follow what is most probable. Descartes
Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it. Rene Descartes
An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out? Descartes
Moreover, I am aware that most of the irreligious deny the existence of God, and the distinctness of the human soul from the body, for no other reason than because these points, as they allege, have never as yet been demonstrated. Rene Descartes
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. Descartes
I undertook to conquer myself rather than fortune, and to alter my desires rather than change the order of the world, and to accustom myself to believe that nothing is entirely in our power except our own thoughts. Rene Descartes
God’ created both myself and everything else. Descartes
It is enough that I can understand one thing, clearly and distinctly, without another in order to be certain that one thing is distinct from the other. Rene Descartes
By God I understand, a substance which is infinite, independent, supremely intelligent, supremely powerful. Descartes
It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well. It is not good enough to have good talent, the main thing is to apply it well. Rene Descartes
The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries. Descartes
Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it. Rene Descartes
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. Descartes
Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.
With me, everything turns into mathematics. Descartes
Common sense is the most widely shared commodity in the world, for every man is convinced that he is well supplied with it.
I paid special attention to Arithmetic and Geometry. Descartes
In order to seek truth, it is necessary once in the course of our life to doubt, as far as possible, of all things.
But in my opinion, all things in nature occur mathematically. Descartes
Bad books engender bad habits, but bad habits engender good books.
The two operations of our understanding, intuition and deduction, on which alone we have said we must rely in the acquisition of knowledge. Descartes
Let whoever can do so deceive me, he will never bring it about that I am nothing, so long as I continue to think I am something.
Perfect numbers like perfect men are very rare. Descartes
I took especially great pleasure in mathematics because of the certainty and the evidence of its arguments.
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. Descartes
The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as of the greatest virtues.
Mathematics is a more powerful instrument of knowledge than any other that has been bequeathed to us by human agency. Descartes
Truths are more likely to have been discovered by one man than by nation
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. Descartes
There is nothing more ancient than the truth.
For me, everything in nature is mathematics. Descartes
It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.
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. Descartes
I desire to live in peace and to continue the life I have begun under the motto ‘to live well you must live unseen
Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems. Descartes
It is best not to go on for great quest for truth , it will only make you miserable
The French scientist thought the main thing and one of the most important things to use apart from common sense. The mathematician also said reading of all good books was like having conversation with the finest people. Regarding mistakes, he also said that You just keep pushing. I made every mistake that could be made.
The last rule was to make enumerations so complete, and reviews so comprehensive, that I should be certain of omitting nothing.
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. Descartes
The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries.
We never understand a thing so well, and make it our own, as when we have discovered it for ourselves. Descartes
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.
Everything is self evident. Descartes
We must in the end acknowledge the infirmity of our nature
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. Descartes
The will determines itself; it should not be described as blind, any more than vision should be described as deaf.
It is true that medicine as it is currently practiced contains little of much use. Descartes
At last I will devote myself sincerely and without reservation to the general demolition of my opinions
Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it. Descartes
Each problem that I solved became a rule, which served afterwards to solve other problems.
Give me extension and motion and I will construct the universe.
Conquer yourself rather than the world.
The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as of the greatest virtues. Descartes
It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well
Doubt everything. Descartes
Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has.
The chief cause of human errors is to be found in the prejudices picked up in childhood. Descartes
Mind and soul of the man is entirely different from the body.
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. Descartes
On the other hand, I compared the disquisitions of the ancient moralists to very towering and magnificent palaces with no better foundation than sand and mud
Conquer yourself rather than the world. Descartes
You just keep pushing. You just keep pushing. I made every mistake that could be made. But I just kept pushing.
I am accustomed to sleep and in my dreams to imagine the same things that lunatics imagine when awake. Descartes
Common sense is the best distributed commodity in the world, for every man is convinced that he is well supplied with it.
Illusory joy is often worth more than genuine sorrow. Descartes
I am accustomed to sleep and in my dreams to imagine the same things that lunatics imagine when awake.
But possibly I am something more than I suppose myself to be. Descartes
To know what people really think, pay attention to what they do, rather than what they say.
To know what people really think, pay attention to what they do, rather than what they say. Descartes
Certainly no one can deny that we have such an idea of God in ourselves unless they think that there is no knowledge at all of God in human minds.
When writing about transcendental issues, be transcendentally clear. Descartes
It is prudent never to trust those who have deceived us, even if only once.
Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power. Descartes
The first precept was never to accept a thing as true until I knew it as such without a single doubt.
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. Descartes.