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René Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician, physicist, and writer who spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic. He has been dubbed the "Father of Modern Philosophy", and much of subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which continue to be studied closely to this day. In particular, his Meditations on First Philosophy continues to be a standard text at most university philosophy departments. Descartes' influence in mathematics is also apparent, the Cartesian coordinate system—allowing geometric shapes to be expressed in algebraic equations—being named after him. He is credited as the father of analytical geometry. Descartes was also one of the key figures in the Scientific Revolution.



René Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician, physicist, and writer who spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic. He has been dubbed the "Father of Modern Philosophy", and much of subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which continue to be studied closely to this day. In particular, his Meditations on First Philosophy continues to be a standard text at most university philosophy departments. Descartes' influence in mathematics is also apparent, the Cartesian coordinate system—allowing geometric shapes to be expressed in algebraic equations—being named after him. He is credited as the father of analytical geometry. Descartes was also one of the key figures in the Scientific Revolution.
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Aristotle, Greek Philosopher
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and scientist. At eighteen, he joined Plato's Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of thirtyseven (c. 347 BC). His writings cover many subjects – including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic... 






Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo was an early Christian theologian and philosopher from Numidia whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in north Africa and is viewed as one of the... 






Michel de Montaigne, "What do I know?"
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Lord of Montaigne was one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre. His work is noted for its merging of casual anecdotes and autobiography with s... 






Frans Hals, Dutch Portraitist
Frans Hals was the great 17thcentury portraitist of the Dutch bourgeoisie of Haarlem, where he spent practically all his life. Hals evolved a technique that was close to impressionism in its looseness, and he painted with increasing freedom as he gr... 






Willebrord Snellius, Mathematician
Willebrord Snellius was a Dutch astronomer and mathematician, known in the Englishspeaking world as Snell. In the west, especially the English speaking countries, his name has been attached to the law of refraction of light for several centuries, bu... 






Thomas Hobbes, Philosopher
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy. His 1651 book Leviathan established the foundation for most of Western political philosophy from the perspective of social contract theory.... 






Pierre Gassendi, French Scientist
Pierre Gassendi was a French philosopher, priest, scientist, astronomer/astrologer, and mathematician, best known for attempting to reconcile Epicurean atomism with Christianity and for publishing the first official observations of the Transit of Mer... 






Constantijn Huygens, Poet / Composer
Constantijn Huygens was a Dutch poet and composer, Secretary to two Princes, and the father of the scientist Christiaan Huygens. He is often considered a member of what is known as the Muiderkring, a group of leading intellectuals gathered around Pie... 






Pierre de Fermat, French Mathematician
Pierre de Fermat was a French lawyer at the Parlement of Toulouse, France, and a mathematician who is given credit for early developments that led to modern calculus. In particular, he is recognised for his discovery of an original method of finding... 






Christiaan Huygens, Dutch Scientist
Christiaan Huygens was a prominent Dutch mathematician and scientist. He is known particularly as an astronomer, physicist, probabilist and horologist.
Huygens was a leading scientist of his time. His work included early telescopic studies of the... 






Baruch Spinoza, Dutch Rationalist Philosopher
Baruch Spinoza was a Dutch philosopher of Sephardi/Portuguese origin. By laying the groundwork for the 18thcentury Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism, including modern conceptions of the self and the universe, he came to be considered one o... 






John Locke, Father of Classical Liberalism
John Locke was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and known as the "Father of Classical Liberalism". Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition o... 






Gottfried W. Leibniz, Discovery of Calculus
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz was a German mathematician and philosopher. He occupies a prominent place in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy.
Leibniz developed calculus independently of Isaac Newton, and Leibniz's mathematic... 






Johann Bernoulli, Mathematician
Johann Bernoulli was a Swiss mathematician and was one of the many prominent mathematicians in the Bernoulli family. He is known for his contributions to infinitesimal calculus and educated Leonhard Euler in his youth. Throughout Johann Bernoulli’s e... 






George Berkeley, Philosopher "Esse is Percipi"
George Berkeley was one of the three most famous (Locke and Hume) eighteenth century British Empiricists. He is best known for his motto, esse is percipi, to be is to be perceived.
He was an idealist: everything that exists is either a mind or de... 






Pierre Louis Maupertuis, Mathematician
PierreLouis Moreau de Maupertuis was a French mathematician, philosopher and man of letters. He became the Director of the Académie des Sciences, and the first President of the Berlin Academy of Science, at the invitation of Frederick the Great. Mau... 






Euler, Mathematician and Physicist
Leonhard Euler was a pioneering Swiss mathematician and physicist. He made important discoveries in fields as diverse as infinitesimal calculus and graph theory. He also introduced much of the modern mathematical terminology and notation, particularl... 






David Hume, Scottish Philosopher
David Hume was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist known especially for his philosophical empiricism and scepticism. He was one of the most important figures in the Scottish Enlightenment, and in the history of Western philosop... 






JeanJacques Rousseau, Writer, Philosopher
As a brilliant, undisciplined, and unconventional thinker, JeanJacques Rousseau spent most of his life being driven by controversy back and forth between Paris and his native Geneva. Rousseau first attracted widespread attention with his prizewinn... 



















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