What Were Rene Descartes' Discoveries?

Rene Descartes established a modern system of geometry, which described moving matter, and he set forth novel ideas in the field of philosophy. Descartes, born in 1596, earned the nickname "Father of Modern Philosophy," according to authors at Nebraska-Wesleyan University. He broke philosophical ground by discrediting former Aristotelian theories that the foundation for philosophy lay in emotion; rather than senses, Descartes asserted, philosophical explanations were based on science.

Descartes was born into an aristocratic family in France near the turn of the 17th century. He studied the subjects of math, science and philosophy in school, and ultimately introduced novel concepts in all three. After college, Descartes received a law degree from the University of Poiters. Initially, Descartes pursued work in the field of mathematics. His focus on geometry led to the publication of "La Geometrie," an influential work that explored the connections between algebra, geometry and philosophy.

In 1619, a series of dreams sparked his transition to science, note authors at the Nebraska-Wesleyan University. Descartes studied motion, ultimately showing the movement of matter. He generated novel thoughts on inertia and the movement of elements on Earth and in the atmosphere.

Descartes introduced the phrase "I think, therefore I am," which explores the connection between thought and rationale, and later tackled the philosophical concept of the substantive human mind.