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René Descartes
French philosopher and mathematician
(1596-1650)



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The reading of books is like a conversation with the best men of past centuries -- in fact like a prepared conversation, in which they reveal only the best of their thoughts.
-- Le Discours de la méthode (Discourse on Method) (1637), part 1

Common sense is the best distributed commodity in the world, for every man is convinced that he is well-supplied with it.
-- Le Discours de la méthode (Discourse on Method) (1637), part 1

Since my present aim was to give myself up to the pursuit of truth alone, I thought I must ... reject as if absolutely false anything as to which I could imagine the least doubt, in order to see if I should not be left at the end believing something that was absolutely indubitable.
-- Le Discours de la méthode (Discourse on Method ) (1637)

I noticed that while I was trying to think everything false, it must needs be that I, who was thinking this, was something.
-- Le Discours de la méthode (Discourse on Method ) (1637)

I think, therefore I am.
-- Le Discours de la méthode (Discourse on Method) (1637), part 4

I could not possibly exist with the nature that I actually have, that is, one endowed with the idea of God, unless there really is a God; the very God, I mean, of whom I have an idea.
-- Meditationes (Meditations) (2nd ed., 1642), part 3


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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