As a student he was brilliant but psychologically tormented. From the s on, Foucault was very active politically. He frequently lectured outside France, particularly in the United States, and in had agreed to teach annually at the University of California at Berkeley.
In Discourse on the MethodDescartes recalls, I entirely abandoned the study of letters. Resolving to seek no knowledge other than that of which could be found in myself or else in the great book of the world, I spent the rest of my youth traveling, visiting courts and armies, mixing with people of diverse temperaments and ranks, gathering various experiences, testing myself in the situations which fortune offered me, and at all times reflecting upon whatever came my way so as to derive some profit from it.
Given his ambition to become a professional military officer, inDescartes joined, as a mercenarythe Protestant Dutch States Army in Breda under the command of Maurice of Nassau and undertook a formal study of military engineeringas established by Simon Stevin.
Descartes, therefore, received much encouragement in Breda to advance his knowledge of mathematics.
Together they worked on free fallcatenaryconic sectionand fluid statics. Both believed that it was necessary to create a method that thoroughly linked mathematics and physics. While within, he had three dreams  and believed that a divine spirit revealed to him a new philosophy.
However, it is likely that what Descartes considered to be his second dream was actually an episode of exploding head syndrome. Descartes discovered this basic truth quite soon: He visited Basilica della Santa Casa in Loreto, then visited various countries before returning to France, and during the next few years spent time in Paris.
It was there that he composed his first essay on method: Descartes returned to the Dutch Republic in In Amsterdam, he had a relationship with a servant girl, Helena Jans van der Strom, with whom he had a daughter, Francinewho was born in in Deventer.
She died of scarlet fever at the age of 5. Nevertheless, in he published part of this work  in three essays: The first was never to accept anything for true which I did not clearly know to be such; that is to say, carefully to avoid precipitancy and prejudice, and to comprise nothing more in my judgment than what was presented to my mind so clearly and distinctly as to exclude all ground of doubt.
In he published a metaphysics work, Meditationes de Prima Philosophia Meditations on First Philosophywritten in Latin and thus addressed to the learned. InCartesian philosophy was condemned at the University of Utrecht, and Descartes was obliged to flee to the Hague, and settled in Egmond-Binnen.
Descartes began through Alfonso Polloti, an Italian general in Dutch service a long correspondence with Princess Elisabeth of Bohemiadevoted mainly to moral and psychological subjects.
This edition Descartes also dedicated to Princess Elisabeth. In the preface to the French editionDescartes praised true philosophy as a means to attain wisdom. He identifies four ordinary sources to reach wisdom and finally says that there is a fifth, better and more secure, consisting in the search for first causes.
She was interested in and stimulated Descartes to publish the " Passions of the Soul ", a work based on his correspondence with Princess Elisabeth.
There, Chanut and Descartes made observations with a Torricellian barometer, a tube with mercury. Challenging Blaise PascalDescartes took the first set of barometric readings in Stockholm to see if atmospheric pressure could be used in forecasting the weather.A brief discussion of the life and works of Rene Descartes, with links to electronic texts and additional information.
Western philosophy, history of Western philosophy from its development among the ancient Greeks to the present.. This article has three basic purposes: (1) to provide an overview of the history of philosophy in the West, (2) to relate philosophical ideas and movements to their historical background and to the cultural history of their time, and (3) to trace the changing conception of the.
Hellenistic Monarchs down to the Roman Empire. The Hellenistic Age suffers from some of the same disabilities as Late Antiquity, i.e. it doesn't measure up to the brilliance of the Golden Age of Greece and of late Republican and early Imperial Rome.
Michel Foucault (–) was a French historian and philosopher, associated with the structuralist and post-structuralist movements.
He has had strong influence not only (or even primarily) in philosophy but also in a wide range of humanistic and social scientific disciplines.
John Stuart Mill (–73) was the most influential English language philosopher of the nineteenth century. He was a naturalist, a utilitarian, and a liberal, whose work explores the consequences of a thoroughgoing empiricist outlook.
Dec 10, · Who's bigger: Washington or Lincoln? Hitler or Napoleon? Charles Dickens or Jane Austen? That depends on how you look at it. When we set out to rank the significance of historical figures, we decided to not approach the project the way historians might, through a .