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( The French philosopher and naturalist)

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Biography DESCARTES Pene
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Descartes was born March 31, 1596 in Lae (now Lae-Descartes) in the province of Touraine (on the border of Poitou) in the family landed gentry Joachim Descartes, an adviser to the parliament of Brittany. About his childhood and youth, little is known of Descartes, . mainly from his works, . in particular from the Discourse on Method, . correspondence and biographies, . written by Adrian Baillet, . correctness of the data which was subjected, . one hand, . criticism, . on the other - was protected by later historians,
. For the early life of Descartes, it is important that he attended the Jesuit college organized by La Flц¬che in the province of Anjou, which was issued in 1604 (according to Baye) or 1606 (according to modern historians), and where he spent more than eight years. There, . Descartes wrote in Discourses, . he found, . how little we know, . while in mathematics the case in this sense actually better, . than in any other field, he also realized, . that for the detection truth must abandon reliance on the authority, . belonging to the tradition or present day, . and not take anything for granted, . until it is finally proven,
. Descartes - successor of the great intellectual heritage of the Greeks, who was in oblivion in the Roman era and Middle Ages. Ideas of the Greeks began to emerge several centuries before Descartes, but it had they regained their original luster.

It was some time before the views of Descartes finally took shape and were published. In 1616 he received a Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of Poitiers (where he studied law and medicine), but subsequently never practiced law. At age 20, arrived in Paris Descartes, . and from there went to Holland, . where in 1618 enlisted in the Protestant army, . a year later was sent under the command of Moritz Orange (Nassau), . then joined the army of the Duke of Bavaria Maximilian I,
. As a hired officer, traveled to Germany, Austria, Italy and, apparently, also in Denmark, Poland and Hungary. Then he returned to Paris and began to write his works.

Descartes immediately confronted with a practical problem: how to make the rejection of authority and tradition were not in the eyes of the public rejection of ethics and religion, and how not to turn itself into an enemy in the eyes of the Catholic Church. This problem got even more acute when the Inquisition condemned Galileo's Dialogue (1633). Descartes, . who lived at that time in Holland, . worked on product, . now known as World, . or a Treatise on the world (Le Monde, . ou Trait de la Lumire, . published in 1664), . which agrees with the teachings of Galileo, but because of what happened postponed work on the book, . considering it (as follows from his correspondence) dangerous,
. After this, Descartes began to come only in countries with a high degree of intellectual freedom: in the Netherlands, which became his second home and where he moved in 1628, Britain and Sweden. But even in Protestant Holland, he suffered a kind of religious persecution by the Dutch Huguenot. Descartes in every way tried to persuade the Catholic Church in the good intentions of his philosophy, and even that it should be adopted as the official doctrine of the church. Although his efforts in this direction were not successful, they seem to for some time restrained disapproving reaction of the church.

As a kind of recluse (following the motto 'Bene vixit, bene qui latuit', 'He lived a happy, who are well hid'), Descartes devoted time, a narrow circle of friends and in-depth development of their scientific, philosophical and mathematical theories. His first published work, Discourse on Method, only appeared in 1637, but thanks to her and subsequent works, he won fame in Europe. In 1649 Descartes moved to Stockholm, to instruct in the principles of Cartesianism Queen Christina of Sweden, at her request. Having the habit of spending the morning in bed, Descartes was forced to stand in the winter in the middle of the night and get to the royal palace, overcoming the considerable distance. Returning once from the lessons appointed for five in the morning, he caught cold and died of pneumonia on the ninth day of illness on Feb. 11, 1650. Sixteen years later, Descartes' remains were moved to France, and his ashes now rest in the church of Saint-Germain-des-Pres in Paris.

Aim of Descartes was the description of nature by mathematical laws. The main ideas of the philosopher is scheduled in the first published work - Discourse on Method to correctly guide your mind and find the truth in the sciences (Discours de la Mthode pour bien conduire la Raison, & chercher la Verit dans les Sciences. Plus La Dioptrique, Les Mtores et La Gomtrie, qui font des effaies de sette Mthode) with the application of the method in the treatises Dioptrics, Meteors, and Geometry. It Descartes proposed a method which, he claimed, can solve any problem amenable to solution by means of human reason and the available facts. Unfortunately, this formulation of the method is very concise. The claim is supported by examples of the results obtained using the method, and although Descartes makes a few mistakes, it should be noted that these results were obtained in many areas and for a very short period of time.

In the Discourse the central problem of metaphysics - the ratio of consciousness and matter - received a decision which, true or false, remains the most influential doctrine of the New Age. In the argument also addressed the issue of circulation; Descartes accepts the theory of William Harvey, . but mistakenly concludes, . that the reason for the reduction of the heart is the warmth, . which is concentrated in the heart and blood vessels to be communicated to all parts of the body, . as well as the movement of blood,
. In Dioptrics he formulates the law of refraction of light, explains the functioning of normal eyes and eyes with defects, acting as a lens, telescopes (telescopes and microscopes), and develops the theory of optical surfaces. Descartes formulated the idea of 'wave' theory of light and makes an attempt to 'vector' analysis of movement (light, for Descartes, there is a 'desire to move'). He develops the theory of spherical aberration - image distortion, . caused by the spherical shape of the lens, . - And points, . how it can be corrected, explains, . how to install brighter Telescope, . opens the principles of operation of the, . that in the future will be called iris, . as well as the seeker for the telescope, . hyperbolic surface with a specific parameter to improve the brightness of the image (later called 'mirror Liberkyuna'), . condenser (plano-convex lens) and structures, . allowing for subtle movements of the microscope,
. In the next application, Meteor, Descartes rejects the notion of heat as the liquid (m. n. 'caloric' fluid) and formulates the essence of the kinetic theory of heat, it also puts forward the idea of the specific heat, . according to which each substance has its own measure of obtaining and maintaining heat, . and suggested the wording of the law and the ratio of the gas temperature (later called the law of Charles),
. Descartes presents the first modern theory of the winds, clouds and precipitation; gives a true and detailed description and explanation of the phenomenon of the rainbow. In geometry, he is developing a new field of mathematics - analytic geometry by combining pre-existing separate disciplines of algebra and geometry, and solving problems through this one and the other field. Of his ideas later arises the main achievement of modern times mathematics - differential and integral calculus, which were invented by Gottfried Leibniz and Isaac Newton and became a mathematical basis of classical physics

. If those achievements were actually the product of a new method, . that Descartes has the most convincing way to prove its effectiveness, but in the argument contains very little information about the method, . if you do not take advice not to take anything for truth, . There is no proven, . divide every problem into as many parts, . as much as possible, . have thought in a certain order, . from simple to complex and changing, . and to do lists everywhere so complete and reviews so pervasive, . to be sure, . that nothing is missing,
. A much more detailed description of the method of Descartes was going to give in his treatise Rules for the Direction of the mind (Regulae ad directionem ingenii), . which remained unfinished half (Descartes worked on it in 1628-1629) and was issued only after the death of the philosopher,

. The philosophy of Descartes, . usually called Cartesianism, . summarized in Discourse, . a more complete form - in his thoughts on first philosophy (Meditationes de prima philosophia in qua Dei existentia et Animae immortalitas demonstratur, . 1641, second edition with Objectiones Septimae, . 1642; Paris edition in French, as amended Descartes in 1647) and with a slightly different point of view in the initial philosophy (Principia philosophiae, . 1644, French translation 1647),

Sensory experience can not provide certain knowledge, because we are often faced with the illusions and hallucinations, but the world we perceive through the senses, it may be a dream. Are not reliable and our arguments, because we are not free from errors, in addition, the argument is deducing conclusions from premises, and for as long as there is no credible assumptions, we can not rely on the authenticity of the.

Skepticism, of course, existed before Descartes, and these arguments were already known to the Greeks. There were different answers to the skeptical objections. However, Descartes first proposed to use skepticism as a research tool. His skepticism - not doctrine, and the method. After Descartes among philosophers, scientists and historians became widespread wariness is insufficient justification for the ideas, no matter what source they may have: tradition, authority, or the personal characteristics of expressing their rights.

Methodological skepticism, therefore, constitutes only the first step. Descartes believed that if we knew absolutely reliable first principles, then we could deduce from them all other knowledge. Therefore, the search of reliable knowledge is the second stage of his philosophy. Reliability Descartes discovers only in the knowledge of his own existence: cogito, ergo sum ( 'I think therefore I exist'). Descartes thinks: I have no certain knowledge of the existence of my body because I could be an animal or who left the body in spirit, dreaming that he is a man, but my mind, my experience, there certainly and clearly. The contents of thoughts or beliefs may be false and even absurd, but the fact of thinking and beliefs is valid. If, however, I doubt that thought, at least authentically that I doubt.

Descartes's thesis that we have absolutely certain knowledge about the existence of self-consciousness, recognized by all thinkers of modern times (although the question was raised about the reliability of knowledge about our past). However, there is a difficult question: can we be sure, . everything else, . which we obviously are facing, . is not merely a product of our mind? The vicious circle of solipsism ( 'I' can only know itself) was logically inevitable, . and we are faced with a so-called,
. problem of egocentrism. This problem is becoming more significant as the development of philosophy of empiricism, and reaches its culminating point in the philosophy of Kant

. Contrary to expectations, . Descartes does not use a credible argument as large parcels of deductive inference, and to obtain new evidence; thesis requires him to, . to say, . that because we have this truth, not through the senses or deduction from other truths, . then there must be some method, . which allowed us to get it,
. This, says Descartes, the method of clear and distinct ideas. The fact that we conceive clearly and distinctly must be true. Descartes explains the meaning of 'clarity' and 'distinctiveness' in the initial (h. 1, n. 45): 'I'm A clear exactly what has clearly heeded the mind is revealed, just as we say that we can clearly see objects koi sufficiently visible to our eye and affect our eye. Pronounced as I call it that sharply separated from everything else that does not contain absolutely nothing that would not see a clear to anyone who considers it properly '. Thus, according to Descartes, knowledge depends on intuition as well as from the senses and mind. In reliance on intuition (which is understood and Descartes himself) lies the risk: arguing on intuitive knowledge (clear and distinct idea), we really can not deal with prejudice and a vague idea. In the development of philosophy since Descartes' intuition of clear and distinct ideas are attributed to reason. The emphasis on clarity and distinctness receives the name of rationalism, and the emphasis on sensory perception - empiricism, which is generally denied the role of intuition. The followers of Descartes - especially okkazionalisty Nicolas Malebranche and Arnold Geylinks, and Spinoza and Leibniz - belong to the rationalist, John Locke, George Berkeley and David Hume - to the empiricist.

At this point Descartes stops to point to a gap in their arguments and attempt to fill. Do not make mistakes if we, . calling a clear and distinct, . that invites us to be so powerful, . but an evil creature (genius malignus), . which is a pleasure mislead us? Perhaps, . as well, and yet we are not mistaken about their own existence, . in that we do not disappoint even the 'almighty liar',
. However, the two omnipotent beings can not be, and therefore, if there is an omnipotent and good God, the possibility of deception excluded.

And Descartes goes to prove the existence of God, is not offering any particularly original ideas. It is traditionally ontological proof: the very idea of the perfect thing, it follows that this thing really exists, because a perfect being must possess, among an infinite number of other perfections, the perfection of existence. According to another form of ontological argument (which more properly should be called the cosmological proof), . I, . exists a finite, . could not have the idea of perfection, . which (as the great may not be small as their reasons) could not be made from our experience, . in which we meet only with imperfect beings, . and could not be invented by us, . imperfect beings, . but was invested in us by God directly, . apparently, . likewise, . how artisan puts his mark on their products manufactured,
. Further proof - the cosmological argument that God must be a reason for our existence. The fact that I exist, can not be explained by the fact that I brought into the world my parents. First, they made it through their bodies, but my mind or my I can hardly be attributed to causes bodily nature. Secondly, the explanation of my existence through their parents does not solve the fundamental problem of the ultimate cause, which can only be God Himself.

The existence of good God almighty refutes the hypothesis of a deceiver, and therefore we can trust our abilities and efforts, which should lead to the truth in their correct application. Before proceeding to the next level of thinking for Descartes, dwell on the notion of natural light (lumen naturalis, or lumiere naturelle), intuition. For him, it does not make some exceptions to the laws of nature. Rather, it is part of nature. Although Descartes never gives clarification to this concept, he supposed, God creating the universe, had a certain plan that is fully embodied in the universe as a whole and in part - in its separate parts. This plan is also embedded in the human mind, so that the mind can know nature, and even have a priori knowledge about nature, because the mind and objectively existing nature are reflections of the same divine plan.

So, let's continue: I am sure that we can trust our abilities, we come to understand that the matter exists, because our ideas about it are clear and distinct. Matter length, takes place in space, moves, or moves in this space. This essential properties of matter. All other properties are secondary. Likewise, the essence of mind is thinking, rather than extension, so the mind and matter are completely different. Consequently, the universe is dualistic, ie. consists of two not dissimilar substances: the spiritual and physical.

Dualistic philosophy was faced with three difficulties: the ontological, cosmological and epistemological. They discussed the thinkers who developed the ideas of Descartes.

First of all, knowledge consists of establishing the identity of the seeming diversity, so the duality of the positing a fundamentally fatal inflicted blow to the spirit of philosophy. There were attempts to reduce the dualism to monism, ie. deny one of the two substances, or admit the existence of a single substance, which would have been both mind and matter. Thus okkazionalisty argued that because the mind and body are inherently incapable of influencing one another, the apparent 'causes', which we observe in nature are the result of direct intervention of God. This position was the logical conclusion in the system of Spinoza. It is hard to believe God with something other than the Supreme Intelligence, so either God and matter are dichotomously divided, or the matter amounts to the ideas of God himself (as in Berkeley). The problem of monism and dualism is central to the philosophy of 17-18 century.

The existence of matter as an autonomous, independent from the spirit of the substance leads to the assumption that its laws can be formulated in a comprehensive manner in terms of space and time. It is customary for the physical sciences assumption is useful for its development, but ultimately leads to contradictions. If, . According to the hypothesis, . spatial-temporal-material system is self-sufficient, . and its own laws, completely determine its behavior, . inevitable collapse of the Universe, . contains something else, . except matter, . that coexists with matter in an interdependent whole,
. Thus, if the cause of the motion of matter is mind, it produces energy, and thus violates the principle of conservation of energy. If we say, in order to avoid this conclusion that the mind can not be the cause of motion, but directs its movement along a particular path, it would violate the principle of action and reaction. And if we let's go further and assume, . that the spirit acts upon matter, . only releasing physical energy, . but not creating it and not managing it, . we come to a breach of the fundamental assumptions, . that causes the release of physical energy can only be physical,

Cartesianism had a significant impact on the development of science, but at the same time created a gap between the physical sciences and psychology, which has not been overcome so far. Of the existence of this gap is expressed as in materialism J. La Mettrie (1709-1751), . according to which man is nothing, . organized matter how difficult, . and the concept of epiphenomenalism, . on which consciousness is a byproduct of the body, . no influence on its behavior,
. These views were in vogue from the scientists. However, it was assumed that the belief in the ability of the mind be the cause of material phenomena is superstition, like belief in ghosts and goblins. This view is seriously delayed the study of several important phenomena in psychological science, biology and medicine.

With regard to the philosophical aspects of the problem, Descartes got rid of them, saying that Almighty God has commanded that spirit and matter interact. The interaction occurs in the pineal gland at the base of the brain - the seat of the soul. Okkazionalisty believed that God governs matter and consciousness are not using the universal rules of interaction, but interfering in each case, and managing one or the other events. But if God is the reason, . then we can understand his power over the matter no more, . than the interaction, . which is explained with the help of the named assumptions, but if God is not the reason, . we can not understand, . how he manages mental events,
. Spinoza and Leibniz (the latter with some reservations) tried to solve this problem, considering the spirit and matter as two aspects of a single substance. However, this attempt, . whatever ontological virtues it may possess, . completely useless, . when we turn to cosmology, . For conceive, . how mental 'characteristic', . or 'aspect', . affects the physical characteristics, . equally difficult, . how to conceive, . how spiritual substance affects the corporeal substance,

. The latter problem is connected with epistemology: how can knowledge about the outside world? With one of the productions of the issue dealt and Descartes, he argued, . that we can avoid 'the problem of egocentrism', . if we prove the existence of God and we rely on His grace as a guarantee of true knowledge,
. However, there is another difficulty: if the idea is a true copy of the object (according to the correspondence theory of truth, . He shared Descartes) and if the ideas and physical objects quite similar to each other, . then any idea can only recall another idea and be an idea another idea,
. Then the outside world should be a set of ideas in the mind of God (the position of Berkeley). In addition, if Descartes rights, believing that our only right and primary knowledge of the matter is knowledge of its extent, we not only exclude a so-called. secondary qualities as objective, but also eliminate the possibility of knowing the very substance. Implications of this approach were outlined in the writings of Berkeley, Hume and Kant.

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