The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.

Related Content

Related Overviews

Thomas Hobbes (1588—1679) philosopher

David Hume (1711—1776) philosopher and historian

Antoine Arnauld (1612—1694)

Pierre Gassendi (1592—1655) French astronomer and philosopher

See all related overviews in Oxford Reference »


More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Philosophy


Show Summary Details


René Descartes

(1596—1650) French philosopher, mathematician

Quick Reference


French philosopher, mathematician, and man of science, often called the father of modern philosophy. Aiming to reach totally secure foundations for knowledge, he began by attacking all his beliefs with sceptical doubts, and considered all that was certain was his own conciousness and therefore existence (‘cogito, ergo sum’ I think, therefore I am).

Subjects: Philosophy

Reference entries

View all reference entries »