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History of Math Rene Descartes In the recent hit movie The Net the character played by Sandra Bullock has her identity erased Everyone doubted her existence This was not however the first time someones existence was questioned In the early 17th century a philosopher who is named Descartes questioned his own existence His life was dedicated to the founding of a philosophical and mathematical system in which all sciences were coherent Descartes was born in 1596 in Touraine France His education consisted of attendance to a Jesuit school of La Fleche He studied a liberal arts program which emphasized philosophy the humanities science and math He then went on to the University of Poitiers where he graduated in 1616 with a law degree Descartes also served as a volunteer in several different armies to broaden his horizons After all of Descartes study and contemplation of math and science he decided to find a single principle without doubt on which to build knowledge His purpose in life became the development of a metaphysical theory that would prove the mathematical truth he had found His analytical system of doubt led him to doubt everything in the world He finally reached the conclusion that everything can be doubted except for one thing his own existence Even this was called into doubt and found true Descartes rationalized that by doubting his own existence he was thinking If he was thinking then he must be existing Then he contemplated whether he was awake or asleep If he was asleep then he was dreaming that he was thinking and therefore not existing He decided that one could use sense perception to realize if one was awake of asleep Finally he concluded I think therefore I am This became the basis for his entire system of beliefs Descartes argument for existence was called cogito ergo sum All of Descartes philosophical arguments
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