Descartes – a supremacia das matemáticas

“Eis por que, talvez, daí nós não concluamos mal se dissermos que a Física, a Astronomia, a Medicina e todas as outras ciências dependentes da consideração das coisas compostas são muito duvidosas e incertas; mas que a Aritmética, a Geometria e as outras ciências desta natureza, que não tratam senão de coisas muito simples e muito gerais, sem cuidarem muito em se elas existem ou não na natureza, contêm alguma coisa de certo e indubitável. Pois, quer eu esteja acordado, quer esteja dormindo, dois mais três formarão sempre o número cinco e o quadrado nunca terá mais do que quatro lados; e não parece possível que verdades tão patentes possam ser suspeitas de alguma falsidade ou incerteza.”

Descartes, “Meditações” (p.3-4)

René Descartes (1596 – 1650)

Discurso sobre o Método (1637) – PT / ENG
Meditações Metafísicas (1641) – PT / ENG

Descartes (1)René Descartes (1596–1650) was a creative mathematician of the first order, an important scientific thinker, and an original metaphysician. During the course of his life, he was a mathematician first, a natural scientist or “natural philosopher” second, and a metaphysician third. In mathematics, he developed the techniques that made possible algebraic (or “analytic”) geometry. In natural philosophy, he can be credited with several specific achievements: co-framer of the sine law of refraction, developer of an important empirical account of the rainbow, and proposer of a naturalistic account of the formation of the earth and planets (a precursor to the nebular hypothesis). More importantly, he offered a new vision of the natural world that continues to shape our thought today: a world of matter possessing a few fundamental properties and interacting according to a few universal laws. This natural world included an immaterial mind that, in human beings, was directly related to the brain; in this way, Descartes formulated the modern version of the mind–body problem. In metaphysics, he provided arguments for the existence of God, to show that the essence of matter is extension, and that the essence of mind is thought. Descartes claimed early on to possess a special method, which was variously exhibited in mathematics, natural philosophy, and metaphysics, and which, in the latter part of his life, included, or was supplemented by, a method of doubt.

Fonte: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Continuar lendo