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René Descartes

WithJoyce Appleby, Elizabeth Covington, David Hoyt, Michael Latham, Allison Sneider

René Descartes (1596-1650) is often called the founder of modern epistemology due to his enunciation of the powers of the human mind in Discourse on Method (1637). His most well-known maxim, cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am), is the core of the French philosophical current known as Cartesianism. Cartesianism describes any metaphysical system that is predicated on the human mind’s capacity to access reality, and has only been contested in the twentieth century.