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René Descartes
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The French mathematician and philosopher Descartes is
sometimes called the father of modern philosophy and one of the first
proponents of the
scientific method. He is considered the cofounder of analytical geometry,
along with Fermat, thus preparing the way for the invention of the calculus;
one of the appendices of his book Discourse de la méthode is
entitled La géométrie and contains his contribution to
the subject. In the appendix he showed how to use algebra to solve
problems in geometry and how to use algebra and geometry
together working in
partnership. Ironically, he did not introduce Cartesian coordinates;
this was done by Fermat.
Notationally he introduced the use of exponents and the terms `real' and
`imaginary'. When it was dicovered that the stamp honoring Descartes
(No. 330) had the wrong title for his book, the French government quickly
printed numerous copies of a corrected stamp (No. 331).
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René Descartes (1596-1650) |
René Descartes (1596-1650) |

France (1937), No.330 | France(1937), No. 331 |