Rene Descartes Quotes

The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as of the greatest virtues.--Rene Descartes

Rene Descartes (1596 –1650 ) was a French philosopher, scientist, and mathematician, widely considered a seminal figure in the emergence of modern philosophy and science.

Mathematics was central to his method of inquiry, and he connected the previously separate fields of geometry and algebra into analytic geometry.

Here is A selection of some of Rene Descartes most famous quotes. Top 10 Rene Descartes quotes. Rene Descartes Quotes about Life, Education and Doubt, Self. Quotes about Science, Truth and More by Rene Descartes.



Rene Descartes Famous Quotes and Sayings

The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries.

一Rene Descartes

Conquer yourself rather than the world.

一Rene Descartes

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.

一Rene Descartes

I think, therefore I am.

一Rene Descartes

Doubt is the origin of wisdom.

一Rene Descartes

Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.

一Rene Descartes

Common sense is the most widely shared commodity in the world, for every man is convinced that he is well supplied with it.

一Rene Descartes

It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.

一Rene Descartes

And thus, the actions of life often not allowing any delay, it is a truth very certain that, when it is not in our power to determine the most true opinions we ought to follow the most probable.

一Rene Descartes

To know what people really think, pay attention to what they do, rather than what they say.

一Rene Descartes

The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as of the greatest virtues.

一Rene Descartes

Masked, I advance.

一Rene Descartes

I desire to live in peace and to continue the life I have begun under the motto 'to live well you must live unseen.

一Rene Descartes

It is only prudent never to place complete confidence in that by which we have even once been deceived.

一Rene Descartes

But in my opinion, all things in nature occur mathematically.

一Rene Descartes

You just keep pushing. You just keep pushing. I made every mistake that could be made. But I just kept pushing.

一Rene Descartes

To live without philosophizing is in truth the same as keeping the eyes closed without attempting to open them.

一Rene Descartes

In order to seek truth, it is necessary once in the course of our life to doubt, as far as possible, of all things.

一Rene Descartes

I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am

一Rene Descartes

There is nothing more ancient than the truth.

一Rene Descartes

Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it.

一Rene Descartes

In order to improve the mind, we ought less to learn than to contemplate.

一Rene Descartes

He who hid well, lived well.

一Rene Descartes

Each problem that I solved became a rule, which served afterwards to solve other problems.

一Rene Descartes

For I found myself embarrassed with so many doubts and errors that it seemed to me that the effort to instruct myself had no effect other than the increasing discovery of my own ignorance.

一Rene Descartes

At last I will devote myself sincerely and without reservation to the general demolition of my opinions.

一Rene Descartes

With me, everything turns into mathematics.

一Rene Descartes

Let whoever can do so deceive me, he will never bring it about that I am nothing, so long as I continue to think I am something.

一Rene Descartes

Because reason...is the only thing that makes us men, and distinguishes us from the beasts, I would prefer to believe that it exists, in its entirety, in each of us.

一Rene Descartes

Good sense is the most equitably distributed of all things because no matter how much or little a person has, everyone feels so abundantly provided with good sense that he feels no desire for more than he already possesses.

一Rene Descartes

The reading of all good books is indeed like a conversation with the noblest men of past centuries who were the authors of them, nay a carefully studied conversation, in which they reveal to us none but the best of their thoughts.

一Rene Descartes

So blind is the curiosity by which mortals are possessed, that they often conduct their minds along unexplored routes, having no reason to hope for success, but merely being willing to risk the experiment of finding whether the truth they seek lies there.

一Rene Descartes

Bad books engender bad habits, but bad habits engender good books.

一Rene Descartes

I am accustomed to sleep and in my dreams to imagine the same things that lunatics imagine when awake.

一Rene Descartes

But what then am I? A thing that thinks. What is that? A thing that doubts, understand, affirms, denies, wills, refuses, and that also imagines and senses.

一Rene Descartes

It is best not to go on for great quest for truth, it will only make you miserable.

一Rene Descartes

Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has.

一Rene Descartes

I am thing that thinks: that is, a things that doubts, affirms, denies, understands a few things, is ignorant of many things, is willing, is unwilling, and also which imagines and has sensory perceptions.

一Rene Descartes

The destruction of the foundations necessarily brings down the whole edifice.

一Rene Descartes

The dreams we imagine when we are asleep should not in any way make us doubt the truth of the thoughts we have when we are awake.

一Rene Descartes

Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it.

一Rene Descartes

The first precept was never to accept a thing as true until I knew it as such without a single doubt.

一Rene Descartes

For the very fact that my knowledge is increasing little by little is the most certain argument for its imperfection.

一Rene Descartes

One should never judge anything unless it is known.

一Rene Descartes

I had become aware, as early as my college days, that no opinion, however absurd and incredible can be imagined, that has not been held by one of the philosophers.

一Rene Descartes

My third maxim was to try always to master myself rather than fortune and change my desires rather than changing how things stand in the world.

一Rene Descartes

They do everything in their power to make fortune favor them in this life, but nevertheless they think so little of it, in relation to eternity, that they view the events of the world as we do those of a play.

一Rene Descartes

I fear being shaken out of them because I am afraid that my peaceful sleep may be followed by hard labour when I wake, and that I shall have to struggle not in the light but in the imprisoning darkness of the problems I have raised.

一Rene Descartes

When it is not in our power to determine what it true, we ought to follow what is most probable.

一Rene Descartes

The thinking of the mind is twofold: understanding and willing.

一Rene Descartes

To live well, one must live unseen.

一Rene Descartes

The last rule was to make enumerations so complete, and reviews so comprehensive, that I should be certain of omitting nothing.

一Rene Descartes

Truths are more likely to have been discovered by one man than by nation.

一Rene Descartes

I took especially great pleasure in mathematics because of the certainty and the evidence of its arguments.

一Rene Descartes

Nothing is made from nothing.

一Rene Descartes

Mind and soul of the man is entirely different from the body.

一Rene Descartes

That we conduct our thoughts along different ways, and do not fix our attention on the same objects.

一Rene Descartes

The will determines itself; it should not be described as blind, any more than vision should be described as deaf.

一Rene Descartes

He who lives well lives well hidden.

一Rene Descartes

So far, I have been a spectator in this theatre which is the world, but I am now about to mount the stage, and I come forward masked.

一Rene Descartes

In order to determine whether we can know anything with certainty, we first have to doubt everything we know.

一Rene Descartes

All that is necessary to right action is right judgment, and to the best action the most correct judgment.

一Rene Descartes

We ought not meanwhile to make use of doubt in the conduct of life.

一Rene Descartes

To attain the truth in life, we must discard all the ideas we were taught.

一Rene Descartes

Man, being finite in nature can only have knowledge perfectness of which is limited.

一Rene Descartes

It is a common failing of mortals to deem the more difficult the fairer.

一Rene Descartes

Nature teaches me that so many other bodies exist around mine of which some are to be avoided, some sought after.

一Rene Descartes

it appears to me that I have discovered many truths more useful and more important than all I had before learned, or even had expected to learn.

一Rene Descartes

I will follow this strategy until I discover something that is certain or, at least, until I discover that it is certain only that nothing is certain.

一Rene Descartes

Is there anything more intimate or more internal than pain?

一Rene Descartes

If I find some reason for doubt in each of my beliefs, that will be enough to reject all of them.

一Rene Descartes

A state is better governed which has few laws, and those laws strictly observed.

一Rene Descartes

We do not describe the world we see, we see the world we can describe.

一Rene Descartes

One needs to know what thought is, what existence is and what certainty is.

一Rene Descartes

Travelling is almost like talking with those of other centuries.

一Rene Descartes

The two operations of our understanding, intuition and deduction, on which alone we have said we must rely in the acquisition of knowledge.

一Rene Descartes

I hope that posterity will judge me kindly, not only as to the things which I have explained, but also to those which I have intentionally omitted so as to leave to others the pleasure of discovery.

一Rene Descartes

Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it.

一Rene Descartes

How can you be certain that your whole life is not a dream?

一Rene Descartes

Perfect numbers like perfect men are very rare.

一Rene Descartes

There is nothing so strange and so unbelievable that it has not been said by one philosopher or another.

一Rene Descartes

An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?

一Rene Descartes

The chief cause of human errors is to be found in the prejudices picked up in childhood.

一Rene Descartes

Everything is self-evident.

一Rene Descartes

The senses deceive from time to time, and it is prudent never to trust wholly those who have deceived us even once.

一Rene Descartes

Illusory joy is often worth more than genuine sorrow.

一Rene Descartes

One cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another.

一Rene Descartes

I am indeed amazed when I consider how weak my mind is and how prone to error.

一Rene Descartes



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