René Descartes

1596 - 1650

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René Descartes ( day-KART or UK: DAY-kart; French: [ʁəne dekaʁt] ; Latinized: Renatus Cartesius; 31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650): 58  was a French philosopher, scientist, and mathematician, widely considered a seminal figure in the emergence of modern philosophy and science. Mathematics was paramount to his method of inquiry, and he connected the previously separate fields of geometry and algebra into analytic geometry. Descartes spent much of his working life in the Dutch Republic, initially serving the Dutch States Army, and later becoming a central intellectual of the Dutch Golden Age. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of René Descartes has received more than 10,475,962 page views. His biography is available in 171 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 165 in 2019). René Descartes is the 7th most popular philosopher (down from 6th in 2019), the 3rd most popular biography from France and the most popular French Philosopher.

René Descartes is most famous for his philosophical statement, "I think, therefore I am."

Memorability Metrics

  • 10M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 89.91

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 171

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 17.74

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 4.28

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of René Descartes by language

Over the past year René Descartes has had the most page views in the with 1,114,461 views, followed by Spanish (893,443), and French (314,636). In terms of yearly growth of page views the top 3 wikpedia editions are Papiamentu (162,300.00%), Scottish Gaelic (940.69%), and (675.20%)


Among philosophers, René Descartes ranks 7 out of 1,267Before him are Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Gautama Buddha, Pythagoras, and Confucius. After him are Immanuel Kant, Avicenna, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Niccolò Machiavelli, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Augustine of Hippo.

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Among people born in 1596, René Descartes ranks 1After him are Michael of Russia, Frederick V of the Palatinate, Pietro da Cortona, Jan van Goyen, Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, Nicola Amati, Pieter Claesz, Baldassare Longhena, Emperor Go-Mizunoo, Peter Mogila, and Johan Banér. Among people deceased in 1650, René Descartes ranks 1After him are Dorgon, William II, Prince of Orange, Tukaram, Christoph Scheiner, Matthäus Merian, Bernhardus Varenius, Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency, Cristóvão Ferreira, Catalina de Erauso, Hanzade Sultan, and Jean Rotrou.

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In France

Among people born in France, René Descartes ranks 3 out of 6,770Before him are Napoleon (1769), and Louis XIV of France (1638). After him are Blaise Pascal (1623), Joan of Arc (1412), Voltaire (1694), Victor Hugo (1802), Louis Pasteur (1822), Louis XVI of France (1754), Claude Monet (1840), Jules Verne (1828), and Montesquieu (1689).


Among philosophers born in France, René Descartes ranks 1After him are Montesquieu (1689), Auguste Comte (1798), Michel Foucault (1926), Henri Bergson (1859), Michel de Montaigne (1533), Peter Abelard (1079), Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809), Jean Bodin (1530), Roland Barthes (1915), Gilles Deleuze (1925), and Henri de Saint-Simon (1760).