René Descartes

1596 - 1650

Photo of René Descartes

Icon of person René Descartes

René Descartes ( or UK: ; French: [ʁəne dekaʁt] (listen); Latinized: Renatus Cartesius; 31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650: 58 ) was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist who invented analytic geometry, linking the previously separate fields of geometry and algebra. He spent a large portion of his working life in the Dutch Republic, initially serving the Dutch States Army of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange and the Stadtholder of the United Provinces. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of René Descartes has received more than 7,740,317 page views. His biography is available in 154 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 149 in 2019). René Descartes is the 7th most popular philosopher, the 3rd most popular biography from France (up from 4th in 2019) and the most popular French Philosopher.

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

Memorability Metrics

  • 7.7M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 92.74

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 154

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 15.59

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 4.14

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of René Descartes by language


Among philosophers, René Descartes ranks 7 out of 1,089Before him are Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Confucius, Gautama Buddha, and Immanuel Kant. After him are Avicenna, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Friedrich Nietzsche, Niccolò Machiavelli, Augustine of Hippo, and John Locke.

Most Popular Philosophers in Wikipedia

Go to all Rankings


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

Others Born in 1596

Go to all Rankings

Others Deceased in 1650

Go to all Rankings

In France

Among people born in France, René Descartes ranks 3 out of 5,234Before him are Napoleon (1769) and Louis XIV of France (1638). After him are Joan of Arc (1412), Charlemagne (748), Voltaire (1694), Blaise Pascal (1623), Louis Pasteur (1822), Victor Hugo (1802), Claude Monet (1840), Montesquieu (1689), and Jules Verne (1828).


Among philosophers born in France, René Descartes ranks 1After him are Montesquieu (1689), Auguste Comte (1798), Michel de Montaigne (1533), Michel Foucault (1926), Henri Bergson (1859), Peter Abelard (1079), Jean Bodin (1530), Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809), Roland Barthes (1915), Gilles Deleuze (1925), and Charles Fourier (1772).