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Higgs versus Descartes: this round to Higgs.

1 Aug 2014, 22:30 UTC
Higgs versus Descartes: this round to Higgs.
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René Descartes (1596 – 1650) was an outstanding physicist, mathematician and philosopher. In physics, he laid the ground work for Isaac Newton’s (1642 – 1727) laws of motion by pioneering work on the concept of inertia. In mathematics, he developed the foundations of analytic geometry, as illustrated by the term Cartesian[1] coordinates. However, it is in his role as a philosopher that he is best remembered. Rather ironic, as his breakthrough method was a failure.
Descartes’s goal in philosophy was to develop a sound basis for all knowledge based on ideas that were so obvious they could not be doubted. His touch stone was that anything he perceived clearly and distinctly as being true was true. The archetypical example of this was the famous I think therefore I am. Unfortunately, little else is as obvious as that famous quote and even it can be––and has been––doubted.
Euclidean geometry provides the illusionary ideal to which Descartes and other philosophers have strived. You start with a few self-evident truths and derive a superstructure built on them. Unfortunately even Euclidean geometry fails that test. The infamous parallel postulate has been questioned since ancient times as being a bit suspicious and even other Euclidean ...

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