The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.— Rene Descartes
The most off-limits Rene Descartes quotes that are new and everybody is talking about
Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it.
Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it.
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.
I think; therefore I am.
The chief cause of human errors is to be found in the prejudices picked up in childhood.
Doubt is the origin of wisdom
The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as of the greatest virtues.
Conquer yourself rather than the world.
I have concluded the evident existence of God, and that my existence depends entirely on God in all the moments of my life, that I do not think that the human spirit may know anything with greater evidence and certitude.
It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.
To know what people really think, pay regard to what they do, rather than what they say.
Each problem that I solved became a rule, which served afterwards to solve other problems.
Mathematics is a more powerful instrument of knowledge than any other that has been bequeathed to us by human agency.
Situations in life often permit no delay;
and when we cannot determine the course which is certainly best, we must follow the one which is probably the best. This frame of mind freed me also from the repentance and remorse commonly felt by those vacillating individuals who are always seeking as worthwhile things which they later judge to be bad.
Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has.
I was convinced that our beliefs are based much more on custom and example than on any certain knowledge.
Perfect numbers like perfect men are very rare.
The only thing that I know, is that I know nothing
Illusory joy is often worth more than genuine sorrow.
When I consider this carefully, I find not a single property which with certainty separates the waking state from the dream. How can you be certain that your whole life is not a dream?
All is to be doubted.
The senses deceive from time to time, and it is prudent never to trust wholly those who have deceived us even once.
I desire to live in peace and to continue the life I have begun under the motto 'to live well you must live unseen
Intuitive knowledge is an illumination of the soul, whereby it beholds in the light of God those things which it pleases Him to reveal to us by a direct impression of divine clearness.
It's the familiar love-hate syndrome of seduction: "I don't really care what it is I say, I care only that you like it."
Common sense is the most widely shared commodity in the world, for every man is convinced that he is well supplied with it.
The two operations of our understanding, intuition and deduction, on which alone we have said we must rely in the acquisition of knowledge.
And as it is the most generous souls who have most gratitude, it is those who have most pride, and who are most base and infirm, who most allow themselves to be carried away by anger and hatred.
I suppose therefore that all things I see are illusions;
I believe that nothing has ever existed of everything my lying memory tells me. I think I have no senses. I believe that body, shape, extension, motion, location are functions. What is there then that can be taken as true? Perhaps only this one thing, that nothing at all is certain.
Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.
In order to improve the mind, we ought less to learn, than to contemplate.
There is nothing so far removed from us as to be beyond our reach, or so hidden that we cannot discover it.
If I simply refrain from making a judgment in cases where I do not perceive the truth with sufficient clarity and distinctness, then it is clear that I am behaving correctly and avoiding error.
Few look for truth; many prowl about for a reputation of profundity by arrogantly challenging whichever arguments are the best.
I am accustomed to sleep and in my dreams to imagine the same things that lunatics imagine when awake.
Common sense is the best distributed thing in the world, for we all think we possess a good share of it.
Just as we believe by faith that the greatest happiness of the next life consists simply in the contemplation of this divine majesty, likewise we experience that we derive the greatest joy of which we are capable in this life from the same contemplation, even though it is much less perfect.
I experienced in myself a certain capacity for judging which I have doubtless received from God, like all the other things that I possess; and as He could not desire to deceive me, it is clear that He has not given me a faculty that will lead me to err if I use it aright.
At last I will devote myself sincerely and without reservation to the general demolition of my opinions.
Neither the true nor the false roots are always real;
sometimes they are imaginary; that is, while we can always imagine as many roots for each equation as I have assigned, yet there is not always a definite quantity corresponding to each root we have imagined.
Intuition is the undoubting conception of a pure and attentive mind, which arises from the light of reason alone, and is more certain than deduction.
This result could have been achieved either by his [God] endowing my intellect with a clear and distinct perception of everything about which I would ever deliberate, or simply by impressing the following rule so firmly upon my memory that I could never forget it: I should never judge anything that I do not clearly and distinctly understand.
With me, everything turns into mathematics.
Cogito ergo sum. (I think, therefore I am.)
Human wisdom remains always one and the same although applied to the most diverse objects and it is no more changed by their diversity than the sunshine is changed by the variety of objects which it illuminates.
The mind effortlessly and automatically takes in new ideas, which remain in limbo until verified or rejected by conscious, rational analysis.
Divide each difficulty at hand into as many pieces as possible and as could be required to better solve them.
When writing about transcendental issues, be transcendentally clear.
Everything is self-evident.
I think; therefore I am.
The greatest minds, as they are capable of the highest excellencies, are open likewise to the greatest aberrations; and those who travel very slowly may yet make far greater progress, provided they keep always to the straight road, than those who, while they run, forsake it.