56 René Descartes Quotes About Books, Life and Success

René Descartes was born on March 31, 1596, in La Haye, France. René Descartes, often considered the father of modern philosophy, is renowned for his philosophical work on mind-body dualism, skepticism, and the method of doubt. In this blog post we have shared 56 most famous René Descartes quotes.

René Descartes best quotes

Descartes is best known for his philosophical work, which included the famous statement “Cogito, ergo sum” (“I think, therefore I am”). In 1637, he published his seminal work, Discourse on Method, in which he outlined his philosophical system. In 1641, he published Meditations on First Philosophy, in which he further developed his theories. René Descartes died on February 11, 1650, in Stockholm, Sweden.

56 René Descartes Quotes

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

2. “Doubt is the origin of wisdom

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

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

5. “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.”

6. “Bad books engender bad habits, but bad habits engender good books.”

7. “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.”

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

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

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

motivating  René Descartes Quotes

Famous René Descartes

11. “There is nothing more ancient than the truth.”

12. “It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.”

13. “Nothing is made from nothing.”

14. “I desire to live in peace and to continue the life I have begun under the motto ‘to live well you must live unseen”

15. “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…”

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

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

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

19. “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.”

20. “We must in the end acknowledge the infirmity of our nature”

René Descartes book quotes

Inspirational René Descartes Quotes

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

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

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

24. “I was aware that 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 thoughts.”

25. “Conquer yourself rather than the world.”

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

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

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

29. “On the other hand, I compared the disquisitions of the ancient moralists to very towering and magnificent palaces with no better foundation than sand and mud:”

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

Thought-Provoking René Descartes Quotes

31. “Common sense is the best distributed commodity in the world, for every man is convinced that he is well supplied with it.”

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

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

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

35. “Certainly no one can deny that we have such an idea of God in ourselves unless they think that there is no knowledge at all of God in human minds.”

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

37. “It is prudent never to trust those who have deceived us, even if only once.”

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

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

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

41. “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.”

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

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

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

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

46. “The destruction of the foundations necessarily brings down the whole edifice.”

47. “Nothing can be imagined which is too strange or incredible to have been said by some philosopher.”

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

49. “Perfect numbers, like perfect men, are very rare.”

50. “But in my opinion, all things in nature occur mathematically.”

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

52. “Among all those who up to this time made discoveries in the sciences, it was the mathematicians alone who had been able to arrive at demonstrations.”

53. “When I was examining what I was, I realized that I could pretend that I had no body… but I could not pretend in the same way that I did not exist.”

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

55. “I was thus led to infer that the ground of our opinions is far more custom and example than any certain knowledge.”

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

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