Quotes René Descartes
Mais apud me omnia fiunt Mathematicè in Natura More closely translated as: but in my opinion, all things in nature occur mathematically. Note: "Mais" is French for "but" and the "but in my opinion" comes from the context of the original conversation. apud me omnia fiunt Mathematicè in Natura is in latin. Sometimes the Latin version is incorrectly quoted as Omnia apud me mathematica fiunt. Sources: Correspondence with Mersenne http://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/Page%3aDescartes_-_%C5%92uvres,_%C3%A9d._Adam_et_Tannery,_III.djvu/48 note for line 7 (1640), page 36, Die Wiener Zeit http://books.google.com/books?id=9Xh3fVZLCycC&pg=PA532&lpg=PA532&dq=%22Omnia+apud+me+mathematica+fiunt%22+original+zitat&source=bl&ots=CgQOrveRiM&sig=WFHwIK20r5vRZ66FwCaxo857LCU&hl=de&sa=X&ei=_Wf2UcHlJYbfsgaf1IHABg#v=onepage&q=%22Omnia%20apud%20me%20mathematica%20fiunt%22%20original%20zitat&f=false page 532 (2008); StackExchange Math Q/A Where did Descartes write... http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/454599/where-did-descartes-write-with-me-everything-turns-into-mathematics?noredirect=1#comment978229_454599
„No doubt you know that Galileo had been convicted not long ago by the Inquisition, and that his opinion on the movement of the Earth had been condemned as heresy. Now I will tell you that all things I explain in my treatise, among which is also that same opinion about the movement of the Earth, all depend on one another, and are based upon certain evident truths. Nevertheless, I will not for the world stand up against the authority of the Church. …I have the desire to live in peace and to continue on the road on which I have started.“
Letter to Marin Mersenne (end of Feb., 1634) as quoted by Amir Aczel, Pendulum: Leon Foucault and the Triumph of Science (2003)
„Thus, all unknown quantities can be expressed in terms of a single quantity, whenever the problem can be constructed by means of circles and straight lines, or by conic sections, or even by some other curve of degree not greater than the third or fourth.
But I shall not stop to explain this in more detail, because I should deprive you of the pleasure of mastering it yourself, as well as of the advantage of training your mind by working over it, which is in my opinion the principal benefit to be derived from this science. Because, I find nothing here so difficult that it cannot be worked out by anyone at all familiar with ordinary geometry and with algebra, who will consider carefully all that is set forth in this treatise.“
La Géométrie (1637)
„Mr. Clerselier has written me that you are expecting from him my Meditations… in order to present them to the queen of the land. …If I had only been as wise as they say the savages persuaded themselves that the monkeys were, I never would have become known as a maker of books: Since it is said that they imagined that the monkeys could indeed speak, if they wanted to, but that they chose not to so lest they be forced to work. And since I had not the same prudence to abstain from writing, I now have neither as much liesure nor as much peace as I would have had if I had kept quiet. But since the mistake has already been made, and since I am now known by an infinity of people at the academy, who look askance at my writings and scour them for means of harming me, I do have great hope of being known to persons of great merit, whose power and virtue could protect me.“
Letter to Pierre Chanut (Nov. 1, 1646) as quoted by Amir Aczel, Descartes' Secret Notebook (2005) citing René Descartes: Correspondance avec Elizabeth et autres lettres (1989) ed., Jean-Marie and M. Beysaade, pp. 245-246.
„Staying as I am, one foot in one country and the other in another, I find my condition very happy, in that it is free.“
Me tenant comme je suis, un pied dans un pays et l’autre en un autre, je trouve ma condition très heureuse, en ce qu’elle est libre.
Letter to Elisabeth of Bohemia, Princess Palatine (Paris, June/July 1648)
„So blind is the curiosity by which mortals are possessed, that they often conduct their minds along unexplored routes, having no reason to hope for success, but merely being willing to risk the experiment of finding whether the truth they seek lies there.“
Rules for the Direction of the Mind: IV
„No more useful inquiry can be proposed than that which seeks to determine the nature and the scope of human knowledge. … This investigation should be undertaken once at least in his life by anyone who has the slightest regard for truth, since in pursuing it the true instruments of knowledge and the whole method of inquiry come to light. But nothing seems to me more futile than the conduct of those who boldly dispute about the secrets of nature … without yet having ever asked even whether human reason is adequate to the solution of these problems.“
Rules for the Direction of the Mind in Key Philosophical Writings (1997), pp. 29-30 http://books.google.com/books?id=jjWPe-9NPoEC&pg=PA29