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Modern philosophy began in France with the philosophy of René Descartes (1596–1650). His Meditations on First Philosophy changed the primary object of philosophical thought from ontology to epistemology and overcame the Aristotelian dogmatism inherited in philosophy from Scholasticism, the dominant form of thought in preceding centuries, while simultaneously raising some of the most fundamental problems for future generations of philosophers. (Wikipedia)

Descartes is considered by many to be the father of modern philosophy, because his ideas departed widely from current understanding in the early 17th century, which was more feeling-based. While elements of his philosophy weren’t completely new, his approach to them was. Descartes believed in basically clearing everything off the table, all preconceived and inherited notions, and starting fresh, putting back one by one the things that were certain, which for him began with the statement “I exist.” From this sprang his most famous quote: “I think; therefore I am.”

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