Was Descartes moonstruck?
Name: Jason L Browell
Did any celestial changes occur when Descartes was at La Fleche?
Rene had "a broad education in the humanities at the Jesuit college of La
Fleche" that lasted until 1615. Since he was born in 1596, he was probably
at La Fleche from about 1610 to 1615. As for astronomical events, I
immediately thought of Halley's Comet, and, assuming a period of 76 years,
working backwards from 1910, Halley's should have made an appearance in
1606, a pretty major event for a ten-year old! Tycho Brahe had already
observed the nova named for him in 1572, but Johannes Kepler was a contempo-
rary of the young Descartes, having published his empirical laws of plane-
tary motion in 1609 and 1619, another highly significant event!
quote source: "The Development of Mathematics" by E. T. Bell, p. 138.
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Update: June 2012