Philosophy - René Descartes

Whether you say it in Latin (cogito ergo sum), French (je pense donc je suis), or in English (I think therefore I am), you are expressing the rationalism of French philosopher René Descartes. Learn more about Descartes's worldview and his most famous works with a short analysis video.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Include in a discussion about philosophers of the European Enlightenment
  • Have learners watch the video at home for a flipped classroom activity; discuss their notes and questions in class the next day
  • Encourage class members to choose one of the passions discussed in Les passions de l'âme (Passions of the Soul) and create a sensory collage or poem based on their chosen word
Classroom Considerations

  • Best used with older learners, based on the advanced level of discourse
Pros

  • Animation is fun and engaging
  • Extrapolates Descartes's most famous maxim and relates it to his body of work, as well as to his philosophy as a whole
Cons

  • None