René Descartes (1596–1650) is commonly called “The Father of Modern Philosophy.” Certainly, his system represents a break with the medieval past and a foreshadowing of much that is to come. Of the ideas created or regenerated in his work, an epistemologist would probably focus on the reconstruction of knowledge and the method of doubt; a metaphysician would be struck by the clarity with which Descartes divided the world into two substances – mind and matter – and posed the problem of interaction between the two; a philosopher of mind might mention the self, which Descartes made popular and is sometimes even said to have “discovered”; a philosopher of mathematics would note his creation of analytic geometry, the first genuine advance in mathematics since the Greeks and the foundation for the calculus and much else to come. 1 Any one or two of these accomplishments would be enough to satisfy most philosophers and to secure a place in the Philosophers’ Hall of Fame.