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Common sense is the best distributed thing in the world, for we all think we possess a good share of it.

RENÉ DESCARTES, Discours de la Méthode

The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries.

RENE DESCARTES, attributed, The Miracle of Language

There is a difference between happiness, the supreme good, and the final end or goal toward which our actions ought to tend. For happiness is not the supreme good, but presupposes it, being the contentment or satisfaction of the mind which results from possessing it.

RENÉ DESCARTES, The Philosophical Writings of Descartes

I think, therefore I am.

RENÉ DESCARTES, Principes de la Philosophie

It is also a very remarkable fact that although many animals show more skill than we do in some of their actions, yet the same animals show none at all in many others; so what they do better does not prove that they have any intelligence, for if it did then they would have more intelligence than any of us and would excel us in everything. It proves rather that they have no intelligence at all, and that it is nature which acts in them according to the disposition of their organs. In the same way a clock, consisting only of wheels and springs, can count the hours and measure time more accurately than we can with all our wisdom.

RENE DESCARTES, Discourse on Method


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