René Descartes was serving as a mercenary in 1619 when one night, he shut himself in a room to escape the cold. He had 3 visions which he believed to be a new divine philosophy. He likely had an episode of exploding head syndrome. Upon exiting, he had formulated analytical geometry.
According to Adrien Baillet, on the night of 10–11 November 1619 (St. Martin’s Day), while stationed in Neuburg an der Donau, Descartes shut himself in a room with an “oven” (probably a cocklestove) to escape the cold. While within, he had three dreams and believed that a divine spirit revealed to him a new philosophy. Upon exiting, he had formulated analytical geometry and the idea of applying the mathematical method to philosophy. He concluded from these visions that the pursuit of science would prove to be, for him, the pursuit of true wisdom and a central part of his life’s work. Descartes also saw very clearly that all truths were linked with one another, so that finding a fundamental truth and proceeding with logic would open the… Continue Reading (26 minute read)