La Géométrie cover

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La Géométrie


La Géométrie was published in 1637 as an appendix to Discours de la méthode (Discourse on the Method), written by René Descartes. In the Discourse, he presents his method for obtaining clarity on any subject. La Géométrie and two other appendices, also by Descartes, La Dioptrique (Optics) and Les Météores (Meteorology), were published with the Discourse to give examples of the kinds of successes he had achieved following his method (as well as, perhaps, considering the contemporary European social climate of intellectual competitiveness, to show off a bit to a wider audience). The work was the first to propose the idea of uniting algebra and geometry into a single subject and invented an algebraic geometry called analytic geometry, which involves reducing geometry to a form of arithmetic and algebra and translating geometric shapes into algebraic equations. For its time this was ground-breaking. It also contributed to the mathematical ideas of Leibniz and Newton and was thus important in the development of calculus.
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original title: La Géométrie
date of publication: 1637
genre: essay

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