René Descartes (March 31, 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French philosopher, mathematician and scientist. Dubbed the father of modern western philosophy, much of subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day. Descartes’s Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) continues to be a standard text at most university philosophy departments. Descartes’s influence in mathematics is equally apparent; the Cartesian coordinate system was named after him and he is credited as the father of analytic geometry. Descartes was also one of the key figures in the scientific revolution and laid the foundation for 17th-century continental rationalism. His best known philosophical statement is “Cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am), first found in Discourse on the Method (1637).