When Descartes was thirteen and one-half months old, his mother, Jeanne Brochard, died in childbirth.
The young René spent his first years with his grandmother, Jeanne Sain Brochard, in La Haye, together with his older brother Pierre and older sister Jeanne.
This natural world included an immaterial mind that, in human beings, was directly related to the brain; in this way, Descartes formulated the modern version of the mind–body problem.
In metaphysics, he provided arguments for the existence of God, to show that the essence of matter is extension, and that the essence of mind is thought.
At this time (and now and again later on), he signed letters as “du Perron” and called himself “sieur du Perron” (Lord of Perron), after a small farm in Poitou he had inherited from his mother's family (Watson 2007, 81, 230).
But he did not neglect his birth place in La Haye: in a letter of 1649, he described himself as “a man who was born in the gardens of Touraine” (9).
Aristotle's philosophy was approached through textbook presentations and commentaries on Aristotle's works.
Aristotle himself frequently discussed the positions of his ancient predecessors.
By rule, the Jesuit philosophy curriculum followed Aristotle; it was divided into the then-standard topics of logic, morals, physics, and metaphysics.
The Jesuits also included mathematics in the final three years of study.