René Descartes and the Mind-Body dualism problem

René Descartes' most famous sentence: cogito ergo sum - I think, therefore I am, is brought up every time a literature or an english major tries to stress the shift in the direction of thinking that started with Descartes in the Renaissance. It is often presented as a proud credo of a modern thinker who leaves behind the dark ages and looks with hope into the future full of reason. The only problem with this interpretation, so fitting after all, is that it has nothing to do with the truth. Cogito ergo sum is an effect of a draconian philosophical reduction that left Descartes with only a single thing that he could really trust, turning it into the foundation for the rest of his philosophy. That thing was his mind (consciousness), separate from his body.

By performing this reduction, Descartes single-handedly looked straight through the millennium of magical thinking and peeked into the Plato's Cave (senses can be deceiving). He rejected the notion that we have a complete free will and made clear connections between our sensations and bodily reactions, noticing the fact that we might not have any control over them (like reflexes). His mind allowed him to interpret mechanical fountains that he saw in the gardens he visited as bodily systems, leading him to more and less crazy but revolutionary theories (for more, look up: animal spirits or his view on the pineal gland). 

The unsolved problem of dualism is still to this day one of the most intriguing. A discussion between fractions of dualists and monists today is as fierce as ever, and it does not look like there is an end in sight. 
Other ideas, like the one with an evil, ever-deceiving demon, became a thing of their own leading to multiple philosophical views but also awesome films like The Matrix. There is no NEO without René, that is for sure.