(3) Rene Descartes vs. (14) Coco Chanel

Tournament of Genius

(3) Rene Descartes

The Frenchman is no easy matchup given his resume: Father of modern philosophy. "I think, therefore I am." Inventor of dualism, which proposes a disconnect between mind and matter. Maker of wax-based analogies. Inventor of coordinate geometry. Writer of an ontological proof of God's existence. Busy guy.

(14) Coco Chanel

Despite being born into poverty, Chanel parlayed her simple, clean sensibility into a decades-long run as the queen of Parisian haute couture. Her guiding principle that a garment is only luxurious if it's comfortable appealed to women, and her iconic Chanel jacket is possibly the most imitated piece of clothing ever. Her genius can be summed up in one of her quotes: "Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance."

The Breakdown

This all-French matchup basically comes down to a question of your priorities. Descartes may have outfitted us with analytic geometry and a pithy way to prove that we actually exist, but would you want him dressing you for a night on the town? Then again, what's the point of knowing you exist if you're not looking good enough to enjoy it?


[See the whole bracket here.]