Essay about Descart Part 4

21444 Words Apr 2nd, 2014 86 Pages
Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking Truth in the Field of Science René Descartes ************* Introduction The cultural turn that symbolically and philosophically separates Aristotle/Medieval views from the "modern" era can be found in Descartes' writings. Born just before 1600, he witnessed and participated in the beginnings of modern science, especially with its empirical [The method of philosophical inquiry that holds that the human mind can only understand the world by beginning with the experiences of the senses.], mechanistic [ The description of the motion of the universe in terms of the scientific notion of cause and effect alone. The image of the universe is that of a machine or mechanism that …show more content…
Part Two takes you further into his intellectual development. He observes how specialization, wherein many people work separately, does not always yield a higher quality product. In contrast, when a single person does the work, the product is often better. But, one need not demolish a whole city to rebuild anew. Descartes' project is much smaller. Perhaps as a bow to his fears about the Church and the Inquisition, Descartes claims he is only working on his own mind, and is not trying to start a reformation. To avoid error, and build an edifice of knowledge he lays down four laws of thought: 1. Do not accept anything as true unless it was clear and distinct and about which he had no reason to doubt. 2. Break down difficult problems into easier problems. 3. Build carefully and slowly on the simplest and most easily known truths [For Descartes, truth is a matter of clear and distinct perceptions. Those ideas that are the product of clear and distinct mental perceptions are true.]. 4. To explain sufficiently so as to leave nothing out. Like geometry, which Descartes admired greatly, he sought strong and certain foundations on which to build a stable system of knowledge. (See his Meditations for more on this.) In Part Three, he lays out a set of morals that he can use to guide his life, during the time in which he is undergoing this

Related Documents