Descartes

Descartes - PCR: Descartes Discourse on Method Descartes...

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PCR: Descartes – Discourse on Method Descartes doesn’t think that everyone should reform the foundations of their beliefs. He states that his purpose has never gone beyond his intention to reform his own thoughts and thereby learn. He also states that “the world is filled with” at least two specific types of people who should never attempt to follow his path because it would be “most unsuitable.” Descartes states “First, there are those who, believing themselves to be more capable than they are, are unable to avoid being hasty in their judgements or to have enough patience to conduct all their thoughts in an orderly manner;” and “Second, there are those who have enough reason or modesty to judge that they are less capable of distinguishing the true from the false than certain others by whom they can be instructed;” He is emphatic with regards to this point. His complete overhaul of personal and public beliefs is not for everyone, nor should everyone attempt it. The facetious way in which he words this however leads me to believe that he honestly feels that everyone could benefit from undertaking the same plan of action as he himself has done. He is basically saying that only the self-centered egotists and the mentally deficient among us would be incapable of pursuing this path. Therefore although he specifically says that not everyone should do this, I believe he is being sarcastic and condescending to all of those who do not. Another important advantage of his method was that it guaranteed the use of reason. Descartes believed that by following his method he would gain every ounce of truth from each problem that he attempted to resolve. “What pleased me most about this method was that by means of it I was assured of using my reason in everything, if not perfectly, at least as well as was in my power; and in addition that I felt that in practicing this method my mind was little by little getting into the habit of conceiving its objects more rigorously and more distinctly and that, not having restricted the method to any particular subject matter, I promised myself to apply it as usefully to the problems of the other sciences as I had to those of algebra,” says Descartes. In other words the method
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This document was uploaded on 10/23/2009.

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Descartes - PCR: Descartes Discourse on Method Descartes...

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