Rules for the Direction of the Mind: Discourse on the Method : Meditations on First Philosophy : Objections Against the Meditations and Replies : The Geometry
Is it possible to be certain of anything? If so, how? The father of modern philosophy and the founder of rational method in philosophical thought, René Descartes (1596–1650) sought the answers to these questions and in doing so, addressed the most important of methods of thinking and understanding truth. In Discourse on Method, he applies a scientific approach to philosophy that comprises four principles: to accept only what reason recognizes as "clear and distinct"; to analyze complex ideas by dividing them into smaller elements; to reconstruct the ideas; and to make accurate and complete enumerations of the data. His Meditations proceed according to this method, exploring the mind/body distinction, the nature of truth and error, the existence of God, and the essence of material things.
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And just as in other cases we may be in At this point I have no desire to begin a con- doubt , so at least in this case no doubt is pertroversy about the trustworthiness of the senses ; mitted , namely that these things appear as they ...
It is to be regretted that this Spirit For we may well enough be compelled to doubt so often causes difficulties in our critic's thinkby arguments that are in themselves doubtful , ing . and not to be afterwards retained , as we above ...
... about the to some one whom we imagine like ourselves issue of which we sometimes doubt . ... love towards those who have fear without hope , for the person who wavers benefited others . in hope and doubts concerning the issue of 20.
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