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Cartesian Philosophy

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1. Descartes set forth a scientific method for understanding nature. Explain Descartes Method (his four steps). How does his method compare with today's understanding of the scientific method?
2. Explain Descartes' famous quote, the Cogito. How did he come to this conclusion?
3. Explain Descartes' Dualism of mind and body.
4. Do you agree with Descartes' dualism of mind and body? Why or why not?

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Rene Descartes (1596-1650) One of the most well known philosophers and the most famous French philosopher. Everyone has heard his phrase "I think, therefore, I am". Descartes chief works include; Discourse on the method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking the Truth in the Sciences, Rules for the Direction of the Mind, Meditations of First Philosophy, Principles of Philosophy and The Passions of the Soul

Descartes on Method
If good sense (common sense) is humankind's most equitably divided endowment, then why are there enormous differences between humans with regard to how much they have discovered?
Descartes says that different humans use their reason in different ways and therefore the important questions becomes; what is the correct way to use one's reason? Or which is the right method for using one's reason?

Mathematics as the model for Descartes' method- Four rules (Scientific Method)
1. Never to accept anything as true unless I recognize it to be evidently such
2. divide each of the difficulties which I encountered into as many parts as possible
3. think in and orderly fashion, beginning with the things which were the simplest and easiest to understand and gradually and by degree reaching toward more complex knowledge.
4. make enumerations as complete, and reviews so general, that I would be certain that ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides assistance in answering set questions (see questions 1-4 above) in relation to Cartesian theory. References are listed for further exploration of the topic.

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