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René Descartes

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  1. René Descartes "I am thinking therefore I exist."- Discourse on Method

  2. Basic Info. • René Descartes was born on March 31st, 1596 in the town of La Haye in the south of France • Studied literature, grammar, science, law, philosophy, theology, medicine, and mathematics. • Was convinced that science and mathematics could be used to explain everything in nature. Discourse on the Method(1637)

  3. Discourse on the Method • Full name is Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Searching for Truth in the Sciences • Descartes tackles the problem of skepticism. He modified it to account for a truth that he found to be incontrovertible. • Descartes started his line of reasoning by doubting everything, so as to assess the world from a fresh perspective, clear of any preconceived notions. The evidence the Dark Lord has returned is incontrovertible! Incontrovertible – (adj.) absolutely certain; undeniable

  4. D. on the M. Organization • How to think correctly • The Method of Science • Morals Maxims deduced from this Method • Proof of God and the Soul • Physics, the heart, the soul of man and animals • Experiments

  5. 1. How to Think Correctly • “Opinions and our own thoughts are the ground upon which our later perceptions are built. “ • The core principle is that one must not seek to build on old foundations of knowledge, but should look for other fertile land to build knowledge upon. • “Good sense is mankind's most equitably divided endowment. . .the differences of opinion are not due to difference in intelligence, but merely to the fact that we use different approaches and consider different things. For it is not enough to have a good mind: one must use it well."

  6. 2. The Method of Science The four precepts of the Method: • Filter away all that may be in doubt. 2. Divide difficulties to as small pieces as necessary. 3. Start with the simplest problems. 4. Make Lists, Tables, Diagrams. 1. easy 2. hard

  7. 3. Morals Maxims deduced from this Method • Obey the laws and customs of your country and religion. • Be as firm and resolute in your actions as possible. • Endeavor always to conquer myself rather than fortune, and change my desires rather than the order of the world, and accustom myself to the persuasion that, except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.

  8. 4. Proof of God and the Soul Descartes believes three things are not susceptible to doubt. • 1) Something has to be there to do the doubting (I think, therefore I am). • 2) The method of doubt cannot doubt reason as it is based on reason itself. • 3) By reason there exists a God and God is the guarantor that reason is not misguided. Descartes’ reasoned proof of the existence of God • Whatever I clearly and distinctly perceive to be contained in the idea of something is true of that thing. • I clearly and distinctly perceive that necessary existence is contained in the idea of God. • Therefore, God exists.