Top-Rated Free Essay

Discourse of the Method

Topics: Mind, Thought, Critical thinking, Reasoning, Psychology, Logic / Pages: 5 (1206 words) / Published: Nov 14th, 2013
3RD WRITING ASSIGNEMENT In a really famous “Discourse of the Method”, Descartes is basically teaching us how to think like a real philosopher, and giving us information about his education, sufficient rules of logic, moral code, and how these moments are shaping the founding of the Cogito. Descartes is trying to build a new foundation through the entire treatise, and demolish the old foundation. In the first part Descartes is talking about his opinion about education and good sense. He tells us how good sense is the best distributed thing in the world, and how he thinks that distinguishing the true from false, what is actually good sense or a reason, is equal in all of us. The only big difference is how we direct our thoughts along different path, and that is why we do not attend the same things. Descartes is also saying how education did not make of him what he accepted at first, so he is being disappointed in education. He said that he got nothing from being educated except that he increased the level of his ignorance how he was constantly beset by a lot of doubts and errors what made him think that education was useless. He is comparing education with traveling, saying that it is good to examine all the subjects related to theology, poetry, languages, mathematics, in order to know their true value and guard against because we can be deceived by them. Although he considers traveling better, too much traveling can make you a stranger in your own country, he says.
For Descartes, education was a kind of a benefit, but he thought that education could unclouded his mind. Traveling was something what he was supporting more, because his motive was to travel and learn from the world. He also believed that the most important thing is to study and master yourself, and to study the world. That is why he evaluated traveling much more than education. René thinks that traveling around the world brought him more success, than he could of have if he stayed in his country with his books. A really big part of René’s belief is that everything is in finding a reason and fighting merely probable. He connected mathematics with reasoning and merely probable with theology. René says in Discourse of the Method that he delighted in mathematics because of the certainty and evidence of its reasoning. He also mentions that people with the strongest reasoning are the most persuasive what make their thoughts clear and intelligible. On the other side he was fighting merely probable because he considered false everything what was merely probable. He gives us a really strong reason for that, explaining how people have more theories about God, and more than one of them can be true, but how all of them are merely probable, they are automatically false for him. In the second part, Descartes is saying how one genius is much greater than a group of them, explaining it through the instance of built buildings. More important thing in this part is how René sets down his own rules of logic. The first rule is never to accept anything as true, if you do not have an evident knowledge, which means that one should not jump on conclusions too early without an evident reason. This rules gives us the option to conclude thing only if we have an evident knowledge. Second rule is to always first break down your difficulties in as many parts as you can, and then solve them; that is a way to resolve them better. Once you resolve them partially, from piece to piece, you are going to be able to resolve the entire problem better and faster.
René’s third rule is to direct your thoughts in order according to the reason. You should start from the simplest one, moving to more complex, and finish with the most complex one, always taking a step by step. The last and the fourth rule is to avoid preconceptions, be comprehensive, and leave nothing out. This method René finds really effective for solving problems. Descartes also explains the provisional moral code through his four codes in the third part of the Discourse. His firs maxim is to obey the customs and rules of his country and his religion, and never take an extreme opinion. The second maxim is to be decisive in your actions, and stick with your decisions even if there are some doubts, with no regrets and remorse. The third maxim is to try to change and master himself, not the world. He says that he would rather change his desires that the order of the world. He also says that nothing is in our power except our thoughts, what makes us not allowed to want things that are deprived from us, and we should not regret the absence of that goods. René admits that it takes a long time to see everything in this light. He believes that in this lay the secret of some philosophers who in earlier times and poverty saw themselves richer, more powerful and happier than the other man because of the mastery of their thoughts. Being convinced that nothing is in your power except your thoughts, makes you not attracted to the other things. The last maxim Is to examine all the occupations in the world, and to try to choose the best one. Descartes decides not to say anything about other professions, because he thinks that reasoning and searching for the truth by using the method he prescribed for himself is the right call for him, how he was already engaged in that. The fourth part of the Method gives us Descarte’s proofs of the existence of the sould and of God. He explains how the nature of dreams and unreliability of the senses made him to become aware of his own process of thinking. This is how he came up with the conclusion, ”I think, therefore I exist”.

According to him, process of thinking makes you alive which means if you think, you exist. Thinking and doubting are two necessary conditions for existence. He said that there is nothing to assure him that this proposition is true, but the fact that in order to think you need to exist makes it true. Also according to this way of thinking, Descartes believes that all the things we consider clearly and distinctly are true. He also gives us example that in this situation mind only matters. He explains how he examined that even though he could pretend that he did not have a body, he could not pretend that he did not exist because his mind was still “alive”. Thinking does not require any place, body, or any material thing, you think, and that means that you exist. Really interesting thing Descartes is mentioning in this part is perfection and how only God is all-perfect and all-truthful. He is wondering how he can have a perfect idea if he is not a perfect human being, and from where are the ideas of perfection coming from. The only possibility to have it in himself was God, who put it into him by nature, he explains.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Discourse on the method
  • Western Humanities Discourse on Method
  • The Influence Of Descartes Discourse On Method
  • Discourse on Descartes Skeptical Method
  • A summary of "Discourse on the Method" by Rene Descartes.
  • Descartes’ Discourse on the Method – Part Iv
  • Rene Descartes Discourse On Method Analysis
  • Descartes Discourse on Method Essay Example
  • Of Discourse
  • Discourse and Discourse community