It is best known as the source of the famous quotation "Je pense, donc je suis" " I think, therefore I am ", or "I am thinking, therefore I exist" , [1] which occurs in Part IV of the work. A similar argument, without this precise wording, is found in Meditations on First Philosophy , and a Latin version of the same statement Cogito, ergo sum is found in Principles of Philosophy Discourse on the Method is one of the most influential works in the history of modern philosophy, and important to the development of natural sciences. While addressing some of his predecessors and contemporaries, Descartes modified their approach to account for a truth he found to be incontrovertible ; he started his line of reasoning by doubting everything, so as to assess the world from a fresh perspective, clear of any preconceived notions. The book was originally published in Leiden , in the Netherlands. Later, it was translated into Latin and published in in Amsterdam. The text was written and published in French rather than Latin, the latter being the language in which most philosophical and scientific texts were written and published at that time. Most of Descartes' other works were written in Latin. Together with Meditations on First Philosophy , Principles of Philosophy and Rules for the Direction of the Mind , it forms the base of the epistemology known as Cartesianism. Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for every one thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess. A similar observation can be found in Hobbes: "But this proveth rather that men are in that point equal, than unequal. For there is not ordinarily a greater sign of the equal distribution of anything than that every man is contented with his share," [3] [ relevant? For to be possessed of a vigorous mind is not enough; the prime requisite is rightly to apply it. The greatest minds, as they are capable of the highest excellences, are open likewise to the greatest aberrations; and those who travel very slowly may yet make far greater progress, provided they keep always to the straight road, than those who, while they run, forsake it. Descartes describes his disappointment with his education: "[A]s soon as I had finished the entire course of study…I found myself involved in so many doubts and errors, that I was convinced I had advanced no farther…than the discovery at every turn of my own ignorance. Descartes was in Germany, attracted thither by the wars in that country, and describes his intent by a "building metaphor" see also: Neurath's boat. He observes that buildings, cities or nations that have been planned by a single hand are more elegant and commodious than those that have grown organically. He resolves not to build on old foundations, or to lean upon principles which, he had taken on faith in his youth. Descartes seeks to ascertain the true method by which to arrive at the knowledge of whatever lay within the compass of his powers; he presents four precepts: [7]. The first was never to accept anything for true which I did not clearly know to be such; that is to say, carefully to avoid precipitancy and prejudice, and to comprise nothing more in my judgment than what was presented to my mind so clearly and distinctly as to exclude all ground of doubt. The second, to divide each of the difficulties under examination into as many parts as possible, and as might be necessary for its adequate solution. The third, to conduct my thoughts in such order that, by commencing with objects the simplest and easiest to know, I might ascend by little and little, and, as it were, step by step, to the knowledge of the more complex; assigning in thought a certain order even to those objects which in their own nature do not stand in a relation of antecedence and sequence. And the last, in every case to make enumerations so complete, and reviews so general, that I might be assured that nothing was omitted. Descartes uses the analogy of rebuilding a house from secure foundations, and extends the analogy to the idea of needing a temporary abode while his own house is being rebuilt. The following three maxims were adopted by Descartes so that he could effectively function in the "real world" while experimenting with his method of radical doubt. They formed a rudimentary belief system from which to act before he developed a new system based on the truths he discovered using his method:. Applying the method to itself, Descartes challenges his own reasoning and reason itself. But Descartes believes three things are not susceptible to doubt and the three support each other to form a stable foundation for the method. He cannot doubt that something has to be there to do the doubting I think, therefore I am. The method of doubt cannot doubt reason as it is based on reason itself. By reason there exists a God, and God is the guarantor that reason is not misguided. Descartes supplies three different proofs for the existence of God, including what is now referred to as the ontological proof of the existence of God. Here he describes how in other writings he discusses the idea of laws of nature, of the sun and stars, the idea of the moon being the cause of ebb and flow, on gravitation, and going on to discuss light and fire. His work on such physico-mechanical laws is, however, projected into a "new world. Descartes does this "to express my judgment regarding He goes on to say that he "was not, however, disposed, from these circumstances, to conclude that this world had been created in the manner I described; for it is much more likely that God made it at the first such as it was to be. Thus, in Descartes' work, we can see some of the fundamental assumptions of modern cosmology in evidence—the project of examining the historical construction of the universe through a set of quantitative laws describing interactions which would allow the ordered present to be constructed from a chaotic past. He goes on to the motion of the blood in the heart and arteries, endorsing the findings of "a physician of England" about the circulation of blood, referring to William Harvey and his work De motu cordis in a marginal note.

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