Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences
'Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences' Summary
The book was originally published in Leiden, in the Netherlands. Later, it was translated into Latin and published in 1656 in Amsterdam. The book was intended as an introduction to three works: Dioptrique, Météores and Géométrie. La Géométrie contains Descartes's initial concepts that later developed into the Cartesian coordinate system. 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.
The book is divided into six parts, described in the author's preface as:
- Various considerations touching the Sciences
- The principal rules of the Method which the Author has discovered
- Certain of the rules of Morals which he has deduced from this Method
- The reasonings by which he establishes the existence of God and of the Human Soul
- The order of the Physical questions which he has investigated, and, in particular, the explication of the motion of the heart and of some other difficulties pertaining to Medicine, as also the difference between the soul of man and that of the brutes
- What the Author believes to be required in order to greater advancement in the investigation of Nature than has yet been made, with the reasons that have induced him to write
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