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Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences »


By Ren*escartes

Science – Methodology

René Descartes

Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences

PREFATORY NOTE BY THE AUTHOR

If this Discourse appear too long to be read at once, it may be divided

into six Parts: and, in the first, will be found various

considerations touching the Sciences; in the second, the principal

rules of the Method which the Author has discovered, in the third,

certain of the rules of Morals which he has deduced from this Method;

in the fourth, the reasonings by which he establishes the existence of

God and of the Human Soul, which are the foundations of his Metaphysic;

in the fifth, 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; and, in

the last, 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.

PART I

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. And in this it is not likely that all are mistaken the

conviction is rather to be held as testifying that the power of judging

aright and of distinguishing truth from error, which is properly what

is called good sense or reason, is by nature equal in all men; and

that the diversity of our opinions, consequently, does not arise from

some being endowed with a larger share of reason than others, but

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