Rene descartes discourse on method essay

He referred to it in Latin without explicitly stating the familiar form of the phrase in his Meditations on First Philosophy. The earliest written record of the phrase in Latin is in his Principles of Philosophywhere, in a margin note see belowhe provides a clear explanation of his intent: Fuller forms of the phrase are attributable to other authors. Discourse on the Method[ edit ] The phrase first appeared in French in Descartes's Discourse on the Method in the first paragraph of its fourth part:

Rene descartes discourse on method essay

Science as Observation and Experiment a.

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He asks the reader to carefully observe an eyeball, say that of an ox, from which a portion Rene descartes discourse on method essay the rear has been removed with sufficient care to leave the eyeball fluid untouched.

The portion removed is covered with a thin piece of paper. Descartes then describes how one can view the image formed on the back of the eyeball of objects at varying distances from the front of the eyeball, how the size of the image varies with distance, becomes fuzzier when the eyeball is squeezed, and so on.

These were observations that had not before been recorded: The method was to, in the first place, explore it by empirical observation.

Rene descartes discourse on method essay

Look, but look carefully and systematically. To observe, however, is not to explain, and the new science seeks also to explain.

Descartes has prepared the way for this. The former was already well known, but the sine law for refraction was newly discovered. Huygens was later to complain that Descartes had not referred to Snell, who is now generally credited with the discovery of this law.

Descartes carefully shows how the lens of the eyeball, in conformity with the law of refraction, focuses light arriving from the object to form the image on the retina. The more particular biological facts of sight can be explained by the more general laws of geometrical optics.

The sine law of refraction is the general form of a set of laws: The actual angle for any pair of substances will have to be determined by experiment. Notice the structure of these inferences. There is a general law to the effect that for any situation of certain generic sort, there are specific laws that have some generic form.

This is a law about laws. These two Principles provide a framework within which the scientist searching after truth works as he or she attempts to locate the law of the relevant generic sort that is there, according to theory, to be discovered.

There will be a number of specific possibilities, each of the relevant generic sort. The un-eliminated hypothesis will be the specific law one is aiming to discover.

In particular, such experiments will determine the constant of refraction that the sine law asserts to be there for specific pairs of transparent substances. Experiment will confirm the un-eliminated specific hypothesis, and this will in turn confirm the more generic theory that predicted the existence of a law of that relevant form.

The direction of the light rays as they pass from one substance to another will be determined not just by the constant of refraction, but also by the curvature of the surface that is the interface boundary.

Descartes shows how the shape of a lens contributes to the formation of images. This again is a generic description of the laws applying to many specific situations. Descartes applies this knowledge to account for the various effects that can be produced on the image on the retina, for example, by squeezing the eyeball to distort the lens of the eye in various ways.

Descartes is using the knowledge of patterns not only to explain things newly noticed in observation, but also to apply it in ways useful to the further scientific exploration of the world telescopes and to make ordinary life better corrective lenses. The laws about laws that are the laws of reflection and refraction are themselves laws of physics, laws of matter in motion.

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This kinship is not only one of shape but one of the generic form of the laws that describe the motions of these two sorts of entity. He assumes that the particles of light move in straight lines. In the case of reflection he assumes that the light, that is, these light particles, strike an impenetrable surface and bounce off.

In the case of the refraction he assumes the particles pass from a medium of one density to and through one with another density. The deductions Descartes offers are, in particular in the case of refraction, of questionable validity, but that is not to the present point; our interest is in the Cartesian method or methods and not how he actually applies them.

Descartes is clearly open to speculation because the model he uses for light is one that lacked empirical confirmation.

Descartes, Rene | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

He offered little evidence for his model of light. But it has two uses.Although usually identified simply as the Discourse on Method, the full title Descartes gave to his brief, five-part essay more accurately reveals the nature of his subject.

The Discourse on the Method is a philosophical and mathematical treatise published by René Descartes in Its full name is Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Searching for Truth in the Sciences.

Rene Descartes- Discourse on the Method Choose one (1) of the three (3) reading selections from the list of topic choices below. The focus is on brief but important primary source material written by major authors.

Read the selections as identified with each topic below. Write a three to four paragraph essay ( words minimum) Continue reading "Rene Descartes- Discourse on the Method".

René Descartes was born in La Haye en Touraine (now Descartes, Indre-et-Loire), France, on 31 March His mother, Jeanne Brochard, died soon after giving birth to him, and so he was not expected to survive.

Descartes' father, Joachim, was a member of the Parlement of Brittany at Rennes. René lived with his grandmother and with his great-uncle. home table of content united architects – essays table of content all sites Discourse on Method by René Descartes, Published in , the Discours de la méthode (Discourse on the Method) stands at a crucial point of transition in the philosophical and scientific thinking of René Descartes (–).

On the one hand it looks. René Descartes: Scientific Method. René Descartes’ major work on scientific method was the Discourse that was published in (more fully: Discourse on the Method for Rightly Directing One’s Reason and Searching for Truth in the Sciences).He published other works that deal with problems of method, but this remains central in any understanding of the Cartesian method of science.

René Descartes - Wikipedia