What are the Rules of the Method?June 27, 2021
What are the rules that will enable us to avoid doubts or some mistakes and mistakes altogether? Descartes identified four of these rules in his Discourse on Method:
1. First of all, don’t accept anything as true that you don’t know clearly and distinctly as true.
2. Divide each of the problems you have researched into as small parts as possible; because it is necessary for their proper solution.
3. Start with things that can be known easily because they are simple, so that it is possible to progress towards the knowledge of less and more complex and difficult things to understand step by step.
4. Don’t refrain from counting the available data by doing frequent flashbacks to make sure nothing is left out in any case.”
Descartes proposes a four-stage method; 1. Not to accept anything as true that we do not know clearly and distinctly to be true. 2. To break down each of the problems we are investigating into as small as possible. 3. To examine them in order from simple to complex. 4. Going back often and testing the data obtained.
Descartes, in the light of these rules, in order to reach an absolute accuracy, decides that they are open to doubt because he could not clearly grasp the accuracy of the knowledge he had in various fields. In this respect, he carries out a process of reasoning, which can be called a method doubt. Perhaps the application of such a process will enable it to meet with an accuracy that cannot be doubted in any way.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook