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After that, we should follow four specific rules of inquiry that will enable us to methodically build a coherent system.Rule 1 is to accept only indubitable, clear and distinct ideas.Thus he devised his own method, the starting point of which is to eliminate all former opinions and establish knowledge afresh only on solid foundations.
Shortly after graduation he abandoned all study, and, disregarding his personal conviction that military life was idle and cruel, and became a military engineer for the purpose of traveling, seeing the world and discovering truth found both within himself and in the great book of the world, as he described it.
He sold all of his possessions and invested the funds, along with money from an inheritance and from patrons, which allowed him the privilege and freedom to travel and study most of his life.
Alternatively, some suspected that he contracted the disease while nursing a French ambassador with pneumonia back to health.
Methods of Investigation Like other thinkers of the time, Descartes was attracted to the notion of a scientific method of investigation, which when followed would enable him to make new discoveries and push the boundaries of knowledge.
Rule 2 is that, when trying to solve problems, he would divide up each of the difficulties which I examined into as many parts as possible, and as seemed requisite in order that it might be resolved in the best manner possible (ibid).
Once the problem is broken down into smaller units, he proceeds with rule three that he should begin with the simplest objects, and work to the harder and more complex ones.CONTINENTAL RATIONALISM From The History of Philosophy: A Short Survey James Fieser Revised 9/1/2017 CONTENTS A. Descartes Methods of Investigation Systematic Doubt The One Foundation of All Knowledge Spirit-Body Dualism C.Malebranche Sensory Information: Viewing through God Bodily Movement: God causing all Physical Motion God and Evil D.INTRODUCTION Rationalism is the philosophical view that knowledge is acquired through reason, without the aid of the senses.Mathematical knowledge is the best example of this since through rational thought alone we can plumb the depths of numerical relations, construct proofs, and deduce ever more complex mathematical concepts.The main philosophers associated with this movement, which we will explore in this chapter, are his fathers wishes.While this education pleased his father, a high-court judge himself, Descartes never actually did practice law.Finally, Rule 4 is to review: to make enumerations so complete and reviews so general that I should be certain of having omitted nothing (ibid).Descartes recognized that if he actually began by rejecting all of his previous views, he would be temporarily entering a no mans land in which he could believe or trust nothing until his final system of knowledge was well underway. Should he become an atheist, a drug peddler, or bank robber?Invited to become teacher to the 22-year-old Queen Christina of Sweden, Descartes daily routine was dramatically altered and he rose at a.m. In addition, she ordered him to write a ballet in verse.When he died of pneumonia one year later at age 53, it was speculated that this pressure and inconvenient schedule was the underlying cause.