David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (2):265-308 (2003)
This paper aims to provide an explication of the meaning of 'analysis' and 'synthesis' in Descartes' writings. In the first part I claim that Descartes' method is entirely captured by the term 'analysis', and that it is a method of theory elaboration that fuses the modern methods of discovery and confirmation in one enterprise. I discuss Descartes' methodological writings, assess their continuity and coherence, and I address the major shortcoming of previous interpretations of Cartesian methodology. I also discuss the Cartesian method in the context of other conceptions of scientific method of that era and argue that Descartes' method significantly transforms these conceptions. In the second part I argue that mathematical and natural-philosophical writings exhibit this kind of analysis. To that effect I examine in Descartes' writings on the method as used in mathematics, and Descartes' account of the discovery of the nature of the rainbow in the Meteors. Finally, I briefly assess Descartes' claim regarding the universality of his method.
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References found in this work BETA
Athanassios Raftopoulos (1999). Newton's Experimental Proofs as Eliminative Reasoning. Erkenntnis 50 (1):91-121.
John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff & Dugald Murdoch (eds.) (1629). The Philosophical Writings of Descartes. Cambridge University Press.
N. Jardine (1976). Galileo's Road to Truth and the Demonstrative Regress. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 7 (4):277-318.
Daniel Garber (1988). Descartes and Method in 1637. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:225-236.
Jean-Luc Marion (1992). Cartesian Metaphysics and the Role of the Simple Natures. In John Cottingham (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Descartes. Cambridge University Press 115--139.
Citations of this work BETA
Luciano Floridi (2011). A Defence of Constructionism: Philosophy as Conceptual Engineering. Metaphilosophy 42 (3):282-304.
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