Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 14 (2):289-320 (2010)
The analytic method by which Descartes discovered the first principle of his philosophy—cogito, ergo sum—is a unique cognitive process of direct insight and nonlogical inference. It differs markedly from inductive as well as deductive procedures, but also from older models of the direct noetic apprehension of first principles, notably those of Plato and Aristotle. However, a critical examination of Descartes’s argument for the innateness of the idea of God shows that there are serious obstacles in the way of his employment of the analytic method of discovery to reach this or any other conclusion about ideas that do not fall within the scope of ordinary human experience
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