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
Newton's Experimental Proofs as Eliminative Reasoning.Athanassios Raftopoulos - 1999 - Erkenntnis 50 (1):91-121.
The Philosophical Writings of Descartes.John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff & Dugald Murdoch (eds.) - 1629 - Cambridge University Press.
Galileo's Road to Truth and the Demonstrative Regress.N. Jardine - 1976 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 7 (4):277-318.
Neo-Aristotle and Method: Between Zabarella and Descartes.T. J. Reiss - 2000 - In John Schuster, Stephen Gaukroger & John Sutton (eds.), Descartes' Natural Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 195--228.
Cartesian Metaphysics and the Role of the Simple Natures.Jean-Luc Marion - 1992 - In John Cottingham (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Descartes. Cambridge University Press. pp. 115--139.
Citations of this work BETA
A Defence of Constructionism: Philosophy as Conceptual Engineering.Luciano Floridi - 2011 - Metaphilosophy 42 (3):282-304.
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