Seventhly, this 'compounding' may take place in three ways; on impulse, or from conjecture, or by deduction. They see that not all the arts can be acquired by the same man, but that he who restricts himself to one, most readily becomes the best executant, since it is not so easy for the same hand to adapt itself both to agicultural operations and to harp-playing, or to the performance of several such tasks as to one alone. V P Ô Ô ô Rules for the Direction of the Mind: Descartes’s 12 Timeless Tenets of Critical Thinking “We ought to give the whole of our attention to the most insignificant and most easily mastered facts, and remain a long time in contemplation of them until we are accustomed to behold the truth clearly and distinctly.” By Maria Popova For example, we may say that figure is the terminus of an extended thing, meaning by 'terminus' something more general than 'figure', since we may also say' terminus of a duration', ' terminus of a motion', etc. Thus they erroneously compare the sciences, which entirely consists in the cognitive exercise of the mind, with the arts, which depend upon an exercise and disposition of the body. ô But I urge the need of long use and practice in acquiring this technique for those who wish to attain a perfect mastery of the latter part of the Method, in which we shall treat of all these other matters. Here's an example. Thus, anybody can see by mental intuition that he himself exists, that he thinks, that a triangle is bounded by just three lines, and a globe by a single surface, and so on; there are far more of such truths than most people observe, because they disdain to turn their mind to such easy topics. But if we arrange these items in the ideal order, then as a rule they will be reduced to certain classes; and it may be enough to have an exact view of one class, or of some member of each class, or of some classes rather than others; at any rate, we shall not ever go futilely over and over the same point. But the first does not concern us here, since it is not something attainable by our technique. On the side of the object of knowledge, it is enough to consider three points: first, what is obvious on its own account; secondly, the means of knowing one thing by another; lastly, the inferences that can be made from any given thing. ô This order of enumeration is variable, and depends on the free choice of the individual; skill in devising it requires that we bear in mind the terms of Rule V. There are, indeed, a good many ingenious, trivialities where the device wholly consists in effecting this sort of arrangement. : ô START OF PLAY. 0 P ô
Brain Pickings has a free Sunday digest of the week's most interesting and inspiring articles across art, science, philosophy, creativity, children's books, and other strands of our search for truth, beauty, and meaning. For sometimes our enumeration includes a number of very obvious points; nevertheless, the least omission breaks the chain and destroys all the certainty of the conclusion. 2.At the end of his discussion of Rule 12 (about line 429), Descartes di-vides the rules into three di erent groups. For other precepts are helpful in resolving very many questions, but it is only enumeration that enables us to form a true and certain judgment about anything whatever that we apply our mind to, and, by preventing anything from simply escaping our notice, seems to give us some knowledge of everything. So I will run through these several times over in a continuous movement of the imagination, in which intuition of each relation is simultaneous with transition to the next, until I have learnt to pass from the first to the last so quickly that I leave hardly any parts to the care of memory and seem to have a simultaneous intuition of the whole. This, however, does not prevent our believing that divine revelation is more certain than any knowledge; for our faith in it, so far as it concerns obscure matters, is an act not of the mind but of the will; and any intellectual foundations that it may have can and must be sought chiefly by one or other of the two ways I have mentioned.
Again the (organ of> imagination may act on the senses by means of the locomotive power, by applying them to their objects; or on the other hand they may act upon it, since it is upon it that they trace images (imagines) of bodies. The observance of these precepts is necessary in order that we may admit to the class of certitudes those truths which, I previously said, are not immediate deductions from the first self-evident principles. The task will then often be no long one-child's play, in fact. Thus it will be perceived much more distinctly by our intellect.
About deduction. Again, sometimes our enumeration covers everything but the items are not all distinguished, so that we have only a confused knowledge of the whole. Finally we ought to employ all the aids of understanding, imagination, sense and memory, first for the purpose of having a distinct intuition of simple propositions; partly also in order to compare the propositions. ô . ô Further, memory (considered, that is, as a corporeal faculty like the recollections of brutes) is nothing distinct from imagination. n It comes to the same thing if we say: It is an indubitable conception formed by an unclouded mental mind; one that originates solely from the light of reason, and is more certain even than deduction, because it is simpler (though, as we have previously noted, deduction, too, cannot go wrong if it is a human being that performs it).
He who is accustomed to reflect on such matters recognizes at once, when he examines each new problem, the source of the difficulty and the simplest method ; and this helps very much towards knowledge of the truth. My third supposition is that the common sensibility also plays the part of a seal, whereas the phantasy or imagination is the wax on which it impresses these images or ideas, which come from the external sense unadulterated and without any body; and this phantasy is a genuine part of the body,. Rule II We should attend only to those objects of which our minds seem capable of having certain and indubitable cognition. We must make no attempt to examine what follows; thus we shall spare ourselves superfluous labour.
Sixthly, the natures called 'compound' are known to us either because we have experience (experimur) of them or because we ourselves compound them.
The following is an example of conjecture: Water, which is further from the center than earth, is also rarer; air, which comes above water, is still more rare; we conjecture that above air there is only a very pure aether, far thinner even than air. Claim yours: Also: Because Brain Pickings is in its fourteenth year and because I write primarily about ideas of a timeless character, I have decided to plunge into my vast archive every Wednesday and choose from the thousands of essays one worth resurfacing and resavoring. This way of regarding them will be helpful, for it enables us to say by way of summary that everything else we get to know will be a compound of these simple natures; for example, if I judge that some figure is not moving, I shall say that my thought is in a way a compound of ' figure ' and 'rest'; and so in other cases. We must, then, be in possession of all the premises; nothing must remain to be shown except the way of finding the conclusion. But it lies within our powers to avoid it; we can do so by never conjoining things unless we see intuitively that their conjunction is absolutely necessary, as we do when we infer that nothing can have shape without extension because shape has a necessary connexion with extension. This is easily shown if we distinguish the intellectual faculty of intuitive knowledge from that of affirmative or negative judgment. The latter two operations should seldom be employed here, for they may lead to needless complication, and they can be carried out more easily later. n This shows me the reason why, given merely terms 1 and 2, 1 can easily find terms 3, 4, etc. ô We must read the works of the ancients; for it is an extraordinary advantage to have available the labors of so many men, both in order to recognize what true discoveries have already long since been made and -also to become aware of what scope is still left for invention in the various disciplines. Rule IV We need a method if we are to investigate the truth of things. His list, titled Rules for the Direction of the Mind and partway in time between the Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry and Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit, endures as a timeless tuning mechanism for the inner workings of reason. Turning therefore to the first point , I should like to expound here the nature of the human mind and body, the way that the soul is the form of I the body, the various cognitive faculties that exist in the whole composed and their several activities; but I think I have not enough space to contain all that would have to be premised before the truth on these matters could be made clear to everybody. One team or individual marks their progress along the darker There is, however; at the same time a great danger that perhaps some contagion of error, contracted from a too attentive reading of them, may stick to us against our will, in spite of all precautions. .
Only two things are relevant to knowledge: ourselves, the subjects of knowledge; and the objects to be known. We must now take the second point . For example, on any view of color it is undeniably extended and therefore has shape. Again, it is often the case that nobody could live long enough to go through each several item that concerns the matter in hand; either because there are too many such items, or because we should keep going back to the same items. Literary Productivity, Visualized, 7 Life-Learnings from 7 Years of Brain Pickings, Illustrated, Anaïs Nin on Love, Hand-Lettered by Debbie Millman, Anaïs Nin on Real Love, Illustrated by Debbie Millman, Susan Sontag on Love: Illustrated Diary Excerpts, Susan Sontag on Art: Illustrated Diary Excerpts, Albert Camus on Happiness and Love, Illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton, The Silent Music of the Mind: Remembering Oliver Sacks, countering our propensity for self-deception. Those objects of knowledge are purely corporeal which are known to occur only in bodies: e.g. This Rule sums up all that has been said already, and gives a general account of the various particulars that had to be explained: as follows.
Rule VIII If in the series of things to be examined we come across something which our intellect is unable to intuit sufficiently well, we must stop at that point, and refrain from the superfluous task of examining the remaining items. Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. /Filter /FlateDecode
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