Humanties 112

Descartes' Discourse on the Method (Part IV)
Wayne Murphy
Strayer University
World Cultures II
Dr. Darryl C. Claybon
July 18, 2011

  The purpose of this essay is to choose one of the three reading selections from the list of topic choices below.
  1. Descartes’ Discourse on the Method (Part IV)
  2. Swift’s A Modest Proposal
  3. Voltaire’s Candide

Read the selection topic in the textbook, and write a three to four paragraph essay with (250 words which analyzes the surprise ending of the reading selection. Clearly state in your own words the surprise ending in the reading you selected. Identify the point in the reading when you realized that the ending would be different from what the beginning of the reading suggested that it would be.
Descartes' Discourse on the Method (Part IV)
      The Discourse on the Method is a philosophical and autobiographical treatise published by René Descartes in 1637. Its full name is Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences. The Discourse on Method is best known as the source of the famous quotation “Je pense, donc je suis” (“I think, therefore I am”), which occurs in Part IV of the work (Sayre, 2011, p. 918).
      The Discourse on the Method is one of the most influential works in the history of modern philosophy, and important to the evolution of natural sciences. In this work, Descartes tackles the problem of skepticism, which had previously been studied by Sextus Empiricus, Al-Ghazali and Michel de Montaigne. Descartes modified it to account for a truth he found to be incontrovertible. Descartes started his line of reasoning by doubting everything, so as to assess the world from a fresh perspective, clear of any preconceived notions.
      Discourse on the Method is Descartes’ attempt to explain his method of reasoning through even the most difficult of problems. He illustrates the development of this method through...