Journal of Early Modern Studies

Volume 3, Issue 2, Fall 2014

Patrick Brissey
Pages 9-31

Rule VIII of Descartes’ Regulae ad directionem ingenii

On the developmental reading, Descartes first praised his method in the first instance of Rule VIII of the Regulae ad directionem ingenii, but then demoted it to provisional in the “blacksmith” analogy, and then found his discrete method could not resolve his “finest example,” his inquiry into the essence and scope of human knowledge, an event that, on this reading, resulted in him dropping his method. In this paper, I explain how Rule VIII can be read as a coherent title and commentary that is a further development of the method of the Regulae.

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