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Cartesian Method and the Problem of
                        Reduction | Oxford Scholarship Online
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Cartesian Method and the Problem of Reduction

Emily R. Grosholz


Cartesian method, construed as a way of organizing domains of knowledge according to the ‘order of reason’, was a powerful reductive tool. Descartes produced important results in mathematics, physics, and metaphysics by relating certain complex items and problems back to simpler elements that serve as starting points for his inquiries. However, his reductive method also impoverished these domains in important ways, for it tended to restrict geometry to the study of straight line segments, physics to ... More

Keywords: Cartesian method, order of reason, reduction, reductive method, Descartes, geometry, physics, metaphysics, mathematics, philosophy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1991 Print ISBN-13: 9780198242505
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198242505.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Emily R. Grosholz, author
Pennsylvania State University
Author Webpage