That's not at all the argument. The argument is about what Descartes meant by his title. Not how we say the names of his works. I think we should (when it makes a real difference, as it does in this case) that we should say the names of his works correctly, because unless we do, we will not understand what the work is supposed to be about. Whether you say, "Principles" or "Principles of Philosophy" makes no difference. But whether you say, "Discourse on Method" or, "Discourse on the Method" makes a big difference.
This particular argument is (honestly) not very illuminating. I'm a little more interested in the content than how we choose to cite or say the titles (which I am sure is very fascinating to some, but not to others who are acquainted with the content and the title).
I completely agree that we should say the names of Descartes works correctly. Heck, the guy put a lot of time into them. Henceforth, Discourse shall not be known by that paltry, undignified title anymore. We must now use the full title, "Discourse on the Method for Conducting One's Reason Well and for Seeking the Truth in the Sciences." I further suggest that instead of merely citing titles, we should also state the author, the citation numbers, the publisher, the publishers uncles favorite food, etc. LOL! But seriously though, I'm going to refer to the text in the way I am both accustomed and feel is adequate enough to reference.
But now my curiosity is peaked in regards to discourse on method (lol! last time I swear). In what way to you think this determinate article minutia ever so slightly affects the content of the book? I am dying to hear your thoughts on this since you have made such an interesting stand on this particular issue.
It is not just that The Discourse on Method is not the correct title of the book. It is that it makes no sense in terms of the book. It would be like calling a book on algebra a book about mathematics in general. That is not just an incorrect title. It is wrong.
The book is about a particular kind of method with a particular kind of goal. Not a book simply on method as such. That would be a different book.
Suppose you picked up a guide that was supposed to tell you how to get from New York City to Montreal, and, in fact, the book was just about how to travel. Wouldn't you feel cheated? So the book in French is "How to get from New York to Montreal", and the translation of the title is, "How to travel from one place to another". Do you think that would just be a controversy on how to say the title of the book?
And I still say that this is a hilarious conversation since its the title of the book rather than the content that we are discussing. Why the content is being avoided is questionable.
What makes you think the contents are avoided? What contents have you in mind?
Perhaps the method (or more interestingly the methods and subsequent theories, notions, etc.) in question would be nice. Rather than bicker how to say the titles, perhaps it would be more fruitful to discuss the content of the (and just for you, every title I cite from now on is going to have the fullest citation possible),book, namely Discourse on the Method for Conducting One's Reason Well and for Seeking the Truth in the Sciences."rather than Discourse on MethodDiscourse on the Method for Conducting One's Reason Well and for Seeking the Truth in the Sciences"by Rene Descartes is besides the fact that the thread is on Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes. My bad for obliging this deviation.
Perhaps we have not found an example or situation where our most advanced arguments, logic and reason are completely useless and wrong?
Just because it makes sense to us, does not mean it makes sense. To say that would be an assumption.
Well, there is a difference between talking about method in general, and talking about some particular method.
I only pointed this out. But not to avoid any discussion, It was you who seemed to want to discuss it.
And, if I have anything intelligent to say about what you would like to discuss, I'll do it. In the meantime I am content to point out that there is difference between a discussion on method, and a discussion on some particular method defined by a particular goal. Descartes tells us that the method he advances is the method for attaining that particular goal, and not just any old method for attaining that goal or any other goal.
The word "the" is called the definite article, and the word, "a" is called the indefinite article for a reason.
Your heavy handed sarcasm is, how should I put it? heavy handed. But, there is, so far as I can see, so good reason for sarcasm at all. So why don't you make up your mind to be nice?
The big question is Descartes method. However, the true big question should refer to Meditations though rather than this deviation.
Since Descartes method is most fully explained in his Discourse on the Method (as one would expect it should be, hence the title of the book) and is, at most touched on in the Meditations, if it is his method you want to discuss, it might be wiser to consider where he discussed it rather than where he does not discuss it.
I enjoy discussion with all who know something about the subject, and are willing to consider arguments which may not support their views. And, of course, those who discuss politely, and without sarcasm.
Funny enough, Meditations on First Philosophy is structured in such a way that it almost functions as a showcase for the metaphysical rough draft formed in Discourse on the Method for Conducting One's Reason Well and for Seeking the Truth in the Sciences by Rene Descartes (in parts 3 and 4 for example). However a full explanation is just out of reach for Descartes as far as Discourse on the Method for Conducting One's Reason Well and for Seeking the Truth in the Sciences, because (as elaborated famously in part 5) the clear and distinct ideas reveal only a partial examination implicitly implied.
A full explanation of what, and a partial examination of what? The method? I don't think I find that anywhere in Meditations.
A full explanation of Descartes metaphysics as far as Discourse on the Method for Conducting One's Reason Well and for Seeking the Truth in the Sciences is concerned. Which in essence is only partial (via Descartes own implication (L5,IV) because the text (Discourse) is but a precursor/showcase/example/etc. when considered in the light of his later text Meditations on First Philosophy.
The "general" method (doubt everything except what is clear and distinct, decompile, reconstruct what is clearest and most distinct, and enumerate) as it applies to Descartes metaphysics (examined in much more detail later in Meditations on First Philosophy) (as opposed to his notions on anatomy, physics, etc.which in turn take on unique permutations) is essentially mirrored in five-six parts of Discourse on the Method for Conducting One's Reason Well and for Seeking the Truth in the Science. The substantial method essentially is the framework of the entire Meditations on First Philosophy text. For example, the preoccupation with clear and distinct ideas forms a good part of the rationalistic basis of Meditations, especially when it comes to notions like the wax example, the scales of reality, etc.
I think I understand most of what you are saying, although I wish you could put it more succinctly and simply, but am I supposed to conclude anything from your post? This business about universal doubt is, of course, already explained the the Discourse. Descartes only reprises it, briefly in the Meditations, and then gets down to business.
I suppose in order to stream line the whole process, what transpires in Meditations on First Philosophy is first addressed in Discourse on the Method for Conducting One's Reason Well and for Seeking the Truth in the Sciences, albeit not fully. Like a (rough conceptual) trailer for a movie, the trailer being Discourse and the movie (or at least one of the movies) being Meditations. There is more to it, but that seems like a bare-bones summation.
Universal doubt is explained somewhat in Discourse, however, within the context of Discourse (roughly around the start of 2), universal doubt is used in many ways as a catalyst to further the notion of "clear and distinct" ideas (not the specific notion of doubt). This is done in Meditations, although the process is a bit different. In Meditations, is clear and distinct). I suppose it could be said that the Cartesian scientific method is being applied over and over again. Never settled, always enumerated.