YOU MUST USE ONLY THE TWO SOURCES IN THE TITLE! PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW! I ATTACHED THE READINGS!
Imagine that William James reads exactly the same pages from Descartes’ “Discourse on Method” that we have (as a philosopher himself, he surely did read Descartes). Do you think he would share Descartes’ “method for conducting one’s reason well and for seeking the truth in the sciences” (to quote from Descartes’ full title)? You should talk significantly about the full range of both readings (e.g. not just about the beginning of each one!!). There must be strong reference to the texts—quotes, and page references: at least two or three well-selected quotes from each text, along with other possible page references. Quotes must be from our course texts, and from no other edition; there will be strong penalties for quotes from any other edition, or for no quotes at all. Note that this question does not ask you to describe the two approaches to the truth and lay them out one after the other. It asks you to write a paper making your own judgment about whether James shares Descartes’ approach to finding the truth; you would then need to support whatever your judgment is. In this sense, you should approach the paper not as only describing the two writers’ views, but as making a case about the relationship between them (are these views similar? are they different? are they both?). This forces us into analysis, because we have to define what the two writers’ methods are, and then see where they differ or converge. The paper is an argument paper, then, not a report. And second, note that in assignments like this, you don’t have to say that the writers’ views about how to find the truth are entirely different or entirely similar. What will make your reading your own is deciding for yourself what “amount” of difference or similarity there is between their views.
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