This excerpt is from an essay that I am currently reading by Rene Descarte entitled Discourse on Method.
- The first was never to accept anything for true which I did not clearly know to be such; that is to say, carefully to avoid precipitancy and prejudice, and to comprise nothing more in my judgment than what was presented to my mind so clearly and distinctly as to exclude all ground of doubt.
- The second, to divide each of the difficulties under examination into as many parts as possible, and as might be necessary for its adequate solution.
- The third, to conduct my thoughts in such order that, by commencing with objects the simplest and easiest to know, I might ascend by little and little, and, as it were, step by step, to the knowledge of the more complex; assigning in thought a certain order even to those objects which in their own nature do not stand in a relation of antecedence and sequence.
- And the last, in every case to make enumerations so complete, and reviews so general, that I might be assured that nothing was omitted."
I find that these principles can be applied to the analysis of everything not only philosophy. Further more... if applied human dealings political and otherwise would be much better off. However, that is the problem with philosophy... it is always based on ideals... the calculated risks associated with certain action never quite have the same threat as that of risk occurring in real-time. So although calculation is necessary it is only by GOD's graces that calculated plans actually work.