While the organization and structure described in this handout are necessary components of an effective persuasive essay, keep in mind that writing itself is a fluid process. There are no steadfast rules that you need to adhere to as you write. Simply because the introduction is the first paragraph in your essay does not mean that you must write this paragraph before any other. Think of the act of writing as an exploration of ideas, and let this sense of exploration guide you as you write your essay.
Descartes argues that the laws in the basic mechanistic framework that he takes to hold for sciences like optics and physiology – these laws about laws that guide empirical research in these sciences – are not themselves empirical but are rather necessary truths that are knowable a priori. Thus far we have seen that Descartes is well aware of the logical structure of the experimental method in natural science. To that extent he is not a philosopher who asserts that the a priori method applies everywhere. But he is nonetheless correctly to be counted among the rationalists. In fact he argues that in principle at least all laws could be known a priori. It is just that the world of ordinary things is too complicated in its structure for us, with our finite minds and limited capacity to grasp the a priori structure of the world, to deduce from self-evident premises the laws of the mechanisms underlying ordinary observable things and processes. We can know a priori the law about laws that there are more specific laws with the generic structure of physical mechanisms, of machines. But what those specific laws are requires empirical research; they are too complex logically to be knowable a priori by us, with our finite capacities.
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This section is optional. You can thank those who either helped with the experiments, or made other important contributions, such as discussing the protocol, commenting on the manuscript, or buying you pizza.
All three of the processes described above will inform your decisions about what you need to read for a particular essay. If left unplanned, the reading stage can swallow up huge amounts of time. Fortunately, there is scope for developing efficiency in several ways:
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