"This is similar to the way in which we know that the last link in a long chain is connected to the first: even if we cannot take in at one glance all the intermediate links on which the connection depends, we can have knowledge of the connection provided we survey the links one after the other, and keep in mind that each link from first to last is attached to its neighbour."
— Descartes, René (1596-1650)
(Rule 3, p. 15)
See Opuscula posthuma, physica et mathematica (Amsterdam: P. and J. Blaeu, 1701).
Not published in Descartes' lifetime. Dutch translation in 1684; published in Latin in 1701.