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Descartes and Aristotle Essay

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People live life one day at time with the same guidance from their ancestors, and they often question their existence in the universe and try to understand the world around them. People often question their existence in the universe. Philosophers try to answer questions that most people will not think of in their daily lives. Most philosophers try to get to the truth of logical questions through epistemology. Epistemology is a “branch of philosophy that studies the nature and possibility of knowledge” (Soccio). Through rationalism, philosophers use reason to make conclusions of the world’s existence. There are two methods of rationalism: a priori and a posteriori. A priori is knowledge deriving from reason (and prior to experience) to find the truth. While, a posteriori is knowledge deriving from the senses to find the ultimate truth. Philosophers have different points to approach an empirical question to the understanding of the universe. Approaching epistemological questions through a priori to find certainty wins over using a posteriori. To argue for this, I will discuss Descartes's and Aristotle’s epistemological approaches to knowing God. Raising objections against Aristotle’s method in approaching how things exist. Knowledge using the senses,which are illusions of the mind is inferior to knowledge from reason, that uses simple basic principles to arrive to the ultimate truth.

Most philosophers tried to prove God’s existence through a posteriori. The philosopher Aristotle tried to prove God’s existence though the four causes, but failed because it seemed to deny God's existence and it did not provide enough evidence of the soul's immortality. He explained why things existed through the four causes: material cause, ...


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...body. The body gets old and breaks down because it lives in time and space. But when the body dies out the mind lives on. Aristotle believed that the mind died with the body. The mind could associate with the soul because the mind is the essence of the soul. The mind is immortal because it does not exist in time and space. Aristotle did not believe in the soul being immortal because he thought characteristics of the senses make up an individual but once dies out with the body. Humans have the ability to control their thought but not their body. Descartes believed that the mind had will power because it had the ability to control own thoughts.


Works Cited

Soccio, Douglas J. Archetypes of Wisdom. Wadsworth: Cengage Learning, 1976. Print

Watson, Richard A. “Rene Descartes.” Encyclopaedia Britannica online. Encyclopaedia

Britannica. 5 Feb. 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2014


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