Descartes

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Descartes 1. In the Discourse on the Method, Descartes laments that as a young man he was forced to conclude at the end of all his studies that “there was no doctrine [i.e., teaching or body of knowledge] in the world that was of the sort that I had previously been led to hope for.” In your essay, I would like you to discuss the nature of the body of knowledge he was looking for a s well as the place of the cogito (that is, the utterance “I think, therefore I am”) in it. You may discuss his criticism of the learning of the time, but do not spill much ink over it; the focus of your paper should be on the new science he is seeking, not the old. Rene Descartes is considered by many to be the father of modern philosophy. His new philosophy challenged the thoughts and ideas of the ancient philosophers such as Aristotle and Socrates. Due to the fact that he challenged their ideas and beliefs he subsequently challenged the ideas and beliefs of the people of his time. This got Descartes in hot water with many organizations and powerful people. Descartes, as a young man, spent a good deal of time traveling between colleges and with Maxamillian’s army in search of knowledge. After many years, he realized in fact that all that he had learned and been taught was not completely true. He decided that in order to find the truth and knowledge he would develop his own philosophy. The only way for him to develop this new philosophy was to refute all the knowledge that he had been taught up to that point unless it was true without a doubt. Descartes knew that the only way his new philosophy would be accepted was if it was unable to be refuted. He looked at the “house of philosophical knowledge” and realized that it was poorly ... ... middle of paper ... ... believed that these principles were not developed by experience. He thought that we were born with these talents, which were innate. The challenge in life is to realize these innate talents. In his model of one large tree the branches represented morals, medicine, and mechanics. The trunk of the tree represented physics, which he believed all science developed from. He believed that the roots were the metaphysics. Descartes achieved what he set out to do. He developed a new philosophy, which separated him from the other older philosophical ideas. By doubting all that he had previously learned he was able to seek the truth that avoided him. He developed the first Principle of Philosophy in “I think, therefore I am.” Overall his journey to develop a new philosophy was a success as evidenced by the fact that he is considered the father of modern philosophy.

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