Descartes and New Science

analytical Essay
1169 words
1169 words

Descartes and New Science

The new view of the world comes from new developments in the sciences. The new views and developments contradicted some of the most fundamental ideas that were held in the world at the time. The philosophers associated with this new view of the world are Copernicus, Kepler, Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, Locke, etc. Copernicus tried to resolve the problems of the motions of the planets by placing the sun as the center of the earth. He did make it simpler however, it wasn’t until Newton who cleaned it up and answered some of the key questions that riddled the Copernican theory. Math became one of the fundamental properties of the world. Math was considered to be the most certain and to be the foundation of all truths. The appeal to sense perception was limited because there were sometimes reasons that the sensory perceptions were not too accurate (i.e. stick in the water). The new method was to make careful observations with math, ignore metaphysical claims, and apply math to all primary qualities (size, shape, motion).

Scholasticism was the old view that was started around 200 BC. Scholastics used reason and theology to make their claims. The church’s influence during this period was very important because only views that complemented the church were allowed. The church’s influence was very strong and scared many philosophers, and many of them skewed their writing so not to call attention to their writing, including Descartes. Syllogism was widely used the structure of argumentation. Other than that, the appeal to common sense reason was very important feature of the time. Everything that they thought was relative to them.

In Descartes Discourse on the method for Rightly conducting ones...

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... on the other hand is not developing any new fundamental properties. He is fixing the old fundamental properties held by the scholastics. All he is doing is keeping with that sensory perception is the only way to obtain knowledge, but agrees with Descartes by saying that you should be cautious. Locke really doesn’t know if the fundamental properties of the science are those the new science identified as fundamental. They could be fundamental or they could not be. The mind has limited knowledge and if the mind doesn’t know and hasn’t obtained the knowledge from sensory experience then you wont know unless you do. Locke is a very conservative person, he is not overstepping his bounds by making claims about things that he can not prove, so he plays it safe and he stay within the realm of the knowledge and doesn’t delve into areas that he can not know anything of.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the new view of the world comes from new developments in the sciences. copernicus, kepler, bacon, galileo, descartes, locke, etc.
  • Explains that scholasticism was the old view that was started around 200 bc. scholastics used reason and theology to make their claims. the church's influence was strong and scared many philosophers.
  • Analyzes how descartes' discourse on the method for rightly conducting one's own reason and for seeking truth in the sciences makes it clear that philosophy is built on a weak foundation.
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