Distinguished Ways To Achieve Knowledge: A Priori and A Posteriori.

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When it comes to knowledge, the main focus of philosophers is propositional knowledge or knowing that something is or is not the case (Vaughn, 254). Philosophers believe that propositional knowledge has three necessary conditions to know a proposition: believe it, it must be true, and we must have good reasons to justify why it is true (Vaughn, 254). In other words, just because we believe in something, it does not make it true. Now in order to have knowledge, our beliefs must be true, and we must have sound reasons to believe that they are true. In turn, knowledge is a belief that is justified (Vaughn, 254). But how do we justify a belief?
Even though most philosophers will agree that we have knowledge, the source of this knowledge varies. Some will argue that we possess knowledge of the external world, other minds, the past, and the future. Other will embrace skepticism, the view that we lack knowledge in some fundamental way (Vaughn, 254). Skeptics believe that our beliefs are actually false, because we cannot distinguish wakefulness from asleep. Skeptics will raise the question of relativism as well. Knowledge can be cognitive where the truth depends on what persons or cultures believe (Vaughn, 254). Subjective knowledge is the notion that the right actions are those endorsed by an individual. Lastly, cultural relativism states that the right actions are those endorsed by one's culture. Relativism shows us that the truth is different for each person or culture (Vaughn 254).
There are two distinguished ways to achieve knowledge: a priori and a posteriori. A priori is knowledge that is gained before we are exposed to a sense experience. The latter gives us knowledge that is entirely based on sense experience (Vaughn, 256). ...

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...reserve. It could also be so because the experience of coming so close to our death (even in a dream) is so traumatic that we simply wake up, hence we will not experience it.
Even though Descartes provides a well-built argument for a rationalist a priori view, it appears to raise one too many questions. As mentioned, God is a key component in Descartes' argument, but can his entire argument be based on the concept of a higher power? How can we be certain that our emotions and thoughts are not controlled by an evil genius, and if they are, why? Could Descartes answer these questions himself? Overall, the argument that this renowned philosopher provides is suitable, but conceivably a little too far stretched.

Works Cited

Vaughn, Lewis. "Knowledge and Skepticism." Philosophy Here and Now: Powerful Ideas in Everyday Life. New York: Oxford UP, 2013. 252-307. Print.
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