Knowledge And Rene Descartes: The Idea Of Knowledge

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To what extent can one truly know anything? The ideal of knowledge and the extent of which one can posse has been a controversial point debated by numerous philosophers over a period of time. Beginning in the 17th century, traditional ideas were questioned by the new beginnings of science. Although many of the accomplishments during this Scientific Revolution were in astronomy and mechanics, very significant advances along the borders of knowledge were also taking place. The revival of skepticism, the view that we lack knowledge in some fundamental way, had many philosophers seeking answers. Rene Descartes, whom many consider the father of modern philosophy, sought to kill the ideology of skepticism for good. He believed in the rationalism and certainty principle: If he perceives something clearly and distinctly, he must know it with certainty. Following Descartes, later in the 18th…show more content…
Descartes believed in the rationalism and certainty principle: If he perceives something clearly and distinctly, he must know it with certainty. However, one can easily dismiss that theory. If I perceive a dog to be brown, but someone else distinctly sees the dog as black, who is correct? This concept leaves room for human error in individual thinking. Rationalists, like Descartes, also see science as proof that humans can acquire certain and true knowledge. Yet, this ideology does not account for whether we have propositional knowledge and if we do, how much do we have. Taking the more Empiricist approach, like Hume, Science shows us proof that humans can never be absolute certain of their theories, conceptions and understandings. Science demonstrates the length of the unknown in the real world and the lack of knowledge we posse. Skepticism should be embraced because we lack full knowledge and can never be absolutely certain of theories, conceptions and understandings of the

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