If you have ever heard the phrase, “I think; therefore I am.” Then you might not know who said that famous quote. The author behind those famous words is none other than Rene Descartes. He was a 17th century philosopher, mathematician, and writer. As a mathematician, he is credited with being the creator of techniques for algebraic geometry. As a philosopher, he created views of the world that is still seen as fact today. Such as how the world is made of matter and some fundamental properties for matter. Descartes is also a co-creator of the law of refraction, which is used for rainbows. In his day, Descartes was an innovative mathematician who developed many theories and properties for math and science. He was a writer who had many works that explained his ideas. His most famous work was Meditations on First Philosophy. This book was mostly about his ideas about science, but he had books about mathematics too. Descartes’ Dream: The World According to Mathematics is a collection of essays talking about his views of algebra and geometry.
Kim Davis may have very strong beliefs in regards to gay marriage; nonetheless, they seem to be very problematic after studying Rene Descartes’s arguments from his meditations. This is problematic due the way she made her statement. Kim Davis stated, “According to the Holy Scriptures, “marriage” is the union of one man and one women; The Holy Scriptures are the word of God, We know that God is good because it is taught in the holy Scriptures, Gay marriage involves the union if one man and one man or one woman and one woman. Therefore, gay marriage is morally wrong because it violates God’s will. ”
In this essay I will discuss the following metaphors or ideas: Descartes’ “thinking thing” and Hume’s “empiricism”. I will outline the similarities and differences between these two metaphors concerning what each implies about the meaning of being human. I will also explain which of them is more relevant as a means to gain insight into my own life and/or local and contemporary life in general.
David Hume is was a strong advocator and practitioner of a scientific and empirical way of thinking which is reflected in his philosophy. His skeptical philosophy was a 180 degree shift from the popular rational philosophy of the time period. Hume attempted to understand “human nature” through our psychological behaviors and patterns which, when analyzing Hume’s work, one can clearly see its relation to modern day psychology. Hume was a believer in that human behavior was influenced not by reason but by desire. He believed that “Ambition, avarice, self-love, vanity, friendship, generosity, public spirit—these passions, mixed in various proportions and distributed throughout society, are now (and from the beginning of the world always have been) the source of all the actions and projects that have ever...
1) Rene Descartes challenges, in his meditations, the principles of philosophy, arguing that everything he knew, he learnt from or through his sense, experience and knowledge. Descartes utilizes two different domains of reality, formal reality and objective reality. Formal reality is the reality of existing objects or state of objects. Objective reality is the reality of the meaning of our concepts. Descartes eventually states that through the use of argument and deduction we can get from none basic beliefs to basic beliefs.
Descartes begins his First Meditation by calling all of his beliefs into doubt. His method of systematic doubt or skepticism serves as a general demolition of all previously held opinions. The doubting can be broken into two separate parts. First, Descartes must abandon every belief which lacks complete certainty. Second, once a careful examination of his beliefs has been performed, Descartes must retain only those beliefs characterized by the highest degree of precision. Descartes’ intention is distinctively clear, for he sees it necessary to suppose the falsity of everything he formerly believed as influenced by sensual knowledge, so that he can start again from the right foundations and establish absolutely clear truths.
Comparing Knowledge in Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy and Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding,
David Hume’s epistemology was informed by empiricism and tempered by a skeptical bent which denied knowledge the privileged position of reliable foundation attributed it by Cartesians and other rationalists of his day. Throughout his Treatise of Human Nature, Hume’s broad strategy in discussing such topics as space, time, causation, and self involves argument that we cannot glean sufficient knowledge related to some crucial philosophical concept, our understanding grants us only a vague idea of that concept, and explanation as to how some false views of that concept are rooted in fallacy (Norton, 93).
Descartes brings up an interesting idea and methodology, and specifically the idea that we should take everything that we believe is true, and be skeptical of it, thus in doing so we find one undeniable truth and build upon the truth to reinforce our other beliefs. During the process of skepticism, if any doubt arises to the mind of whatever you believe in, you deem the entire belief as false. When finding the foundational truth, it must be undeniably true. This method of finding an undeniable truth is necessary, because this would allow all other philosophers to be on the same page and able to agree, thus being able to build knowledge around one central and undeniable truth to establish a belief.
Rationalism and empiricism have always been on opposite sides of the philosophic spectrum, Rene Descartes and David Hume are the best representative of each school of thought. Descartes’ rationalism posits that deduction, reason and thus innate ideas are the only way to get to true knowledge. Empiricism on the other hand, posits that by induction, and sense perception, we may find that there are in fact no innate ideas, but that truths must be carefully observed to be true.
Before exploring philosophy, one may expect to gain insight in the questions of our world that are so incredibly multifaceted resolutions seem unattainable. All people throughout history have attempted to ask life’s most difficult questions such as implications of the soul, the meaning of life, human reasoning and many others. This pursuit of definitive answers to life’s intangibles is what sets us apart from many other species we coexist with, and some may say it’s part of our nature. Descartes displaces trust in our unceasing uptake of stimuli from our environment, and peculiarly, assigns absolute truth to a concept with variables that are not quantitative.
The teaching of Descartes has influenced many minds since his writings. Descartes' belief that clear and distinct perceptions come from the intellect and not the senses was critical to his ultimate goal in Meditations on First Philosophy, for now he has successfully created a foundation of true and certain facts on which to base a sold, scientific belief structure. He has proven himself to exist in some form, to think and therefore feel, and explains how he knows objects or concepts to be real.
John Locke, Berkeley and Hume are all empiricist philosophers that believe in different things. They have things in common such as the three anchor points; The only source of genuine knowledge is sense experience, reason is an unreliable and inadequate route to knowledge unless it is grounded in the solid bedrock of sense experience and there is no evidence of innate ideas within the mind that are known from experience. The relationship between our thoughts and the world around us consisted of concepts which were developed from these philosophers. I have argued that Locke, Berkeley and Hume are three empiricists that have different believes.
...ll true knowledge is solely knowledge of the self, its existence, and relation to reality. René Descartes' approach to the theory of knowledge plays a prominent role in shaping the agenda of early modern philosophy. It continues to affect (some would say "infect") the way problems in epistemology are conceived today. Students of philosophy (in his own day, and in the history since) have found the distinctive features of his epistemology to be at once attractive and troubling; features such as the emphasis on method, the role of epistemic foundations, the conception of the doubtful as contrasting with the warranted, the skeptical arguments of the First Meditation, and the cogito ergo sum--to mention just a few that we shall consider. Depending on context, Descartes thinks that different standards of warrant are appropriate. The context for which he is most famous, and on which the present treatment will focus, is that of investigating First Philosophy. The first-ness of First Philosophy is (as Descartes conceives it) one of epistemic priority, referring to the matters one must "first" confront if one is to succeed in acquiring systematic and expansive knowledge.