Philosophy – epistemology
Philosophy – epistemology
Descartes is very successful philosophers in 17th century. Rene Descartes is widely accepted as the father of modern philosophy. He tried to create fundamental philosophy for natural sciences. Descartes mainly focus on his philosophical contributions in the theory of knowledge and his famous work focus on the epistemological project, Meditations on First Philosophy. He wants to explain his thought in Meditations on First Philosophy which is as original in philosophical modus as in content.
Meditations on First Philosophy examine Descartes’ arguments and opinion. Although there are 6 meditations in this book, this paper points out the search for a foundation of knowledge (the question of truth) and doubt the “Cogito” (I think; therefore I am). First of all, in the First Meditation, Descartes demonstrates that several arguments for doubting all of his previously basic beliefs. Everything that he thought is the doubt. He has started to doubt from everything and he wanted to find the question of truth with own ideas.
Descartes defines knowledge in terms of doubt and he aims ‘to reach certain’. At the same time, we have to use five senses but Descartes believes the senses sometimes deceive us concerning things. Also Descartes is often convinced when he is dreaming that he is sensing real objects. For instance, he said that “There is the fact that I am here, seated by the fire, and attired in a dressing gown, having this paper in my hands and other similar matters. And how could I deny that these hands and this body are mine (…)” (146).
Descartes believes that we can achieve certain truth when we will doubt everything. Descartes uses some question to help prove one of his main arguments and ideas to find truth. For example, how we know certain, what is true, what we see, what we hear? As we can see, according to Descartes, the senses are not enough to decide what is real. He believes the truth is in his mind and he must use his mind. Descartes’ Second Meditation discusses some parts. First part explain that how a “body” can understand things, such as objects.
Descartes examined how the mind should know better that human body. Although we need senses for everything, the mind is more important because all knowledge accumulate in our mind. Second part includes Descartes opinion about thinking. According to Descartes, thinking is very significant point because thinking is the ability to doubt, use imagination and reach certain truth. His famous theory is “Cogito Ergo Sum” which called ‘I think, therefore I am’. Descartes said that, “I don’t yet know clearly enough what I am.
” (151) It means that, sometimes he has convinced himself that there is absolutely nothing in the world such as no sky, no earth also no mind no body. Descartes believes that if people convinced themselves of something then they existed. To conclude, we can infer that Descartes defend the certain truth is our knowledge and thought. These meditations are considered about modern philosophy. At the same time, Descartes wants to create gripping subject to study science.
Subject: René Descartes,
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 6 November 2016
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