02-15 Early Modern Descartes

02-15 Early Modern Descartes - EARLY MODERN PHILOSOPHY &...

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DESCARTES PHILOSOPHICAL PROJECT Rene Descartes (1596-1650) o Considered by many to be the father of modern philosophy o One of the most widely discussed historical philosophers today o Almost all of the core areas of philosophy today have been shaped by Descartes views o Worked in many different fields Law, optics, physics, physiology, mathematics, geometry. Background to Descartes meditations of first philosophy o Mechanism -the material world is entirely explainable in terms of matter and  motion. o (contrast to  scholasticism  (take Aristotle believe and use it, not just theology.  Aristotle taken to be the supreme authority, with not only philosophical issues (god,  etc); but also in biology and physics, and all other scientific models.) o Rationalism -reason can give us certain indubitable knowledge; it is reason—not  sense perception—that gives us the firmest knowledge.  (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz) Vs . o Empiricism : all of our knowledge ultimately rests on sense perception. (slates  when we are first born.) (Locke, Berkeley, Hume) A case study of Descartes’ mechanism: Rainbows o Descartes, Discourse on Method The project of Descartes Meditations     o Scholarly investigation had proceeded based on a flawed method relying on false and  unsupported assumptions. It seems that all our beliefs (even common ones) are based on other beliefs we have.
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2009 for the course PHIL 20B taught by Professor Tsompanidis during the Spring '08 term at UCSB.

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02-15 Early Modern Descartes - EARLY MODERN PHILOSOPHY &...

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