Philosophy Exam 2: Study GuideUnit 2: KnowledgeSkepticism: Descartes p.199-203:1.Rene Descartes [1596-1650]2.Epistemologya.Episteme: knowledgeb.What is knowledge?c.What can we know and how can we know it? 3.Cartesian Geometrya.Find all points of intersection4.Method of Hyperbolic Doubt: If I have the slightest reason to doubt P, then I will not believe P. 5.A more moderate policy: I will believe P only if I have better evidence for P than for not P.6.The Dream Argumenta.I cannot be certain that I am not dreaming nowb.If I cannot be certain that I am not dreaming now, then I have reason to doubt everythingc.I have reason to doubt everything7.Math is a priori: known independently of the senses8.The Evil Demon Argumenta.I cannot be certain that I am not being deceived by an evil demon nowb.If I cannot be certain that I am not being deceived by an evil demon now, then I have reason to doubt everythingc.I have reason to doubt everything 9.Notes from Reading: Meditations on First Philosophy by Descartes [The First Meditation]a.The First Meditation provides reasons for doubt about all things, especially material things, so long as we have no foundations for the sciences, other than those which we have had up until now. b.Its greatest belief lies in freeing us from all of our preconceived opinions and providing the easiest route by which the mind may be led away from the senses.c.Conclusion is confirmed by the fact that we cannot understand the body except as being divisible, which, by contrast, we cannot understand a mind except as being indivisible [natures of the mind and the body are in some ways opposites]d.We need to understand that absolutely all substances, or things which must be created by God in order to exist, are by there nature incorruptible and cannot ever cease to exist unless they are reduced to nothingness by God denying his concurrence to them. e.Man’s mind is not an accident, but a pure substance.f.The mind and the body make up a kind of unit and there is a survey of all the errors which commonly come from the senses, and an explanation of how they may be avoided; and, lastly, there is a presentation of all the arguments which enable to existence of material things to be inferred.
g.Whatever I have accepted up until now as true I have acquired from or through the senses. However, I have found that the senses deceive, and it is prudent to never trust completely. h.There is not one of my former beliefs in which a doubt may not be properly raised. i.To properly form the Evil Demon Argument I must do everything in my power so that the deceiver, however powerful and cunning he may be, will be unable to impose on me in the slightest degree. Skepticism and Rationalism: Descartes p. 203-207 1.Skepticism: we can know nothing2.Archimedes3.The Cogito: a.Cogito ergo sumb.I think, therefore I amc.I think d.Everything that thinks existse.I exist f.“If I convinced myself of something, then I certainly exist.” g.“This proposition, I am, I exist,