Part_02_-_Descartes - Test 2 March 19, Test 3 April 14,...

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Test 2 – March 19, Test 3 – April 14, Test 4 – May 2 1. Influences on Descartes – developed alternative physics, had optical theories, lawyer, raised by Jesuits. a. The Geometric or Deductive Approach – emphasis from math. Start with basic axioms that are simple, obviously true, and easily known. Then go on to deduce ‘theorems,’ other truths from these axioms. Very geometric and mathematic form. Unlike Plato in that there’s a specific form. b. The “mechanical” view of nature – not view of things that are real, but it’s a view of the natural world. View about nature. We get a view of the world with mathematically precise natural method. Predictive powers come into this. Example: not being surprised at how far the moon is from the earth. He wants to make all these influences consistent. i. False view. ( Prof’s thought) Replaced sort of with physics. It’s useful though, and we use it all the time. Tight natural world. If one thing happens, another must happen. Cause and effect. ii. Mathematical precision to make laws. iii. This view was what distinguished this from middle ages because of math and concept of nature being machine-like. c. The significance of religious language and thought as found in theism – no matter how religious he was or wasn’t, he takes notion of soul as independent from God. Even though he’s a scientist. Thinks that language is sensible for him. Natural to talk about God. (Prof ) He’s got soul talk. 2. Descartes’ Dilemma (or Predicament) – (Predicament) Because you are a human being, there are times you want to be absolutely certain. There are other times you could care less. Example: you want to marry someone, so you absolutely want to know if someone loves you (might marry you for money, babies, just to be married, etc.) a. Descartes wants certainty! b. Predicament: Because I’m human, I want to be to certainly sure about certain things. How can a human being want to be sure, but who is also fallible, have absolute certainty? This is impossible. A human being has so have some skepticism. i. Plato would say “We have the likely story.” But Descartes wants the truth. 3. Descartes’ Method of Doubt: used to describe Descartes’ way of removing himself from a predicament. These are the basic characteristics of Method of Doubt: a. Deliberate (v. ordinary doubt) – ordinary doubt; you’re thrown into it despite yourself. You don’t force yourself to doubt. Doubting a person (ordinary) vs. doubting a truck for being a
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This note was uploaded on 03/20/2008 for the course PHL 304 taught by Professor Leon during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Part_02_-_Descartes - Test 2 March 19, Test 3 April 14,...

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