History of Philosophy-M&C Test #2

History of Philosophy-M&C Test #2 - History of...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
History of Philosophy: Modern and Contemporary Test #1 Rationalism on the Continent Rene Descartes The Quest for Certainty - He was chiefly concerned with the problem of intellectual certainty. - His quest for certainty led him to turn from his books to that great book of the world. He thought that by exposing himself to the people of the word he would discover more exacting reasoning, since in practical life, as compared with scholarly activity, a mistake in reasoning has harmful consequences. - He had three dreams that convinced him to construct the system of true knowledge upon the capacities of human reason alone. - Since his system of truth would have to be derived from his own rational capacities, he would no longer rely on previous philosophers for his ideas, nor would he accept any idea as true simply because it was expressed by someone with authority. - He therefore gave philosophy a fresh start by using only those truths he could know through his own powers as the foundation for all other knowledge. - His goal was to arrive at a system of thought whose various principles were not only true but connected in such a clear way that we could move easily from one true principle to another. Descartes Method - His method consists of harshening the abilities of the mind with a special set of rules. - He insisted on the necessity of method and on systematic and orderly thinking. - Method consists in those rules by which our capacities of intuition and deduction are guided in an orderly way. The Example of Mathematics - He looked at math for the best example of clear and precise thinking. - He was convinced that math certainty is the result of a special way of thinking. If he could discover this way, he would have a method for discovering true knowledge of whatever lay within the compass of my powers. - Math is not itself the method, but merely exhibits the method he was searching for. - In math he discovered something fundamental about mental operations. Specifically, he fastened on the mind’s ability to apprehend directly and clearly certain basic truths. - He wanted to affirm the fact that our minds are capable of knowing some ideas with absolute clarity and distinctness. - Moreover, mathematical reasoning showed how we progress in an orderly way from what we do know to what we don’t know. - He was convinced that we could, and claimed that his method contained, the
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
primary rudiments of human reason and that with it he could elicit the truths in every field whatsoever. - From his perspective all that various sciences are merely different ways in which the same abilities of reasoning and the same method are used. - In each case it is the orderly use of intuition and deduction. Intuition and Deduction
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 06/14/2010 for the course PL 20166 taught by Professor Collins during the Spring '10 term at Lipscomb.

Page1 / 6

History of Philosophy-M&C Test #2 - History of...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online