Descartes Issues for Final Exam

Descartes Issues for Final Exam - Such certainty is limited...

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Descartes Issues for Final Exam The nature of knowledge and the justification of science Descartes versus the Skeptic Both accept Foundationalism knowledge requires evidential certainty Only two types of evidence Sensation/perception Pure, abstract (mathematical/logical) reason They disagree on whether certainty is possible
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Meditation I: Provisional Argument for skepticism Sensation/perception does not provide evidential certainty because of Illusion Hallucination Dream Hypothesis Pure reason does not provide evidential certainty because of Evil Demon hypothesis Hence, certainty is impossible Hence, knowledge is impossible
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Descartes’ Reply to the Skeptic in Meditation II Cogito, ergo sum Hence, each person can be certain about His/her own existence His/her own current ideas (psychological states), I.e. the content of his/her own ideas/story/theory about the external world
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Unformatted text preview: Such certainty is limited to what is inside, to what the inside ideas/story/theory says about the external world This does not address the question as to the truth of the ideas/story/theory Descartes on (Scientific) Knowledge of the External World Three arguments for the existence of God and, hence, against the Evil Demon Hypothesis If God exists as the creator/designer of our minds, then our ideas/theories of the external world must be generally (probably) true. This falls short of certainty, but is nevertheless sufficiently evident for knowledge. Problems with the Cogito Evil Sophomores Classification of present sensations What shade of red was that? Unconscious ideas Rhymes: how did you do that? Unattended Channel Experiment...
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Descartes Issues for Final Exam - Such certainty is limited...

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