Descartes - Descartes Skepticism and the Mind Rene...

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Descartes, Skepticism, and the Mind October 24, 2006 Rene Descartes - 1596-1650 - French philosopher, scientist, and mathematician - Inventor of analytic geometry and of the Cartesian” coordinate system, with interests in optics and meteorology as well. - Commonly credited with initiating the “modern era” of philosophy. - Wary of the fate of Galileo down in Italy Aim of the Meditations - Use reason to establish theism - Prove that the mind is a distinct kind of substance from the body. - Part of his method will be to demand that the mind be free from prejudices and withdrawn from association with the senses. - In the process, he will champion an alternative to empiricism, namely Rationalism - The doctrine that proper use of our reasoning faculties can give us the information that we need—about our nature, about what is right, about mathematics, and perhaps, in some way, even about the external world. - Associated with Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz - Emphasize the use of reason, but few would deny that we get any information from sensation. “the false opinions of my youth”
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2008 for the course PHIL 100 taught by Professor Green during the Fall '06 term at UVA.

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Descartes - Descartes Skepticism and the Mind Rene...

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