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Rene Descartes[1][1][1]


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Rene Descartes[1][1][1]

  1. 1. Rene Descartes “ The First Modern Philosopher” By: Billy & Yalini
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Rene Descartes is considered the &quot;Father of Modern Philosophy.&quot; His system of thought represents a break away from all former systems of philosophy, and particularly, away from Aristotle and Aquinas. Unlike Aristotle, who explained human existence in terms of &quot;prime matter,&quot; and saw human beings as single unified entities, Descartes held that one has a mind and a body, each of which is a separate and distinct &quot;substance.&quot; Unlike Aquinas, who argued for the tabula Rasa model of the human mind—a mind that resembles a blank recording device at birth, and records data from sensory experience—Descartes argued that humans are born with innate ideas—that exist in the mind at birth </li></ul><ul><li>His Major works were: </li></ul><ul><li>Discourse on Method&quot; (1637) </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Meditations on First Philosophy&quot; (1641) </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Principles of Philosophy&quot; (1644) </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Focusing on how people “Know” </li></ul><ul><li>Focused on two questions: What can we know for certain? And What is the relationship between body and mind? </li></ul><ul><li>Developing his theories he used the “Descartes” method </li></ul><ul><li>Theories focused on new attention on debate over nature of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Quest “ to know he decide to accept nothing as true he did not clearly recognize to be so </li></ul><ul><li>dream argument: he maintained that the dreaming experiences are indistinguishable from walking experiences </li></ul><ul><li>The evil argument: all sensory experiences as well as ideas and thoughts about reality are planted in people’s minds </li></ul><ul><li>“ thing that thinks” referred as its conscious </li></ul><ul><li>Maintained that human mind could know things independently of physical reality (power of their own reason </li></ul><ul><li>Believed that human experience offers no grounds for believing anything including one’s own body is real </li></ul><ul><li>Maintained that all claims to knowledge must be open to challenge </li></ul><ul><li>“ deductive reasoning to establish this truth and it is used because every statement must be deduced or derived from pervious statement that assumed to be true </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Started with belief that everything should be doubted </li></ul><ul><li>Construct new foundation for all knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Famous argument “I think, therefore I am” </li></ul><ul><li>Devised number of counter arguments </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge can be achieved only through human ability to reason </li></ul><ul><li>Hypothetical scenario raised the possibility that reality, as people perceive it, is an illusion </li></ul><ul><li>Doubted that senses are an avenue to knowledge and used skepticism as a tool in his quest to discover the difference between believing and knowing </li></ul><ul><li>He cannot doubt two facts: first, could not doubt that he was doubting and second, because he was doubting there had to be a doubter </li></ul><ul><li>Deductive reasoning involves moving from one statement or premise, to the next in order to arrive at a certainty </li></ul><ul><li>Proposed that reality consist of two radically differ kinds of things </li></ul><ul><li>Mental substances and material substances </li></ul><ul><li>Identified as one infinite all inclusive substance as God or nature </li></ul><ul><li>“ What can I know for certain </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Hypothetical scenario raised the possibility that reality as people perceive it as illusion </li></ul><ul><li>Reason changed the way people thought about questions of science and philosophy </li></ul><ul><li>Some things may have influenced Descartes such as the death of his mother when he was very young, father’s social standing as a member of the minor French nobility, family’s economic status as prosperous landowners, education by Jesuit priests, who taught rigorous thinking and use of logic etc </li></ul><ul><li>Idea that knowledge may be subjective rather than rational, objective and universal </li></ul><ul><li>Descartes beliefs were similar to Plato’s in many ways </li></ul><ul><li>Both believed that ideas are innate and that people can use natural ability to discover these ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Both started by questioning knowledge acquired through sense perception </li></ul><ul><li>Plato never doubted the existence of external world. Though he believed that the external world changes and that people’s perception of it are subject to error, he did not deny that the physical world exists. </li></ul><ul><li>Descartes differs from those of Plato, denied the existence of the physical world </li></ul><ul><li>Descartes took the opposite view, focused on thinker and the thinking process rather than content of thought </li></ul><ul><li>Shifted the emphasis of understanding knowledge from content to process </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Wrote Rules for the Direction of the mind </li></ul><ul><li>Rationalist </li></ul><ul><li>Believes that reason without aid of sensory experience provides knowledge of reality </li></ul><ul><li>People’s personal perspectives on the world, these perspectives are dictated by factors such as people’s personal, social, economic and cultural background </li></ul><ul><li>Holds the idea of a perceived object is more real than object itself </li></ul><ul><li>use of reason alone, without reference to human sense </li></ul><ul><li>In his meditation he discounts the value of empirical knowledge, and he claims to have dispensed all of his previously held notions, at least, for the purpose of his experiment in seeking reliable knowledge that can be held with certainty </li></ul><ul><li>His Four Rules were </li></ul><ul><li>1.) Never accept anything except for clear and distinct ideas </li></ul><ul><li>2.) Divide each problem into as many parts as are needed to solve it </li></ul><ul><li>3.)Order your thoughts from the simple to the complex </li></ul><ul><li>4.) Always check thoroughly for oversights </li></ul><ul><li>thinking being&quot; as the foundation for all further conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>defines this matter in terms of two properties only - extension is space (length, breadth, depth) and motion </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Descartes Method: which is his first philosophical work and indicates a new approach to philosophy </li></ul><ul><li>Cogito ergo sum: his famous argument (a Latin sentence that means “I think, therefore I am </li></ul><ul><li>Evil-Genius Method: all sensory experiences as well as ideas and thoughts about reality are planted in people’s minds </li></ul><ul><li>Rigorous: demanding strict attention to rules and procedures; &quot;rigorous discipline&quot;; &quot;tight security&quot;; &quot;stringent safety measures&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Skepticism: A methodology based on an assumption of doubt with the aim of acquiring approximate or relative certainty. </li></ul><ul><li>Dream Method: he maintained that the dreaming experiences are indistinguishable from walking experiences </li></ul>
  8. 8. Bibliography <ul><li>Philosophy Questions and Theories . Toronto: Patty Pappas, 2003. 182-84,194,205-06 </li></ul>