Sunday, September 22, 2019

'Descartes' account of what is necessary and what is sufficient for Essay

'Descartes' account of what is necessary and what is sufficient for knowledge does not make sense'. Explain and critically discuss - Essay Example In developing these ideas, Descartes wrote several books regarding the nature of existence and knowledge, providing us with plenty of material to study and has had tremendous influence on those who have come after him. One of his most often quoted statements is â€Å"I think, therefore I am† which was published in his book entitled â€Å"Discourse on Method,† which was first published in 1637. By studying the writings that led up to this concept as expressed in â€Å"Discourse on Method† and comparing them with further attempts to refine this idea within â€Å"Meditations on First Philosophy,† one begins to conclude that Descartes’ account of what is necessary and what is sufficient for knowledge does not make sense. This simple-sounding statement of â€Å"I think, therefore I am† is the result of a discourse in which Descartes calls into question all of the assumptions he’s come to know as a result of the philosophical thought of his day. â€Å"I had long before remarked that †¦ it is sometimes necessary to adopt, as if above doubt, opinions which we discern to be highly uncertain† (Descartes, 2001). To seek a higher version of the truth, Descartes felt it was necessary to question every assumption that had even the shadow of a doubt. Through this questioning process, he demonstrates how thought, not observation is really the right foundation for knowledge. â€Å"When I considered that the very same thoughts (presentations) which we experience when awake may also be experienced when we are asleep, while there is at that time not one of them true, I supposed that all the objects (presentations) that had ever entered into my mind when awake, had in them no more truth th an the illusions of my dreams† (Descartes, 2001). His idea of discovering truths about the world was defined by whether he had a clear and distinct perception of them and that was sufficient for knowledge. However, the idea that knowledge can be defined by a â€Å"clear and

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