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Descartes: The Father of Modern Philosophy

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John Abbruzzese

on 21 September 2012

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Transcript of Descartes: The Father of Modern Philosophy

Rene Descartes Knowledge (1596-1650) the view that at least some knowledge comes from reason alone Empiricism: the view that all knowledge comes from the senses. First Meditation Second Meditation Third Meditation Fourth Meditation: Fifth Meditation Sixth Meditation What can be called into doubt Concerning the nature of the human mind:
that it is better known than the body Concerning God, that He exists Concerning the true and the false Concerning the essence of material
things and Again concerning God,
that He exists Real Distinction between Mind and Body the view that all knowledge comes from experience The Cartesian Project First Meditation Foundationalism Methodological Doubt Scientia Second Meditation Cogito Mind God The Arguments for Skepticism Second Meditation Sixth Meditation Rationalism The theory that beliefs obtain their justification from basic beliefs, that act as a foundation. Descartes's concept of indubitable knowledge. Descartes will treat as false any belief that isn't indubitable. The Possibility of Sensory Deception The Possibility of Dreaming The Possibility of the Evil Demon "Ego cogito, ego sum" (1) To know anything through the senses, I must exclude the
possibility that I am dreaming.
(2) But I can never rule out the possibility that I am dreaming.
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(3) Therefore, I can never know anything through the senses. (1) To know anything, I must exclude the possibility that I am
being tricked by an evil demon.
(2) But I can never rule out the possibility that I am being tricked
by an evil demon.
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(3) Therefore, I can never know anything. (1) Under different circumstances, all of the sensible
qualities of the wax change.
(2) Yet, I know that the wax persists.
(3) The only way I can know that x persists is to
grasp something in x that is identical over time.
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(4) It must be from some faculty other than the senses
that I know the wax persists. At least some knowledge comes from reason alone. (1) Whatever we can clearly and distinctly conceive is possible.
(2) We can clearly and distinctly conceive the mind and body existing apart.
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(3) Therefore, it is possible for the mind and body to exist apart.
(4) If one thing can exist apart from another, the two are different substances.
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(5) Therefore, the mind and body are different substances. (1) God is the most perfect being (the being possessing all and only perfections).
(2) Existence itself is a perfection.
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(3) Therefore, God possesses existence (i.e., exists) Substance Dualism: minds and bodies are distinct substances. Substance: an independently existing thing. Property: that which may be ascribed to another; that which is dependent, or must exist in or through another. Substance Essence Mode Res Cogitans (Mind) Thought Doubting, Hoping Res Extensa (Body) Extension Being Spherical, Being Red Argument from Clear and Distinct Conception The Fifth Meditation The Ontological Proof Perfection: a great-making property
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