Descartes' Philosophy

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Descartes' Philosophy Rene Descartes is a philosopher that lived during the Enlightenment period and is famous for his philosophy of methodological doubt. His method of doubt was psychological in character, involved a kind of rational insight, and implied a justified belief analysis of knowledge, with justification construed in terms of being unshakable. (Newman) An important function of his method was to enable people to redirect their attention from the senses to clear and distinct ideas through intellect, reason, and doubt. Descartes understood knowledge as advancing truth. The Enlightenment was an intellectual period that brought about ideas of God, reason, nature, and man. It was a period of political and social upheaval that brought about revolutions and a period of learning to think for oneself, employing and relying on the individual's capabilities to determine how to think and act. (Bristow) Philosophy of that period caused tension with established religions. By using the intellect to think and act, it required opposing the role of established religion by redirecting thoughts and actions. It brought people to a higher human existence that was more fulfilled. Men became more rational and developed goals of obtaining more knowledge, freedom, and happiness. With turmoil in the empire, people became concerned for personal salvation, which also opposed the role of religion. Established religion of those days taught that people should follow along without
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