If A Tree Falls in the Philosophical Forest, Someone Managed to Undermine Descartes Ambitions for Epistemology

2257 Words Jun 21st, 2018 10 Pages
To truly think about knowledge brings about some interesting thought. When asked to think about knowledge, most individuals concern themselves solely with what they know such as certain subjects, theories or facts. In the grand scheme of things, this way of thought is seemingly only minute or even superficial. As human beings, we do not always considered how we come to know what we know. We often place are acquisition of knowledge lower in a taxonomy of importance. All too often, individuals take knowledge and its power for granted. However, individuals like René Descartes and his work, The Meditations, provide a deep exploration of knowledge and all its facets. For every individual or scholar this work is very important in that it causes …show more content…
More distinctively, Descartes wants to establish this foundation so that it will provide a metaphysical confirmation for the sciences. Descartes establishes what he considers indubitable knowledge by deducting from scientific laws and mathematical theorems, to find the principles that make them viable (Lightbody, Jan 17). Ultimately, by discovering this foundation Descartes assumes that subsequent knowledge will be truthful and that a solid knowledge of the world will exist.
With this goal in mind, Descartes sets out his epistemological quest. In the first meditation, Descartes identifies that he must systematically rid of existing beliefs (Lightbody, Jan 24). To do so, Descartes takes a skeptic method of doubting and calls all that is claimed as knowledge into doubt. From these doubts, Descartes asserts a basis that he claims is free of presumptions. Essentially, Descartes seeks to prove to skeptics, those who believe there is absolutely no certain knowledge, that even by eliminating all assumptions with beliefs there remain several truths that evolve. From Meditation One, he then moves on to his further meditations that support human existence, the mind, God and the physical world.
As stated, doubt is central to Descartes process in establishing the foundation for all knowledge, a foundation that he derives as indubitable. The first doubt that Descartes addresses is the human senses. He equates that the senses
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