Knowledge And The Act Of Knowing Essay

1006 WordsNov 27, 20165 Pages
Knowledge and the act of knowing could be said to be central to the experience of humanity as we define it, and indeed the study of these things, epistemology, is one which gets to the core of who we are as a race and how we interact as individuals with the world around us. In examining these ideas and forming a personal theory of knowledge, an individual, being confronted with one of the essential questions of human existence: “What is knowledge?’, can easily become mentally overwhelmed by its scope and complexity, as they might become physically in attempting to push a large boulder up a steep hill. I, initially being one of these overwhelmed individuals, was struck by the sheer enormity of the question as our class progressed through the unit, and began slowly to doubt all which I had previously held to be true. Though I appreciated, respected, and, in many ways, found the works of all the examined philosophers to be illuminating, I ultimately found my closest ally in doubt to be the great French philosopher René Descartes. Though not all of his ideas resonated with me, those which did did so with a power never before experienced in my young life. Among the multitude of ideas presented in his Meditations on First Philosophy, those of Descartes which resonate with me the most are those of healthy skepticism and doubt and the criterion of true, responsible knowledge as being “clear and distinct.” Though separated by the space of hundreds of years and thus belonging to
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