Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Descartes & Hume Essay
Rene Descartes was a rationalist, meaning he thought that reason alone, not booster or experience, was the source to attaining familiarity about the eternal faithfulnesss of the universe, such as mathematics, epistemology, metaphysics and the humans of God. He excluded physics from this list, admitting that knowledge of physics simply comes done experience (Descartes). Regardless, his rationalistic epistemology made it so that Descartes could only accept the truth about something if it was based upon a principle that was clearly and diaphanously certain. Innate, a priori knowledge is fundamental to Descartes philosophy.A priori refers to any knowledge that is attain without appealing to sense experience (OConnor, Class Notes). Being a rationalist, he completely doubted either sensory experience he had ever had. Sensation is ever-changing and sometimes misleads or deceives us, so according to Descartes, trusting in an experience of sensation to provide us with any kind of u niversal truth would be foolish (Descartes). Whereas rationalism directly focuses on reason as organism the only port to attain knowledge about the world, empiricism concentrates in full on all knowledge being a posteriori, or attained through experience and sensation.In an obvious way, David Humes empiricist epistemology directly contrasted Descartes rationalism, specifically by how he believed macrocosm nates attain knowledge. According to Hume, humans understand the world by experiencing different percepts impressions/sensations and ideas/thoughts. The amount of force and vivacity of the perception allows humans to differentiate between the two. Impressions and sensations are more forceful and crisp since they are a product of direct experience. Ideas and thoughts are simply lightheaded recreations of the original impressions that were perceived.While Descartes believes that certain ideas are innate, such as the existence of God, Hume absolutely denies the possibility of i nnate ideas. He claims that humans could never fully know or comprehend anything beyond our impressions. If an impression is not perceived, thence it cannot be acknowledged. Since our knowledge is limited to the impressions we perceive, we have no real way of comprehending causality, instead it is often confused with correlation. Cause and effect events tend to issue forth in close temporal order, but that does not mean we can know whether those events are intrinsically related or not.Instead, we can only place our faith in the customs and habits of human life. Oppositely, Descartes believed we gain knowledge a priori, and we can only know that which we have clear and distinct justification for. In order to justify what we know, we cannot appeal to anything except for reason. Lastly, we moldiness judge those justified ideas by applying Descartes specific and logical method of reflection. Thusly, by accepting Descartes method, the universal and eternal truths of the world can be kno wn.