Epistemology
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EPISTEMOLOGY. Exploring Our Access To The Truth; Examining Human Reason, Perception And Knowledge Three Great Philosophers And Their Different Epistemologies: Descartes, Locke and Berkeley. DESCARTES’ PROJECT (Background). Descartes (1596-1650)

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EPISTEMOLOGY

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Epistemology

EPISTEMOLOGY

  • Exploring Our Access To The Truth; Examining Human Reason, Perception And Knowledge

  • Three Great Philosophers And Their Different Epistemologies:

    • Descartes, Locke and Berkeley


Descartes project background

DESCARTES’ PROJECT (Background)

  • Descartes (1596-1650)

    • “Father” Of Modern Philosophy; Multi-Talented Genius

    • A Deeply Committed Catholic

  • The Goal: An Edifice Of Knowledge

    • The Inverted Pyramid

  • The Ground Rules: Avoid Error

    • Certainty And Justification

      • Chains Of Justification

      • Need For Certainty In First Link


  • Descartes project cont

    Descartes’ Project (cont.)

    • Seeking A Solid Foundation For The Inverted Pyramid Of Knowledge

      • Requirement: Absolute Certainty

      • Primary Tool: The Wrecking Ball Of Cartesian Doubt

        • Cartesian vs. Ordinary Doubt

      • Labor Saving Device: Grouping Beliefs By Virtue Of Their Type Of Support

        • Questioning Sources Of Beliefs


    Getting to work seeking the foundation

    Getting To Work: Seeking The Foundation

    • First Assault On The Senses: The Argument From Illusion

      • Reply: Senses Seem To Work OK Much Of The Time

    • Second Assault On The Senses: The Dreaming Argument

      • Key Point: We Can’t Be Certain That We Aren’t Now Dreaming


    Seeking the foundation cont

    Seeking The Foundation (cont.)

    • Third Assault On Senses; Primary Assault On A Priori (Mathematical) Beliefs And (Almost) Everything Else: The Deceiving Demon Argument

      • Clearing The Decks With Doubt

        • No Source Immune From Deception

      • Note: Don’t Need To Believe Demon Is Real; Only Possible


    Seeking the foundation cont1

    Seeking The Foundation (cont.)

    • The “Cogito”

      • “I Exist” Is Necessarily True Every Time I Think It

      • Even To Be Deceived We Must Exist And Have Mental States

    • Other Works: “Cogito Ergo Sum”

      • “I Think Therefore I Am”

      • Certainty About The Content Of The Mind

        • We May Not Know If Thoughts And Experiences Are Accurate, But We Can Know We Are Having Such Thoughts And Experiences

    • Descartes’ Archimedian Point


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