Descartes on Rationalism

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After much consideration, I have chosen to write this final paper on the topic of rationalism. I will be using Rene Descartes: Meditation on First Philosophy as my only resource. I plan to address each question asked one at a time in order to answer them completely. To understand what Descartes’ point of view, I plan on beginning with an open mind. I plan to reread the section and reevaluate the notes taken in class to help formulate my opinion, and then I plan to approach each question and answer it.

I will be analyzing Rene Descartes’ view on knowledge. He says that you must rely on the facts from your mind rather than the knowledge obtained through you senses to acquire your knowledge. Descartes uses “unshakable” knowledge to form his philosophy. In the Second Meditation, Descartes rids himself of all tangible properties to find if we can trust our own knowledge and to find who ‘I’ is.

This philosophy is classified as epistemology, which is the theory of knowledge, and under this classification there are two subcategories that are important to understand. Rationalism is the theory that reason is itself a source of knowledge that is better than sense perception. On the other hand is empiricism, which is the theory that all knowledge originates in experience. In empiricism you obtain your knowledge through experiencing events while you gain your knowledge through reasoning or eliminating all other possibilities in rationalism. In order for us to be able to trust the knowledge that we obtain there must be three conditions met: truth, belief, and justification. By believing the theories presented by rationalism, your reasoning will lead you to believe and trust the knowledge you have obtained. Again, through rationalism, you eliminate uncertain facts with reasoning and you can justify what you know. I think that to obtain truth, you must use the theories supported by empiricism because people usually believe things to be truer when other people or themselves...
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