Rene Descartes and John Locke were both philosophers of the 17th century. Descartes was a rationalist in the way that he thought and wrote about. A rationalist used reasoning to gain knowledge. John Locke on the other hand, was an empiricist in the way he philosophized and taught. An empiricist used senses and experiences. These philosophers, being a rationalist and empiricist, were very different in the way they saw life and knowledge, but they had some similarities as well in the way that they thought.
Being of two different groups of philosophers, the rationalists and empiricists, John Locke and Rene Descartes were very different in the beliefs they had; however, as different as they may be there were some similarities that were shared by both of these seventeenth century philosophers. First and most importantly, the biggest similarity that they shared was the fact that they were not skeptics. In other words, they both believed knowledge can be gained by humans. In addition, both of them separated the mind and the body to be two different things or concepts of a living being. For Descartes, mind was for thinking and reasoning and body was just matter or substance. For Locke mind was used for reflection or self-examination of oneself and the body was used for getting knowledge through its senses. For example, Locke says “it is past doubt that men have in their minds several ideas.” This is an example of how he says and believes the mind works in a human being and gives those ideas which are ultimately reflections.
Descartes when he begins to write first states that he is going to doubt everything and then search for the truth. He first establishes himself. He writes “…I could imagine I had no body, and that there was no world nor or any place that I occupied, but that I could not imagine for a moment that I did not exist.” This is where he starts to identify his self. He goes on to say the very well-known phrase “I think therefore I am.” This is the first...
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