Descartes' Method of Doubt vs. Hospers

Topics: Epistemology, Mind, Taste Pages: 3 (1258 words) Published: November 24, 2008
Descartes’ vs. Hospers

Knowledge is an acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study of investigation and a familiarity or conversance, as with a particular subject or branch of learning. (3) Many philosophers have different perspectives of knowledge. Descartes’ believes that the only thing absolutely known is that you exist because you think. However, Hospers believes that there are different forms of knowing that must be proven with evidence.

Descartes’ believes that you can doubt anything that exists because it’s either a misconception or seen as an illusion. He suggests that if he is able to find in each one some reason to doubt, that it will suffice to justify rejecting it as a whole. The main reason for Descartes’ doubt in everything is that his senses have deceived him in the past. He states that “I have accepted as most true and certain I have learned either from the senses or through the senses; but it is sometimes proved to me that these senses are deceptive.” (1) When you smell something sweet you probably think it is going to taste sweet as well. However, if you taste it and it’s not sweet, your senses have deceived you. This is only one example of how your senses can deceive you; Descartes’ however, believes since his senses have failed him once that he’ll always have to doubt them. Also, Descartes’ believes that dreams are just false delusions because occasionally, in sleep he is deceived by the illusions in his dreams and there are no indications that he can clearly distinguish when he is awake or asleep. Descartes’ allows himself to be deceived by everything and there is nothing that he previously believed to be true, that he doesn’t somewhat doubt. Descartes’ main point of knowledge is that he is thinking, therefore he exits. He states that, “I am, I exist, is necessarily true each time that I pronounce it or that I mentally conceive it.” (1) He believes that when you think, it doesn’t use any senses, hence,...
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