Human Reason

Topics: Mind, Epistemology, Cognition Pages: 3 (878 words) Published: April 22, 2002
Perspectives on Human Reason

Human reason is a topic that, without a doubt, can have multiple outlooks by various individuals. Descartes believed that reason was the ultimate cornerstone of human knowledge, while Pascale believed that reason alone could not allow someone to attain knowledge. He felt there were limits on reason. Both tried, to the best of their ability, to back their beliefs and make others see their point of view. Descartes doubted the senses and believed that people only knew things through the content of their mind through human reason. Descartes used logical deductive reasoning to question the certainty of the senses. He states, "I have found that these senses sometimes deceive me, and it is a matter of prudence never to confide completely in those who have deceived us even once" (Descartes 26). His basic question that he sought to find the answer for is very complex yet seems so simple when reflecting upon it. How can we actually know things, for certain? How do we know that the sky is actually blue, or that the earth is round? Is there any certain proof to reveal the fact of anything? Are the ideas we form in our minds and perceptions we have the truth? These are the types of things Descartes thought about. He questioned the certainty of absolutely everything. "I have no senses at all; body, figure, extension, movement and place are chimeras. What will, then, be true? Perhaps just this one thing: that there is nothing certain" (Descartes 31) Most people just go along with what they believe and what they know to be true. They never really go deeper to question the assurance of their insights. With this type of thinking, Descartes has made contributions to the modern way of thinking. He felt that the world could know things through mathematics, because math problems have actual set answers. When solving a math problem, a person uses the reason they know to come to a final conclusion. He strongly believed in the primacy of the individual...
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