04-21-02, 06:43 PM
Descartes attempted to apply the rational inductive methods of science, and particularly of mathematics, to philosophy. Before his time, philosophy had been dominated by the method of Scholasticism, which was entirely based on comparing and contrasting the views of recognized authorities. Rejecting this method, Descartes stated, "In our search for the direct road to truth, we should busy ourselves with no object about which we cannot attain a certitude equal to that of the demonstration of arithmetic and geometry." He therefore determined to hold nothing true until he had established grounds for believing it true. The single sure fact from which his investigations began was expressed by him in the famous words Cogito, ergo sum,"I think, therefore I am." From this postulate that a clear consciousness of his thinking proved his own existence, he argued the existence of God. God, according to Descartes's philosophy, created two classes of substance that make up the whole of reality. One class was thinking substances, or minds, and the other was extended substances, or bodies.
I really love Philosphy its really develops your mind, and makes you think twice about certain topics.:D
04-21-02, 07:17 PM
You really ought to give proper attribution when you copy and paste text from somewhere else. Around here it's presumed that what you type is your own, and so failing to mention when a block of text is not (especially when it constitutes the majority of your post) is effectively plagiarism.
Beyond that, copying & pasting from Microsoft Encarta isn't going to win you any respect on these forums.
Best approach is when you find an article you want to discuss you should read and understand it, post a summary, and if possible a web link to the artcile if it is online, and then perhaps copy and paste key sentences to emphasize your point.
In this case 'I think, therefore I am" is a good example.
But anyway -
(1) Descartes stated, "In our search for the direct road to truth, we should busy ourselves with no object about which we cannot attain a certitude equal to that of the demonstration of arithmetic and geometry."
(2) ....he argued the existence of God.
I think (1) and (2) contradict each other.
Here is an interesting article - http://www.island-of-freedom.com/DESCARTE.HTM
While I think he successfully proved his own existence he fails quite miserably to esablish a proof for a god with equal certitude to that of mathematics.
04-22-02, 05:49 AM
"While I think he successfully proved his own existence he fails quite miserably to esablish a proof for a god with equal certitude to that of mathematics."
Cris, I agree, but is there any reason to assume that your ones and twos are contradictory?
In fact one could very well argue that, since mathematics hold objective truths, there is a god: a "math-god" (I forgot who came up with that word). Hence, there may be a way to proof the existence of a god from the axiomata
1. I exist (there exists something)
2. Mathematics hold objective truths
It's not a big deal if you cut and paste. I would if I had anything good to cut and paste from. But people tend to like references and sources and such. I guess they seem to be more credibile if they are second-hand. *shrug*
Descartes, as a rationalist, tended to assume everything he wanted to be true as basic in-born truths. That kind of makes it easy. Most of his philosophy can just be thrown out on the basis that it relies on his proof of god. The one most useful thing he contributed was his method of doubt... that, fortunately, led to later advances in understanding.
Descartes also failed to establish certainty of mathematics, or of inductive logic, but I guess those are useful concepts we're stuck using even when they can't be proven... they're a basic part of our construction of the subjective world that lets us interpret the objective world. (Which isn't to say that they have to be true, just that they're very pragmatic.)