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If A Tree Falls In The Philosophical Forest, Someone Managed To Undermine Descartes Ambitions For Epistemology

2155 words - 9 pages

To truly think about knowledge brings about some interesting thought. When asked to think about knowledge, most individuals concern themselves solely with what they know such as certain subjects, theories or facts. In the grand scheme of things, this way of thought is seemingly only minute or even superficial. As human beings, we do not always considered how we come to know what we know. We often place are acquisition of knowledge lower in a taxonomy of importance. All too often, individuals take knowledge and its power for granted. However, individuals like René Descartes and his work, The Meditations, provide a deep exploration of knowledge and all its facets. For every individual or scholar this work is very important in that it causes the reader to consider what we assume as truth and to envision a foundation for knowledge that is indubitable. The aim of this paper is to consider the role of knowledge in epistemology, to expose the concept of an indubitable foundation for all knowledge and the overall influence of Descartes on the imminent enquiries.
First of all, I demonstrate that epistemology is the study of all that encompasses knowledge. Furthermore, I support the traditional epistemological concept of justified true belief by arguing that this model is largely relied on in the expectations of current empirical data.
Second, I examine Descartes intentions, method and product, The Meditations. Following this review, I assert that it is impossible to find a true foundation for knowledge due to the unknown origin of human creation, the element of subjectivity and solipsism and the limitations of knowledge being indubitable. Furthermore, I critically assess that the Cartesian circle and Descartes presumption of God in his meditations are largely problematic.
In general, epistemology studies every aspect that encompasses knowledge. Traditionally, epistemology is simply clarified as justified true belief. Belief forms a foundation in light of ones subjective and personal basis of behaviour and understanding. However, not all beliefs are necessarily true thus truth becomes the next step in solidifying knowledge. The final aspect of this traditional model is justification, which is providing reasoning for both belief and truth. This model is reflected in the current process of empirical research and discovery. For example, beliefs are what establish a researchers subjective interest in their topic of investigation. From this belief, they follow up by seeking objective truth. In order to do so, they find means of justification, whether qualitative or quantitative to support their belief in order to verify its truth. In doing so, this process leads to knowledge that is based on the system of justified true belief.
However, many facets of knowledge are considered in the interest of epistemology. Perhaps most significant would be simply defining knowledge. Nonetheless, how one comes to possess knowledge is also very important. Yet these two...

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