The Significance Of The 'cogito' For Cartesian And Modern Philosophy.

2186 words - 9 pages

Descartes' 'Cogito' is regarded by many as the birth of modern philosophy. Descartes was born in on the cusp of 17th century in 1596 after the high renaissance had literally rebirth-ed the worlds of the arts, politics and science. Philosophy was largely untainted by this worldwide upheaval initially as medieval scholasticism was still the dominant system studied and taught. Philosophy's renaissance from scholasticism was to come with Descartes and his contemporaries when the European world was reflecting and analysing the new discoveries and achievements that had settled themselves into society.As a scientist, Descartes revolutionised geometry by solving geometrical problems by way of algebraic equations. He also wrote essays on optics, physics and meteorology. Descartes was part of a revolutionary breed of scientists and philosophers that subscribed to the now universally accepted view of a heliocentric Copernican model of the solar system. His early works on methodology were part of a wider movement to install the so-called Galilean World View as the wider accepted basis for science . Through Descartes and Galileo physics came to be written in the language of mathematics and geometry instead of the previous order of scholasticism. The Aristotelian Scholastic concept of nisus was rejected in favour of looking at natural phenomenon in terms of a nature like a mechanical machine. Descartes interest in the project of establishing a method for this new advancing science is one of the core motivations towards his work in epistemology and why he was orientated towards the rationalistic view that knowledge should have mathematical certainty.In the scholastic tradition Descartes reacted against it is assumed that the world is as we perceive it. Aristotelian-scholasticism explained phenomena in terms of qualities, causes and effects. Magnets attracting iron were explained in terms of the magnet having the quality of 'magnetism'. The cause of the 'magnetism' is the magnet. This form of circular causal reasoning would have had been insufficient for Descartes and it is in this context of a world that is founded on such archaic Aristotelian principles that he meditates the cogito. Descartes wanted knowledge derived from natural science to have the clear and distinct properties of mathematical and geometrical concepts.Descartes presents his method in The Meditations. In order to assess its importance to his own philosophy it is important to show how he arrives at the conclusion of the cogito.In order to build a proper epistemic approach to knowledge Descartes asks us to suspend our beliefs in propositions whose truth it is possible to doubt even in the slightest (not to necessarily prove them false) . As Descartes progresses through the first meditation our standards for accepting truth are raised ever higher as he demolishes the abilities of memory and the senses and even reason in this respect . He presents three sceptical arguments to fortify doubt, the...

Find Another Essay On The significance of the 'Cogito' for Cartesian and modern philosophy.

Skepticism and the Philosophy of Language in Early Modern Thought

3259 words - 13 pages Skepticism and the Philosophy of Language in Early Modern Thought ABSTRACT: This paper discusses the importance of skeptical arguments for the philosophy of language in early modern thought. It contrasts the rationalist conception of language and knowledge with that of philosophers who adopt some sort of skeptical position, maintaining that these philosophers end up by giving language a greater importance than rationalists. The criticism of

The Cartesian Errors Essay

4374 words - 17 pages The Cartesian Errors All quotes come from Rene Descartes: Discourse on method and meditations on first philosophy I will show that in Meditations, Descartes made a few errors on his ideas of existence.(1) Descartes proclaims things, i.e. God, exist from what he assumes to be true of these things if these things did indeed exist.Descartes writes, " I understand by the name of "˜God' a certain substance that is infinite, independent

Five-page analysis of Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead" novel. Explains the significance of modern architecture and the modern architect.

1254 words - 5 pages the Cortlandt housing project for no money or recognition, Keating puts most of society's opinion quite simply. "Everyone would say you're a fool" (581). Although modern architects might struggle to resist society's influential pull on their talent and courage, they remain true to themselves and become the individuals that propel history.They are the kind of people with integrity that design buildings because it is what they love to do; they

The Meaning and Significance of Hajj for a Muslim

1732 words - 7 pages The Meaning and Significance of Hajj for a Muslim When Muslims do Hajj they are following the example of the Prophet Muhammad and the peoples of his time. People have always done Hajj in Makkah but Muhammad brought Islam back to it and made Hajj how god intended it (like it was in the times of Ibrahim, Adam and Eve). Muhammad had set a perfect example for all Muslims and today they will do the same as Muhammad did

The Cartesian Circle is Wrong

1944 words - 8 pages it if not for a higher, supreme, infinite substance, we cannot doubt the existence of God. The reason we cannot doubt the existence of God is because of clear and distinct perceptions that God exist. To conclude, because of clear and distinct perception, Descartes conveys that God exists. Though his argument seems intriguing, Descartes argument has been treated with dubious standpoints. The reason of doubt, better known as the Cartesian circle

The Significance of Haji for a Muslim

2130 words - 9 pages The Significance of Haji for a Muslim Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. This is the pilgrimage to Mecca which Muslims must do at least once in their lifetime. This makes Muslims feel complete once they have completed the Hajj, but they are only allowed to do Hajj if they are physically and financially supported, they must also be able to provide for there families whilst on Hajj, they must also have the money to pay

Exploring the Concept of “Self” in Modern Philosophy

1302 words - 5 pages believe that humans are just animals caught in the mechanistic world. However, modern philosophy sheds a positive light and tries to prove the existence of a self. Modern philosophers, Descartes and Hume in particular, draw upon the notion of the transcendental self, thinking self, and the empirical self, self of public life. Hume’s bundle theory serves as a distinction between these two notions here and even when both of these conception in

The Significance for Economic Anthropology of the Work of Marx and Durkheim

1669 words - 7 pages What is the significance for economic anthropology of the work of Marx and Durkheim? Introduction The works of Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim have proved that they were indeed the finding fathers of modern social theory during the late 19th to the early 20th century. Along with others (i.e. Weber, Simmel, Veblen etc.) they had laid down the foundations of our understanding of the relationships that are held between culture and society on one hand

The Meaning and Significance of the Events of Hajj for a Muslim

853 words - 3 pages The Meaning and Significance of the Events of Hajj for a Muslim Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca. It takes place on the eighth day of Hijjah on the Islamic calendar. Hajj has been taking place for over 1,400 years. All Muslims try to go to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. Mecca marks the direction in which all MuslimÂ’s pray; it is the birthplace of Muhammad (pbuh), the last prophet of Allah. Hajj is not a

Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett. The meaning of life and existentialism, significance of setting and structure.

2047 words - 8 pages At Face value waiting for Godot could be called a simple play. It uses a basic setting consisting of a tree and a road; it is repetitive in its structure and character pairing. It is an uncomplicated play with no established plot, at face value Waiting for Godot could be described as a play about nothing. The substance of Waiting for Godot lies within the ideas and themes of the play, behind this front of simplicity and nothingness. It is a

The significance of the Tet Offensive for the Vietnam War.

590 words - 2 pages Tet Offensive : In 1968, the National Liberation Front and Vietcong launched a surprise attack against American and South Vietnamese forces on the eve of the lunar New Year's Day. This surprise attack is known as the Tet Offensive and many people viewed this as a turning point in the Vietnam War.Militarily, the Tet Offensive showed the significance of Vietcong/Vietminh's military power and nowhere in South Vietnam was safe. On 31st of January

Similar Essays

I Think, Therefore I Whoa!: An Examination Of Cartesian Philosophy In "The Matrix"

1407 words - 6 pages Despite its undeniable societal influence and pioneering filming innovations, the Wachowski brother's The Matrix is a film rooted as much in four hundred year old philosophy, as the cutting-edge intricacies of the 21st century. Anyone who doubts the validity of examining the works of pre-industrial theorists in this so-called "post-modern" age, need only to draw a comparison between Rene Descartes' Meditations on the First Philosophy and the

A Defence Of Cartesian Dualism From The Attacks Of Modern Science.

1321 words - 5 pages to all is the basis for the more far fetched ideas of Cartesian Dualism cooked up by Descartes. Descartes tried unsuccessfully to reconcile this natural impression of dual worlds with what was currently understood about neurology and physiology.What I mean by "mind":Mind is where consciousness is happening. Mind is the scientific way of referring to the Cartesian theater. Mind is what we are looking into or at when we close our eyes and picture a

The Significance Of Nanotechnology In Modern Society

937 words - 4 pages architecture at smaller resolutions than before, increasing the speed of processors while reducing their power demands and heat wastage,, and ensuring that Moore’s Law holds out for the foreseeable future. But nanotechnology also encompasses the growing field of quantum computing, which involves manipulating the behaviour of atoms and molecules at a sub-molecular level to accomplish computing feats that would be difficult or impossible to do using

The Role Of Science, Ethics, And Faith In Modern Philosophy

3577 words - 14 pages The Role of Science, Ethics, and Faith in Modern Philosophy ABSTRACT: Curiously, in the late twentieth century, even agnostic cosmologists like Stephen Hawking—who is often compared with Einstein—pose metascientific questions concerning a Creator and the cosmos, which science per se is unable to answer. Modern science of the brain, e.g. Roger Penrose's Shadows of the Mind (1994), is only beginning to explore the relationship between the