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Understanding the World through the Study of Knowledge The study of knowledge better known as epistemology is the area of philosophy that investigates the nature sources limitations and validity of knowledge Epistemology was brought about during the time of the Enlightenment during the 17th-18th centuries by modern philosophers Epistemology answers the question How do we know It is concerned with how are minds are related to reality and whether these relationships are valid or invalid Epistemology is the explanation of how we think and is required in order to determine the true from the false It is needed in order to obtain knowledge of the world around us Epistemology can be explained through rationalism and imperialism Rationalists explain the world through the mind Rationalism can be defined as the theory of knowledge which holds that the ultimate source of knowledge is reason Rene Descartes a French philosopher was a rationalist He is often called the father of modern philosophy because of his criticism of earlier philosophical truth He became very interested in mathematics and incorporated this reasoning into other aspects of our thinking As a rationalist Descartes believed that whatever is clearly and distinctly perceived is true If an idea is clear then its content includes the nature and essence of it and if it is distinct nothing contradictory to the essence of an object is included within it He believes that the essence of matter is extension Descartes refers to three different arguments in supporting his philosophy These three arguments are the illusion the dream and the evil demon Descartes believes that sometimes the senses deceive us into seeing illusions Sometimes things are very far away and are hardly perceptible to the naked eye We recognize them as a means but we can not trust entirely what we have perceived Our senses deceive us all the time into thinking we are seeing or hearing something that is not exactly
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