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Exploring the Epistemologys of Rene Descartes and David HumeBeginning in the 17th century traditional ideas were being questioned bythe new beginnings of science Although many of the accomplishments during thisscientific revolution were in astronomy and mechanics very important advancesalong the whole borders of knowledge were also taking place The revival ofskepticism brought about by these new concepts had many philosophers seekinganswers to questions such as Do we know anything at all and do the sciences giveus knowledge of reality Rene Descartes whom many consider to be the father ofmodern philosophy sought to kill skepticism for good He gave his Cartesian questfor certainty the center stage in his epistemology or theory of knowledge Following Descartes later in the 18th century David Hume also broke away fromthe religious dogma of the day to explain knowledge on a non theological basis However His epistemology dismisses Cartesian methods as both unworkable andbarren Instead he adopts his own theories which counters the ideas of his ofpredecessor and casts a different view on the levels of certainty humans canThe Content and Objects of Knowledge--Rene Descartes According to Descartes we each contain within ourselves the criterion for truthand knowledge Although he does not reject the idea of God as a creator he believed thatthe responsibility of obtaining knowledge rests on the individual and no longer onmedieval ideals such as priest popes or kings Descartes believed that in order to obtainknowledge there must be a rational method for reaching the truth and the use of thesenses or any experience can not be a reliable source He also believed that this rationalityis universal and therefore the same for every individual He believed that a priori orinnate ideas existed within the soul and in order to test their certainty his reasoningmethod referred to as methodological doubt must be used as a tool for distinguishingAs founder of the Cartesian coordinates Descartes believed that geometryrepresented the ideal source of knowledge Intending to extend the Cartesian certaintyof
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