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Exploring the Epistemologys of Rene Descartes and David Hume Beginning in the 17th century traditional ideas were being questioned by the new beginnings of science Although many of the accomplishments during this scientific revolution were in astronomy and mechanics very important advances along the whole borders of knowledge were also taking place The revival of skepticism brought about by these new concepts had many philosophers seeking answers to questions such as Do we know anything at all and do the sciences give us knowledge of reality Rene Descartes whom many consider to be the father of modern philosophy sought to kill skepticism for good He gave his Cartesian quest for certainty the center stage in his epistemology or theory of knowledge Following Descartes later in the 18th century David Hume also broke away from the religious dogma of the day to explain knowledge on a non theological basis However His epistemology dismisses Cartesian methods as both unworkable and barren Instead he adopts his own theories which counters the ideas of his of predecessor and casts a different view on the levels of certainty humans can obtain The Content and Objects of Knowledge--Rene Descartes According to Descartes we each contain within ourselves the criterion for truth and knowledge Although he does not reject the idea of God as a creator he believed that the responsibility of obtaining knowledge rests on the individual and no longer on medieval ideals such as priest popes or kings Descartes believed that in order to obtain knowledge there must be a rational method for reaching the truth and the use of the senses or any experience can not be a reliable source He also believed that this rationality is universal and therefore the same for every individual He believed that a priori or innate ideas existed within the soul and in order to test their certainty his reasoning method referred to as methodological doubt must be used
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