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Descartes and the Philosophical Revolution

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Title: Descartes and the Philosophical Revolution


1
Descartes and the Philosophical Revolution
2
Descartes (1596-1650)
  • Descartes was a philosopher, mathematician, and a
    man of science. In many ways he can be considered
    the founder of modern philosophy.

3
  • Descartes first made a name for himself by
    discovering Analytical Geometry.
  • He also made discoveries in areas like optics.

4
What can we know for sure?
  • Descartes related his intention to tear down the
    edifice of knowledge and rebuild it from the
    foundations up!

5
What can we know for sure?
  • It was the rigorous methodology characteristic of
    geometry and arithmetic that alone seemed to
    promise Descartes the certainty he so fervently
    sought in philosophical matters.

6
Cogito, ergo sum
  • I think, therefore I am.

7
Cogito, ergo sum
  • I think, therefore I am.
  • Certain knowledge is that which can be clearly
    and distinctly conceived.

8
  • In the ultimate religious questions, not divine
    revelation, but the natural light of human reason
    had the final say.

9
  • People were noble beings not by virtue of being
    the central focus of a divine plan as revealed in
    Scripture, but because by their own reason they
    had grasped natures underlying logic and thereby
    achieved dominion over its forces.

10
Seven Philosophical Consequences
  • 1. Education would take on new meaning. Educated,
    rational people would act for the good of the
    whole.

11
Seven Philosophical Consequences
  • 2. Verifiable facts and theories tested and
    discussed among equals replaced dogmatic
    revelation hierarchically imposed by an
    institutional church.

12
Seven Philosophical Consequences
  • 3. The nature of reality had fundamentally
    shifted for Western people, who now perceived and
    inhabited a cosmos of entirely new proportions,
    structure, and existential meaning.

13
Seven Philosophical Consequences
  • 3. The nature of reality had fundamentally
    shifted for Western people, who now perceived and
    inhabited a cosmos of entirely new proportions,
    structure, and existential meaning.
  • 4. The strategies and principles that science had
    shown to be so useful for discovering truth in
    nature were clearly relevant to the social realm
    as well.

14
Seven Philosophical Consequences
  • 4. The strategies and principles that science had
    shown to be so useful for discovering truth in
    nature were clearly relevant to the social realm
    as well.
  • 5. Faith and reason were now definitively severed.

15
Seven Philosophical Consequences
  • 5. Faith and reason were now definitively
    severed.
  • 6. Christian dualism transformed into modern
    dualism a subjective and personal human
    consciousness versus an objective and impersonal
    material world.

16
Seven Philosophical Consequences
  • 6. Christian dualism transformed into modern
    dualism a subjective and personal human
    consciousness versus an objective and impersonal
    material world.
  • 7. A sense of optimistic affirmation of human
    self-development and the eventual triumph of
    rationality and science over human ignorance,
    suffering, and social evils.
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