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PHIL*1000*0106 Introduction to Philosophy
Early Modern Philosophy- 1600's
Greek culture spread all throughout the Roman Empire. For almost a thousand years, the culture that
was developed in ancient Greece was the dominant culture in the west.
Modernity was marked by the rise of the capitalist economy, scientific revolution, modern democracy.
The rise of Christianity was also occurring in Europe at this time. Christianity was translating its religious
authority into political power. The inquisition was a special institution of the church charged with
defending orthodoxy. Used torture to try and determine rather people were truly religious or not.
June 22, 1633: Galileo confesses before the church - he was a major figure in the transforming of
history, yet he renounced everything he believed in front of inquisition to avoid torture/death.
Descartes and Galileo were both founding figures of new scientific positions at the same time. Both
were in positions of controversy though, because the catholic church had already established its views.
Sublunary world: underneath the moon
The scientific revolution looked at biology, gravity, laws of attraction, how bodies operate according to
rules of matter and energy etc. Biology was no longer accepted as grasping the real nature of things, but
doesn't really explain what the causes are- the causes are physical. Looking for the most basic causes of
what makes the natural environment around you appear the way it does.
The big idea of the scientific revolution is the experimental method - questions, designing systematic
investigation, use of an apparatus
o First meditation
He saw many false opinions
Knowledge is based on reason - has to be justified, true belief
He wanted to look at the question of justification and figure out what it means to know
He was looking for the criterion of knowledge: what is the principle that is the
justification of knowledge
His question was if your senses are the criterion of truth - is what you receive through
the senses adequate to justify something? Descartes says no
Experiences could actually be dreams, so the simple fact that you take yourself to be
seeing a body is not a guarantee that you are 2 of 2
He said even if he's dreaming, something's are still t