PHL210 September 21st
Descartes Meditations One and Two
Two authorities Aristotle and Scripture- attempts to reconcile the two. Scientific
Revolution gave a break from Aristatilian physics, different laws of motion, structure of
the universe. Different science than came before.
Challenges to Scholasticism (attempt to reconcile Christian theology with Aristotle):
Dispute about the nature of evidence and explanation:
1:Reason and Observation Vs. Authoritarian Doctrine
2:Physical Laws and Measurable Proprieties Vs Divine Purpose.
Emphasis on mathematical evidence and observation, arrive at scientific knowledge with
mathematical reason and observation through experimentation. Emphasis on experiments,
takes new importance. Physical laws and measurable properties derived from
mathematical reasoning and experiments. Contrasted with the divine purpose in
Aristotle’s causal view- material, formal, efficient cause- the ultimate is the final cause.
That notion is taken out of the physics of the 17th c replaced with a more localized view.
Changing science comes with a change in the source and criteria of knowledge.
QUESTION: How can the new scientific spirit of investigation be reconciled with
-The basis of knowledge needs to be re-evaluated in order to achieve a reconciliation.
-Philosophical inquiry needs to deal with the philosophical implications of the new
2 Modes of Knowledge:
1: Importance of experiment and sense of experience
2: Logical reasoning from self evident truths (mathematics)
How do bodies behave, what is the nature of scientific knowledge and experiments
Underlined by Philosophical questions of the nature of knowledge itself. What does this
mean for the way I think I know the world?
Coming together of science and philosophy, how do they come together to create a theory
of knowledge. The different writers made different attempts to come to grips with the new
science and the way it provided challenge to the modes of knowledge.
Mathematics almost replaces scripture.
Born in 1596- made important connection between geometry and algebra, accounting for
physical phenomena with mathematics.