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Lecture 6

PHIL 2010H Lecture 6: phil jan 23

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PHIL 2010H

01/23/2016 René Descartes (1596-1650) ● Scholar from France ● Invented analytic geometry ● Made some important discoveries in optics. ● At the time, was a major physicist. His work was largely rejected by the religious authorities. ○ He moved to the Netherlands, which was more protestant and liberal, for this reason. ● Invited by Queen Christina of Sweden to give her philosophy lessons at 5am daily, then Descartes came down with an illness and died. ● Descartes complained much about school, especially philosophy, because there seemed to be so much disagreement and no concrete answer. ● His favorite subject was math, and he paid attention to ​how ​the mathematicians followed through with their system. ○ Proofs used often; series of statements leading to theorem. ○ Not much disagreement. Advantages of the Model ● Certainty: beliefs can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. ● Systematicity: all proven beliefs are connected in a systematic way through proofs. ● Cumulativity: the systems can be constructed instrumentally over time by adding various truths. Descartes's Method 1) Do not accept any beliefs as true if its truth is in any way doubtful-- that is, only accept beliefs that are self-evidently or provably true. 2) Divide problems into subproblems for easier solutions. 3) Start with th
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