First begin by talking about the past
The medieval thinkers performed exegesis, which is studying and comparing texts.
The medieval thinkers studied two main texts. The first main text was the Bible, which is
said to be revelation, meaning God reveals himself through prophets. The second main
text was the works of ancient Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, which were based
on them reasoning with each other. The medieval thinkers found contradictions in these
works. For example, in the Bible it is said in one section that an eye for an eye, tooth for
tooth, while in another section it says if someone slaps you, turn the other cheek. The
medieval thinkers tried to make sense of the contradictions, for example, how did God
make Adam out of dust, then create Eve out of Adams rib. These medieval thinkers took a
theocentric approach, meaning that everything you need to know can be found in the
bible or religious scriptures. This theocentric approach meant that there are no new truths,
needed to be found that cannot be found in the Bible. One of the medieval thinkers
biggest questions was, “What does God want?” The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle,
used syllogism to teach his logic. The most famous syllogism is, all men are mortal,
Socrates is a man, and therefore, Socrates is a mortal. Rene Descartes thought that these
syllogisms were forming no new knowledge, and merely taught knowledge, which is
already known. Descartes looks at the sciences and learns that they are coming up with
new knowledge through the senses. He also looks at mathematics and is amazed with
their methods. Descartes chooses mathematics to base his new revolution in learning
knowledge on, after figuring the senses can be distorted, while math is certain,
indubitable and eternal.
a) Discuss Descartes’ view on the role Mathematics plays in revolutionizing learning
Descartes wasn’t focused on what may or may not or is possibly true, he focused on
what is actually true. The knowledge gained from sensory perception can be changed.
While the knowledge gained from mathematics are certain, indubitable and eternal. For
example, one can think of another’s white shirt, however, one can never be certain if the
shirt is still white at anytime, one has no control over physical objects as one thinks about
them. On the other hand mathematics does not need a world in order to perform the
mathematics on it, as it is certain, indubitable and eternal. Descartes finds that
mathematics is certain, and there are only two reasons why people make mistakes in
mathematics. The first reason is inattention, not paying attention to what one is doing.
The second reason is, one not properly understanding the premises. Descartes believed
that ones intuition is given to one by God. These intuitions given by God would be the
basis of knowledge, before other things can be known, making mathematics hierarchical.
Descartes wanted to take the method from mathematics and use it in philosophy; in the
regulae he accomplishes this with his 12 rules. He begins with the axioms, which are self
evident truths. For example, an axiom is the axiom of equality, which is: such things equal to the same thing are equal to each other. Descartes concludes that all knowledge is
a priori, meaning already in the mind from birth. Descartes compared the process of how
a mathematician does math. He states that the mathematician is guiding our mind to how
the math is done, even though it is already in ones mind. Therefore, Des