“I Think Therefore”

By Damien Knight

Descartes philosophy “I think therefore I am” is one of the most famous phrases. Through a series of meditations he at one point decided that he could trust nothing he sensed. As he watched wax melt, he realized he no longer could use his senses to perceive the wax and that lead him to conclude that knowledge is not obtained by sense. Using a pattern of doubt he observed that senses can deceive but his innate knowledge does not. Using doubt of the senses Descartes declared a rationalist view determined that knowledge came from innate ideas.

Hume was an empiricist believing knowledge came from the senses. He came to this much the same way Descartes came to the knowledge came not from the senses. Like Descartes establishing innate ideas through doubt Hume established a skeptical view of knowledge obtained. Whereas doubting the senses established that knowledge is not sense related. Hume denied that we can have knowledge of the world we take for granted. Like Descartes he first acknowledged that knowledge we initially have of the world is our perceptions which make up impressions and ideas. Our impressions being our senses our ideas being our thoughts, He determined that all ideas came from sense impression and therefore knowledge of the world is senses only. His view lead to a similar doubt of the world perhaps not existing at all just a Descartes innate knowledge view did.

I would be more inclined to agree with Hume that everything is sense perception. I am a Biology major everything we study we touch, taste, see and our research is based on what we experience.

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