1.. What was the purpose of Descartes’s “methodological doubt”? What are the things he doubted?
- The “cogito” is a disembodied universal rationality that Descartes reached at the end of his methodological doubt. In addition he also reasoned that there must be another thing that is real. What is it, how did he reach that conclusion?
[Hint: Descartes used his methological doubt to reach an absolute “truth”, meaning a truth that is objective and that will force him to accept it. He reached “Cogito” from which he built his entire philosoph. Then, via his “wax experiment” he reached the truth (only via reason, not via experimentation), that if he holds a fresh piece of wax near the fire, all its previous qualities will transform, but something extended, “waxy” “waxness” will remain, as extended in space. Matter is something extended in space; so for him there are two ultimate substances, mind and matter].
- According to Locke human beings are not born with innate ideas, they acquire ideas via sensation and reflection. State clearly, with examples, in your own words Locke’s argument for stating the above.
[Hint: S, a child, is not born with the idea that 2+2=4, but learns it, agrees with it, and stores it in his memory and it becomes part of his knowledge. Do NOT use this example in your answer].
- Do you have any idea in your mind that you did not learn from someone or somewhere and that you never had an experience before. State “yes” or “no”. If “yes” say how did you get that idea in your mind? ( For example, sometimes you go to some place and have a feeling you know that place, but you have never been there, nor heard, read, or been told about that place, nor does it resemble anything you are familiar with and you start wondering if it was in your mind and where it came from).
Locke was an empiricist and could only rely on sense perception and reflection to assert that certain things exist. Nonetheless, he asserted the existence of “material substance” as the unknown “substrate” that holds the primary qualities. Do you think in doing that Locke showed some inconsistencies in his philosophy.
According to Berkeley, the sizes of things change with location, which shows that things are not “out there” or lack objectivity.
- Describe one experience you had where the size and shape of a thing changed with the change in your location.