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Different views as to when an individual can concider a belief knowledje of fact /truth ,rather then just unsubstantiated opinio - Essay Example


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Different views as to when an individual can concider a belief knowledje of fact /truth ,rather then just unsubstantiated opinio

1. Gravity exists In Meditations I, Descartes revealed the beginning of his intellectual journey of doubt by writing, “Several years have now elapsed since I first became aware that I had accepted, even from my youth, many false opinions for true, and that consequently what I afterward based on such principles was highly doubtful; and from that time I was convinced of the necessity of undertaking once in my life to rid myself of all the opinions I had adopted, and of commencing anew the work of building from the foundation, if I desired to establish a firm and abiding superstructure in the sciences.” By discarding all previously accepted notions, the philosopher was left with the foundation of matter and his own “being.” His synthetic method built upon his basic “I think therefore I am” to conclude the existence of mankind was related to Archimedes problem that in order for him “to draw the terrestrial globe out of its place and transport it elsewhere, … one point should be fixed and immovable; in the same way I shall have the right to conceive high hopes if I am happy enough to discover one thing only which is certain and indisputable.” (Durant 639). Descartes’ resulting standard was that if even a segment of an idea was proven false, then the entire idea had no foundation for truth. Using this line of reason, it is likely that Descartes would have been intrigued and accepting of Newton’s Law of Gravity published almost 40 years after the French philosopher’s death. Newton not only began

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with observation of the principle between two objects in space, but proved his theory mathematically, Descartes area of expertise, with the inverse-square law of gravity. William Kingdon Clifford, would most likely have accepted the Law of Gravity had he been alive two hundred years earlier. His logic would have been based on his belief in inquiry and the presentation of new evidence using Newton’s calculations of force at the distance of the Moon, an accepted heavenly body. Though William James’ The Will to Believe is mainly a “defense of religious faith,” his belief to use intellect when evidence is available as opposed to making a “forced,” “momentous,” or “living” decision based more on a passionate response seems likely in the case of gravity. 2. Slavery is bad The moral question of whether or not slavery was good was a pertinent issue to the economy in the southern United States of the 1800s. For that reason, all sides must be weighed. Raising doubt to the validity of the important element of morality, it is questionable whether Descartes would have thought it to be an entirely beneficial institution. His belief that if any part of an issue is without foundation, that issue is false, provides the argument that slavery, while economically beneficial for the south, was not good for individuals. Plantation owners provided homes and food for their slaves, though history has uncovered many cases of abuse. This raises strong questions about whether there might have been a better solution to the cotton industry of that era. Clifford could have likened slavery to his sinking ship analogy. Regardless of the outcome, was slavery morally condonable? In the end, his research, if complete, would no doubt have uncovered whippings, children out of wedlock, and poor living conditions. His conclusion would have had to be, according to evidence, for an end to slavery. James’


Name Instructor Course Date The Philosophy of Belief or Fact Throughout the ages man has searched for knowledge and admirably pursued accurate knowledge, not only opinion. The Renaissance was a period of great intellectual discoveries, but philosophers were also wary of ideas that were accepted by men but could not be substantiated with facts…
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Different views as to when an individual can concider a belief knowledje of fact /truth ,rather then just unsubstantiated opinio essay example
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