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Compare and contrast the idea of Descartes and Kant on epistemology - Essay Example

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Later theorists, however, developed contrary ideas on epistemology because of such limitations of Aristotle’s theory as the role of experience, mechanical processes that are not…
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Compare and contrast the idea of Descartes and Kant on epistemology

Descrates’ definition of knowledge is, however, specific to scientific knowledge and certainty is defined, in the theorist’s perspective, as absence of doubt. With cognition as the fundamental to scientific knowledge, two levels of certainty on cognition are identified to define knowledge. With absolute level of certainty, no single doubt exists that an alternative idea or subject can be found while moral level of certainty involves conviction on a subject even with the knowledge that the subject could be false. Moral certainty however identifies possible doubt and according to Descrates, does not therefore define knowledge.1
Kant’s idea on epistemology is based on three factors that further identify opinion and faith. People’s affirmative decisions exist in three levels that distinguish between knowledge, faith, and opinion. There is a subjective basis to affirmation and an objective cause. Affirmation that is devoid of conviction, when conviction is not sufficient, is based on opinion. however, subjective factors to affirmation may be sufficient but a person lacks objective basis. Under the circumstance, affirmation is based on faith and not on opinion. Sufficiency of both subjective and objective factors into affirmation defines existence of knowledge. Opinion and faith are therefore, and according to Kant, elements of knowledge in which sufficient objectivity defines opinion while sufficient subjectivity defines faith and existence of both opinion and faith defines knowledge.2
Theories of Kant and Descrates identify both similarities and differences. The two ideas converge to existence of knowledge beyond definitions because experiences and observations inform certainty. In addition, Kant discusses sufficiency of subjectivity and objectivity as essentials of knowledge and such sufficiency are consistent with Descrates’ ideas of levels of ... Read More
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