Uploaded by Kevin Hansen

Age of Reason & Descarte ?s

Name ________________________________
1. Author James Garvey begins his chapter on reason and rationality by claiming “there are at least two ways
to come to know something.” One of these ways is through our own experiences and how our brain interprets
sensory stimuli. What is the second way we can “know” something to be true?
2. How would you describe the views and approach of the thinkers Garvey refers to as the ​Rationalists​? What
do they believe? Why?
3. Summarize each of Rene Descartes’ ​four rules for directing thought​:
4. Philosophy has two central questions:
Ontological: What is reality?
Epistemological: What do/can we know?
Prior to the middle ages, most philosophers felt like the ontological question had been answered. Early thinkers
believed that the limitations of our senses and perception would make it impossible for humans to ever know
the nature of True Reality. (Continued)
(4.) How does Descartes, his approach to thinking, and the four rules, say about knowing hidden Truths?
5. Summarize the central claim of Descartes’ ​Meditations on First Philosophy​ as described in the section
Unshakeable Foundations​.
6. What is ​Cartesian Dualism​?
7. Now that you’ve read more on Descartes’ ​Cogito (​ I think, therefore I am), how has your thinking on this
evolved? Do you understand his ideas better than before? Do you see the truth in this statement or are you
skeptical? Reflect, referencing other writers and thinkers when possible.