Rene Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy
Hume: Criticism of Descartes College
David Hume, a Scottish philosopher and historian, thrived during the Enlightenment era. In this segment of history, which is also known as the Age of Reason, European scholars attempted to find the root of knowledge, often by working through one of two prevalent schools of thought, empiricism and rationalism. Hume, an empiricist, suggested that knowledge is gained from sensory experiences. Yet Rene Descartes, a French rationalist, advanced the thought that knowledge is based on reason and intellect. These two ideologies differ foundationally, and Hume’s arguments promoting empiricism in his work An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding justify his suggestion that we should disregard Descartes’ work. While it should not be assumed that Hume wished to literally “commit [Descartes’ work] then to the flames,” Hume made clear that he did not see truth in Descartes’ method of epistemology. In addition to the pointing out the logical fallacies that Descartes’ work possesses, Hume’s critique is premised on his methodology of proving certainty, sense of self, and existence of God.
In his work Discourse on Method, Rene Descartes suggested that one should utilize methodological doubt to question the surrounding world. On page 11, he...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 779 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 5374 literature essays, 1611 sample college application essays, 212 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in