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A dsicussion of the relative merits of Locke and Leibniz

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  • Essay length: 1961 words
  • Submitted: 15/12/2002
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University Degree Philosophy and Theology

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A dsicussion of the relative merits of Locke and Leibniz

Rene Descartes (1641) exerted a tremendous influence on developments in the fields of philosophy and science. The Frenchman was said to be an intellectual genius whose scholarly contributions extended from philosophical speculation and pure mathematics to the physiology of the animal body. Descartes is regarded by some historians as one of the founders of modern epistemology. Dissatisfied with the lack of agreement among philosophers, he saw the need for a new philosophical method - a method as rigorous as mathematics itself. He began by questioning everything which failed to pass the test of his criterion of truth - the clearness and distinctness of ideas. It was his intention to submit every thought to test, every thought to doubt. Reasoned by Descartes: though I might doubt everything, I cannot reasonably doubt that I, the thinking doubter, exist as a res cogitans (thinking substance). And thus evolved the famous Cartesian aphorism: Cogito, ergo sum (I think therefore I am). This Descartes offered as an immediate intuition of his own thinking mind.

Descartes was a interactive dualist, as he argued that a body without a soul would be an automation,

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