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The Search for Certainty.
The first 200 words of this essay...
The Search for Certainty
Descartes, during Meditations, aimed to rid himself of all knowledge that could be doubted. He used the analogy of a rotten apple in a barrel, in which all apples must be removed and checked in order to determine which apples should be kept. Descartes stated that, like the rotten apple, one might also, at times, acquire erroneous information. This error in information can therefore lead to incorrect knowledge. According to Descartes' way of reason, if a fact can be doubted then it cannot be held as certain truth, therefore may be disregarded.
Since Descartes aimed to find true knowledge, he wanted to make sure that he had a strong foundation onto which he could build up certain truths. This is known as foundationalism. The argument that all human animals are born with a tableaux la raza (blank slate) onto which information is built or 'inscribed', is the metaphor for the accumulation of knowledge. The inscription is thought to be a posteriori since knowledge seems to be largely based on one's experiences. Descartes argued that this inscription can sometimes be faulty and therefore what one accepts as being knowledge may be questioned. In Meditations
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