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The epistemology of Aristotle and Descartes

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An explanation of Aristotle's epistemology. An explanation of Descartes' epistemology. A discussion of the similarities and differences between the two theories and the influence of these theories on modern philosophies of epistemology.

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This is an examination and discussion of the philosophies of epistemology of Aristotle and Descartes. Over 1,100 words of original text along with links to informative websites for further research.

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Plato or Aristotle's Metaphysics or Epistemology Hellenistic, Medieval, and Early Modern Metaphysics or Epistemology

In 250 words, briefly describe either Plato or Aristotle's ideas about metaphysics or epistemology.

Aristotle's view of epistemology is definitely not as well developed as that of later philosophers. However, we can get a clear picture of how he viewed knowledge though we cannot delve too deeply. First of all Aristotle began with the assumption that the world and all creation is an orderly unit. He believed that knowledge was organized and that if the human mind approached knowing in an orderly and systematic way, the world around us could be known. At the most basic level we have the sensory observations of the world around us. Our senses, though unable to reveal all knowledge, can give us a good start in understanding basic truths. As I perceive an object, animal or other thing I come to know certain truths about that object. What the senses cannot reveal is universal knowledge. The mind is a necessary component for "translating" knowledge gained by the senses regarding a specific object and applying that knowledge to a universal level. The ability of humans to think rationally makes this application of specific knowledge to a universal level possible. Aristotle stresses rational thinking as a foundational ingredient in man's ability to see universal truth in specific knowledge. In spite of the world being an orderly system and in spite of man's ability to gain knowledge through his senses and apply rational thought, Aristotle contends that man must come to peace with the fact that some things in life are simply beyond the realm of knowledge. At some point, man must come to the realization that some things in life are either not meant to be known or can't ...

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