Department: Department Of Philosophy
This work deal s on the Rene Descartes hyperbolic doubt, that gives rise to ultimate certainty in human knowledge, as a turning point of history of philosophy. Descartes in his quest to establish indubitable certainty in human knowledge casts doubt on all his previous knowledge. Through his process of systematic doubt, he came to the indubitable point at which he cannot doubt that he exist and that he is doubting “Cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore, I exist). Thus, bringing a paradigm shift which turns the Scholastic traditional philosophy from the point of view of object to that of subject. For him to proof the certainty of other realities, he setup four rules to guide his thought, namely; the rule of Certainty, the rule of Division, the rule of Order, the rule of Enumeration and Review. For him, what should stand out as knowledge must be “clear and distinct.” Prior to Rene Descartes epistemology. The sceptics hold that certainty in human knowledge is not possible. Descartes then emancipates reason from the authorities of the church which has been considered a thing of faith. With Descartes it changes to how do we know? Do we know through sense experience or through reason? This gives birth to two traditions in the modern period (Empiricism and Rationalism). The adopted methodology is analysis, breaking ambiguous concept into simpler parts for easy understanding. The finding are; knowledge starts with the self. Descartes uses three arguments- the doubting, evil genus and the dream argument. He introduces philosophy of caution. The conclusion is that both sense experience and reason are sources of knowledge. None of the two is indispensible in terms of error.