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certainty vs. doubt
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• knowledge
• Descartes

 

Definition:
The questions of how certainty and doubt could be applied to claims of knowledge were of particular concern for Descartes, who concluded that both should be made requirements for knowledge. To genuinely claim to know some statement P, or so Descartes argued, we not only have to be certain of P, but we also cannot doubt the truth of P.

This inability to doubt a statement, or indubitability, was a new condition for knowledge which Descartes focused upon extensively. To say that we doubt something is to say that the reasons for believing it simply are not adequate - and if that is the case, it would be unjustified for us to also claim that we "know" it. If we say we know something, then we cannot also say that we may be wrong about it.

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Related Resources:

What is the Logic and the Philosophy of Language?
The two fields Logic and the Philosophy of Language are often treated separately, but they are nevertheless close enough that they are presented together here. Logic is the study of methods of reasoning and argumentation, both proper and improper. The Philosophy of Language, on the other hand, involves the study of how our language interacts with our thinking.

What is Philosophy?
What is philosophy? Is there any point in studying philosophy, or is it a useless subject? What are the different branches of philosophy - what's the difference between aestheitcs and ethics? What's the difference between metaphysics and epistemology?

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