By Roger Scruton
Observe for your self the pleasures of philosophy! Written either for the professional scholar of philosophy in addition to the final reader, the well known author Roger Scruton presents a survey of recent philosophy. continually enticing, Scruton takes us on a desirable journey of the topic, from founding father Descartes to an important and recognized thinker of the 20 th century, Ludwig Wittgenstein. He identifies the entire central figures in addition to outlines of the most highbrow preoccupations that experience knowledgeable western philosophy. portray a portrait of contemporary philosophy that's brilliant and lively, Scruton introduces us to a couple of the best philosophical difficulties invented during this interval and pursued ever given that. together with fabric on contemporary debates, a quick background of recent Philosophy is already confirmed because the vintage creation. learn it and discover why.
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Extra resources for A Short History of Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Wittgenstein
The first is, how does Descartes account for the possibility of error? If God is no deceiver, why does he permit error in any form? The second is this: if the existence of God is needed to guarantee the judgements about the world which we would, using our faculties to their best measure, instinctively arrive at, then do we not need to be assured of God’s existence before we can guarantee that the ‘clear and distinct’ perceptions whereby that existence is proven do really have the authority which they appear to have?
Descartes therefore needed to establish the existence of at least one being independent of himself and in relation to which he could situate himself as part of an objective world. It is characteristic of Descartes’ time, and of the element in his philosophical method that was later to 31 32 RATIONALISM be designated as ‘rationalism’, that he should choose at this point to establish the existence of God. The methodological importance of this choice was, as we shall see, enormous. Descartes had two arguments for the existence of God, versions of the ‘cosmological’ and the ‘ontological’ arguments respectively.
We should say that the truth that I exist is self-evident. Descartes wrote rather that it is manifest to the ‘natural light’ of reason. In other words, it is known by a process that can be perceived to be valid by anyone who reasons at all. The existence of this ‘natural light’ is not so much an arbitrary assumption as a precondition of all philosophical argument. There must be some point at which reason simply finds 29 30 RATIONALISM manifest the validity of an argument or the truth of an idea.