Epistemology of Descartes is known as Fundamentalism. In his book of Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes tries to find some basis of knowledge. He is searching for total certainty, and by doing so, he subjects everything to doubt. Through it comes to the only thing he thinks he has the certainty of, his existence.
In Meditation One, Descartes describes his method of doubt. He subjects all of his beliefs to the strongest of doubts. He invokes the concept of a powerful evil spirit that could be confused in the field of sensory perception, their understanding of matter and even in the simplest case of mathematics, as in equation 2 + 3 = 5. (Clarke, 1982) Doubts can be dark, but the strength of the method, the low level of what is a reasonable doubt means that almost anything can count as a question. Therefore, whatever resistance may be something he regards as absolutely true.
In Meditation Two Descartes takes the principle of doubt that he sought. He exists at least when he thinks he exists. This view argues that Descartes thinks ‘whatever thinks must exist’ and therefore that he logically concludes that he exists. Furthermore Descartes is convinced that he exists since there is a God deceiving him about his existence which could only be done if he did exist.
“But there is a deceiver of supreme power and cunning who is deliberately and constantly deceiving me. In that case I too undoubtedly exist, if he is deceiving me; and let him deceive me as much as he can, he will never bring it about that I am nothing so long as I think that I am something. So after considering everything very thoroughly, I must finally conclude that this proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind.” (Holbo, 2003)
This leaves Descartes with a problem. He can know his own existence, that he is a thinking thing and the contents of his consciousness, but how can any of this ever lead to any knowledge of anything outside of himself? The answer is that, by itself, it can’t. (Hamilton, 2003)
Descartes states that the human mind is better known than the human body. It states that any belief based on sense perception is not free from doubt. Therefore, we cannot be sure of the existence of his hands, head or body in general, because they are all perceived by the senses. Descartes attempts to show that we know bodies through reason and not through senses. (Clarke, 1982)
Descartes seeks to demonstrate that even my knowledge of wax is an operation of the mind, not of the senses. At this stage of the wax has a taste of honey, and it has a scent of flowers. It has a colour and a distinct shape and size. It is hard and cold and if you rap on it will emit a sound. He then put the piece of wax next to a fire which melts the wax and in turn, changes its contingent qualities. The wax no longer tastes of honey or smells of flowers. The original shape disappears and its size increases. It becomes a hot liquid you can hardly touch. And if you rap on it no sound is emitted. It looks, tastes, smells, feels, and sounds completely different from the original piece of wax. Each sensory qualities have changed or have been transformed, but still the same piece of wax remains. After removing everything that does not belong to the wax, is precisely something extended, flexible and mutable. If you ignore the meaning, the wax is still wax, but if you focus on the accidental qualities, the two pieces of wax have nothing in common. This means that you cannot see the meaning of the truth about physical objects. The wax is capable of numerous changes, even if the imagination can not affect, therefore, that vision is not done by the power of imagination.
Descartes admits that he does not understand what wax is through the imagination, but keep it through the mind alone. His imagination to gives him finite pictures, while the wax has infinite forms. When separated from the external forms of a wax may be a mistake in its assessment, but it is certain that he cannot be understood without the human mind. If he believes there is a wax that sees him, then he, who sees the wax, is much clearer that he is there. It cannot see what all the wax, but it is impossible, even if he sees or thinks he sees, that he believes he has something. If he thinks or senses or imagines, he and the nature of his mind cannot exist. (Haldane, 1966)
At the end of Meditation Two, Descartes concludes that nothing can be more easily understood and more clearly that his own mind. He discovered that even bodies are not properly perceived by the senses or the faculty of imagination, and accurately perceived by the intellect. He also believes they are not distinguished by being touched, smelled or tasted, but only to be understood. It is the ability to reason, to provide the knowledge and let the mind know the truths and essences of objects.
David Hume moves through a logical progression of the underlying ideas of cause and effect. He critically analyses the reasons behind these ideas. Although the relationship between cause and effect may seem quite logical through common sense, Hume speaks of our impressions and ideas, and why we believe them. Hume’s progression, from initial identification of the cause, its ultimate conclusion is in his doctrine about causality. Therefore, we show how Hume’s argument on causation follows the same path as his epistemology, with two ideas complement each other so it is impossible to accept the rational epistemology and not accept his argument on causation. (Forbes, 1973)
Hume begins by explaining the definitions of the causes and characteristics that make the popular definition of the cause. Fusion is the idea that things hang together, or is the result of others. Whatever the goal is to work together as causes and effects are considered compliant. There are chains of causes leading to all intents and purposes, if they can be discovered, supposed to exist. As Hume said, “Heat and light are collateral effects of fire, and the one effect may justly be inferred from the other”. (Hume, 1748) Together with the continuity is a concept of succession. The cause must precede the effect. The target can be connected and there, before a second for any reason, you must connect both to be strengthened. The ratio of his cause of action does not depend on known characteristics of objects, but instead of contiguity and succession of ideas, which are incomplete. Hume denies the definition of the case that something productive of another, for the cause and production are synonymous, and therefore allows the use of the other definition is circular. Hume wondered why it is important that every life has a beginning must also have a cause. He also wondered why the particular causes must have an effect so special, and why it is a conclusion drawn from one to another. The claim that everything has a beginning has also a reason for being is not implied by any of the links likeness, proportions in quantity and number, degrees of any quality, or conflict, and continuity; therefore, is unable to be challenged using common sense. Following this logic, all that there is a beginning, and consequently cause. If not lead, should have been done, and that logic would mean that there was before. This topic is controversial, because it operates its reasons in places where it can be shown that the concept of reason is a necessity. So, the question arises as proof of cause and effect in relation to the conclusion that the starting point to prove.
The ideas of cause and effect can vary over a real impression in the mind or thoughts in his mind. We must first prove that the case before it could determine the effects on them. There are only two ways to do it, either directly or view our sensory memory, called for the conclusion or for other reasons, thoughts known. For example, “A man finding a watch or any other machine in a desert island would conclude that there had once been men in that island”. (Hume, 1711) Regardless of the source of the impression, the imagination and perceptions of the senses are the foundation for the reasoning that traces the relation of cause and effect.
All our thoughts are formed impressions, then, should be the perception that the necessary forms of thought, if there really is such an idea. The idea of necessity is located between cause and effect, so that the focus is on their behalf. When two objects are presented before us, the reason for other effects, do not do has never understood to combine the two. All ideas are generated impressions. The necessary connection of cause and effect relationship is the foundation to do with each other. However, you need a sense of physical objects. “All inferences from experience, therefore, are effects of custom, not of reasoning”. (Cahn, 2002) The idea of the connection arises from the repetition of their union. That repetition doesn’t change anything in the objects, or make them relate to each other, it only affects the mind. “Without the influence of custom, we should be entirely ignorant of every matter of fact beyond what is immediately present to the memory and senses”. (Hume, 1748) There are two definitions of causation that Hume comes ultimately to the end. He sees them as a precedent, which is adjacent to each other, where all objects similar to previously placed in a similar proportion of priority and contiguity to those objects that resemble it. The second definition can be regarded as a precedent and contiguous to each other, and so united with him in the imagination, the idea of a determined spirit to form impressions of others and print a form lively synopsis other. Hume sees the second definition of causation as being more precise. The past and the next object appears to be the cause of the effect, but in reality cannot be used because of a necessary link between cause and effect. The ideas of cause and effect, but they may be real, cannot be supported by experience.
David Hume’s argument in his theory of impressions and ideas reflect his argument on the causes. It examines many of the same concepts of proximity, in succession, and similarity. Many of his arguments on causation go back to the epistemology, the relationship between ideas and impressions, and memory and imagination. By comparing the two arguments there is only one rational end you can come to and arguments must be founded on the same premises and not contradict each other. If one is accepted, you must accept the other.
Hume’s doctrine on causation follows many of the same ideas in his epistemology, and its definition in the cause and effect, for his article about knowledge and probability. The first similarity is close. Impressions and ideas are as related as cause and effect is considered connected. It has also been observed in a line in both cases. Even in the case of reflection, can form impressions, the first impression is the first reflection.
The concept image is one of the most important pieces of information theory to Hume unions and his opposition to September. Cause and effect are complex and different ideas in mind that the impressions created. So the ideas are separable from the cause and effect is not necessarily associated. Thoughts on the cause and effect related to the concept of views of Hume’s epistemology. These impressions are formed perceptions of the relations of cause and effect relationships based on experience. The images are mainly the idea of a necessary connection between cause and effect. Impressions are based on experience and an understanding that the idea of a necessary connection between cause and effect is no different. The only reason the idea of cause and effect has been associated with previous experience, which ties together the causes and consequences.
The doctrine of Hume on causation is firmly based on the concepts of epistemology. His theories on the relation between impressions and ideas tie in direct contact with his idea of a necessary link between cause and effect. We have internal impressions, training ideas on the need, and these ideas are based on repetition and similarity, but do not prove the claim that it is a necessary connection between cause and effect. The ideas are not original, are formed by printing and equal influence and experience. The cause is not an original idea, is formed by printing, which in turn is formed by experience. Therefore, we accept the idea of cause, not because it is rational or justified, but because of habit. Hume’s position is consistent, and finally, if you accept his philosophy, you accept the reasoning behind their ideas about cause and effect.
In conclusion, both Descartes and Hume, Hume lived in a revolutionary period and turbulent history. That is, the revolutionary impact of modern science has brought about significant changes in the thinking of scientists, philosophers and men. Many of Rene Descartes and David Hume’s ideas are still used as bases of modern thought today.