Philosophy: Modern Metaphysics and Epistemology

Descartes and Dualism

Descartes’s way of acquiring knowledge is one of the most interesting styles. According to Descartes, everything has two sides and can, therefore, appear as true or false depending on a person’s ability to interpret it. Skepticism is an important feature of the process of knowledge acquisition. Doubting everything allows one the opportunity to be certain. A person only needs to be certain of a single thing, then use the attained certainty as a yardstick to measure every other knowledge. A demon and a god play a crucial role in skepticism (Moore and Bruder 100).

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Hobbes and Materialism

Hobbes believes that everything is in motion. Everything has the ability to move and cause certain impacts. The motion outside a human body triggers motion inside the body. Inner movements occur in the forms of perceptions, feelings, and ideas. Thinking happens as a progression of perceptions, causing desire or aversion. For this reason, perceptions and feelings are unperceivable objects.

John Locke and Representative Realism

Locke’s theory suggests that everything is a representation of something else. People make decisions or ideas based on their experience. In other words, nothing happens; everything has an origin. Locke believes that what people see in the physical state is a manifestation of an inner thought (Moor and Bruder 113). The theory explains why people can have different ideas about a single object. Unless people share thoughts and experiences, things will always appear different.

Benedictus de Spinoza: “God Is All”

Spinoza believes that everything exists from a single infinite substance. Unlike other philosophers, Spinoza believes that something can exist in many forms yet originating from a single substance. Everything has to come from something; therefore, the infinite substance that gives rise to different views of that same thing is a god. God is the source of everything, hence the use of the term God to refer to the infinite substance that is the source of all other substances.

Benedictus de Spinoza and Free Will

The idea of free will is a total illusion, according to Spinoza. Things happen because of other actions. Nature has a way of regulating and determining people’s actions. Therefore, the idea of free will in humans only happens in mind. In addition, former actions govern future actions (Moore and Bruder, 109). Free will would be possible if people did not have the senses to initiate actions. Just as it is with history, actions repeatedly occur, making people think they are in control or acting out of their own will.

Anne Conway and Monism

Conway’s arguments present two different views. For instance, she argues that substances can reduce to one irreducible substance. In other words, some substances are reducible, while others are beyond reduction. She also presents humanity as comprising of two components, the mental and the physical, while God only contains the mental. Her theory gives significant room for doubt. Anything can become whatever a person chooses to make it based on Conway’s theory. Failure to have valid proof makes her theory the weakest in philosophy.

Epiphenomenalism: Parallelism and Occasionalism

Parallelism is a notion that philosophers believe help an immature mind to coordinate the body. The functionality of the human body depends on the ability of the brain to interpret feelings, words, and will. In this situation, the mind does not make the body react. Rather, the will and body action happen separately. On the other hand, some philosophers attribute body actions to supernatural power. Occasionalism is the belief that God interprets the will and causes the body to act (Moore and Bruder 105).

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Olivia Sabuco de Nantes and Mind-Body Connection

Nantes argues that the body and the soul connect through the brain. The body houses the soul while the mind provides vital information, thus making both the mind and the body servants of the soul. The theory is quite applicable in the medical profession, especially in psychological matters. The connection between the mind, body, and soul explains most psychological situations that affect humanity.

George Berkeley: “To Be, Is To Be Perceived”

Barkley’s criticism of the theory of realism seems logical. If things happen because of experience and perception, then nothing is anything. The physical is a representation of the inner thoughts; therefore, a person can choose to perceive things differently from the rest of the world (Moore and Bruder 115). In other words, nothing really exists; everything is a perception. Additionally, there is no true definition of anything because perceptions cannot be the basis of truth. Things are first perceived in God’s mind, which makes their existence long-lasting.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Monads

Leibniz assumes that reality is composed of indivisible atoms, which he calls Monads. Unlike other atoms, Monads are units of force or activity that influence reality. However, the theory is based on assumptions making it hard to substantiate and hard to comprehend.

David Hume and Induction

Hume believes that the uniformity of nature is a result of uniformity in perception. The world has a way of unifying people’s perceptions, thus making people have a common belief. On the other hand, Hume disagrees with the idea that cause and effect relate to one another. Again, he refers to the idea of relating cause and effect to perception (Moore and Bruder, 133). Causes and effects are two separate actions that do not influence one another unless a person chooses to see it in that manner. A person can choose to see two separate actions or an action causing another depending on perception.

Immanuel Kant: Noumenal and Phenomenal

Kant argues that perception plays an ideal role in experience and knowledge. However, the mind does more than information storage; the mind analyses issues to come up with reasonable conclusions. For this reason, knowledge resulting from experience is only limited to phenomena. In other words, people can only have knowledge where experience is involved, and lack of experience equals a lack of knowledge. Kant’s notion nullifies the idea that things only exist in the mind of a person.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Noumenal

Hegel’s idea of noumenal is quite different from that of Kent. The mind of a human being can conceive different kinds of knowledge. The fact that people think about the noumenal means that they know about the objects (Moore and Bruder 140). Lack of knowledge on things that cannot be experienced will mean that they are unthinkable as well. For this reason, knowledge is relative, and experience is not the only source of knowledge for humanity.

Arthur Schopenhauer and Pessimism

Schopenhauer views the world as full of people pursuing personal selfish desires. The 21st century is a complete representation of Schopenhauer’s philosophy. People busy themselves in pursuit of personal success while viewing every other person as the enemy. A person’s will is the most destructive force on earth. The pursuit of personal will make people do unthinkable deeds, thus causing disunity and disharmony in the world.

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The most reasonable view of epistemology and metaphysics

The most reasonable argument is that of John Locke. His views on perception and the idea of representation explain the realities of life. The differences in perceptions among people make the world a beautiful place to live in because of the diversity that exists on every platform. If perception did not play a role in realism, then the world would be uniform and in some way not fit for development.

Works cited

Moore, Brooke and Bruder, Kenneth. Philosophy: the power of ideas. New York, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2011. Print.

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