demonstrating the differences between Descartes and Hume with regard to what each of them believe can be known with certainty and what can be

demonstrating the differences between Descartes and Hume with regard to what each of them believe can be known with certainty and what can be

demonstrating the differences between Descartes and Hume with regard to what each of them believe can be known with certainty and what can be

Of course, the differences between Descartes and Hume (and, thus, between the Rationalists
and the Empiricists) are more complicated than presented here and need additional explanation
to demonstrate just how far apart these two philosophers actually are in their thinking. THAT is
your assignment—demonstrating the differences between Descartes and Hume with
regard to what each of them believe can be known with certainty and what can be
assumed to be reasonably “believed,” but with far less certainty.
·         This is going to be hard at first for some students, but if you can do it, it will make it a lot
easier to see the differences between Descartes (who is a Rationalist) and Hume (who
is an Empiricist). What you are going to do for this assignment is to visually demonstrate
the differences between Descartes and Hume regarding what can be known for certain,
and what can be (and should be) doubted.
·         The driving force behind this assignment is that you cannot write an essay, and,
however you present the information, you are limited to one 8 ½ x 11 inch page (one
page in Microsoft Word). You can make a chart, construct a diagram, create graphics,
provide a combination of all the previous methods, and so forth, but you cannot write a
paper. The idea is that you are constructing something for yourself that makes the
information easier and more accessible for you when comparing and contrasting the two
very different epistemological approaches.
·         You will not be graded on your art skills (if you draw pictures) or on your ability to use
technology to draw lines and so forth. Your actual “picture” can be very rough, and that
is OK. The point of the assignment is to help you find alternative methods for
representing difficult information in a way that makes it easier for you to master it. Not
everyone can memorize a page of technical terms, but “seeing” how things work

together can make it a lot easier. So, learning this skill can be very beneficial when you
have to deal with highly technical information in future classes.
Please do not use anything other than your textbook as a source for this assignment. And,
definitely include all the major ideas from both philosophers dealing with how we learn, what we
can know, and any method we can use to reach certainty about our knowledge.

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