What Do You Know Descartes?

8 Questions | Total Attempts: 858

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Rene Descartes Quizzes & Trivia

Globally known as the father of the western philosophy, Rene Descartes was a French mathematician, scientists and philosopher. Other than this basic knowledge about this man, what else do you know about him? Find out below.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    For Descartes a truth had to be clear and distinct where clear meant _______ and distinct meant _______.
    • A. 

      Discernable from all else, different from all other things

    • B. 

      Present and apparent, unique set of characteristics

    • C. 

      Discernable from all else, it contained within itself nothing but what is clear

    • D. 

      Present and apparent, precise and different from all other objects

  • 2. 
    The running principle that runs at the heart of Descartes methods (and subsequently his Meditations) is:
    • A. 

      That we ought to withhold assent from anything uncertain, just as much as from what we see clearly to be false.

    • B. 

      That only through knowledge of a benevolent and omnipotent God can we have any certainty of external things.

    • C. 

      That definition by genus and difference is insufficient for answering the question, What am I?

    • D. 

      That, eventually, all things come back to faith.

  • 3. 
    In Descartes’ great vision, which helped to define the rest of his life’s work, he came to realize that:
    • A. 

      He couldn’t come to an understanding of the world through the study of philosophy, as every point that is made therein is disputed and therefore doubtful.

    • B. 

      Mathematics can be used as a key to understanding nature, as everything in the world could be geometrically represented and therefore could be analyzed mathematically.

    • C. 

      In order to more fully understand the world he would have to abandon the study of letters.

    • D. 

      Real knowledge could only be found within himself, and not in the writings of the ancients.

  • 4. 
    Descartes is a _______ because he believes we cannot trust our _______
    • A. 

      Skeptic, senses

    • B. 

      Skeptic, leaders

    • C. 

      Rationalist, senses

    • D. 

      Rationalist, leaders

  • 5. 
    In order to promote the direction and certainty of his thought processes, Descartes forms "rules of method" to guide him in his scientific work. Which of the following is not one of Descartes rules?
    • A. 

      Split problems into smaller parts, so to be able to resolve them easier

    • B. 

      Never accept anything as true without clear and distinct evidence

    • C. 

      All truth can be simplified by using mathematics to analyze and model it

    • D. 

      Thinking in an orderly manner about simplest subjects first, then on to more complex

  • 6. 
    Which of the following is not an element of Descartes' proof for the reality of material things?
    • A. 

      That God is not a deceiver

    • B. 

      That God gives us the inclinations to believe in the reality of material (extended) things that we seem to sense.

    • C. 

      That our souls are distinct from our body.

    • D. 

      That material things exist with the properties that we conceive to be essential to them.

  • 7. 
    Which idea did the American philosopher John Searle describe as “the greatest single disaster in the history of philosophy over the past four centuries”?
    • A. 

      Our ideas and perception are all that exists around us.

    • B. 

      We only perceive our understanding of what something is.

    • C. 

      Objects can only take the form of ideas, without us they are simply matter.

    • D. 

      If you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.

  • 8. 
    What properties determine the essence of material things according to Descartes?
    • A. 

      Functional properties

    • B. 

      Biological properties

    • C. 

      Geometrical properties

    • D. 

      Matter

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