In this comparison/contrast essay, choose one to the following questions to answer. Place one of the bold titles at the top of your essay. The prompts under each question are intended to guide your response. Choose those prompts you can do the most with. Use examples from the text readings or summaries in the content section of the modules to support your points.


  • compare & contrast them on some of the following;
    • What is Descartes aim in the Meditations and how does this differ for Hume?
    • What does each say about the origin and types of our ideas?
      • In Descartes consider the difference between Innate, Acquired, and Produced).
      • In Hume consider the distinction between impressions & ideas.
      • What is Humes distinction between a relation of ideas and matters of fact.
      • What does Hume mean by the Association of Ideas ( Resemblance, Contiguity , Cause & Effect)
    • Descartes employs radical doubt, Hume claims to be using experimental method. What is the difference between these two approaches.
    • What serves as Descartes criteria for suspension of ideas, how does Hume employ the Empirical Criterion of meaning for a similar suspension?
    • Explain the theory of Representation used by both and how it impacts what we can know? (372-373)
    • How do they distinguish reason from experience, and give examples showing how & why this is important for both thinkers?
    • In the second Meditation Descartes arrives at his foundational principle or the cogito, compare this to Hume’s view of the Disappearing Self?
    • Consider Descartes causal proof for the existence of God in Meditation 3 or his ontological proof in Mediation 5? What kind of criticism would Hume give to the causal or ontological proof, and how would this involve Hume’s distinction between a relation of ideas and matters of fact?
    • Compare Descartes and Hume concerning our knowledge of the external world.
    • Explain Hume’s view of causation and his critique of necessary connection? How does this challenge Descartes whole philosophical program that relies and certain causal assumptions?
    • Compare & contrast Descartes to Hume regarding their views of human freedom


    • How do the Rationalist and Empiricist approach to knowledge differ?
    • You must give clear examples from their works including Descartes & Hume.
    • What are some of the key terms associated with the rationalist & empiricists tradition.
      • for rationalist consider; a priori, innate ideas, coherence, necessity
      • for empiricist consider; a posteriori, sensation, correspondence, contingency
      • Choose two of the following to discuss: The Self, the External World, and God?
      • How do their notions of causality and the origin of our ideas differ?
      • Where would you place Plato and Aristotle or Anselm and Aquinas.? What examples from their works would illustrate and support the positions they take?

Explanation & Answer length: 2 pages

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