Welcome to the Real, v2.0

Lesson Objectives

Appreciate the reasons why progress ended in Europe for nearly 1000 years

Appreciate how the Modern worldview is the opposite of the Classical view

Understand the radical differences between Rationalism & Empiricism

Appreciate why Descartes changes the 1000 year-old conversation on Truth

Understand Descartes' Methodological Skepticism (ie. how he uses doubt)

Understand what the ancient, Platonic view of dualism has meant to the West

Key Terms

Medieval Epistemological View of Truth

The Modern Worldview (5 aspects)







Wax Argument for Rationalism

Methodological Skepticism (ie. Descartes' Method of Doubt)

Cogito Ergo Sum

Dualism vs. Monism

The Medieval Worldview

Why the Dark Ages?

• Why did almost all European progress basically stop for 1000 years?

• What was it about the Medieval period that made it the Dark Ages?

• The Central Problem of the Middle Ages was Europe forgot how to question!

Quid est Veritas?

• The question the Medieval Church loved to answer was "What is Truth?"

• This is the question the Roman leader Pontius Pilate asks Jesus in Jerusalem

• The answer for Medieval Christians: the Truth is what the Church says     

     • Medieval Church: We've done all the thinking, no need to think critically!

     • Remember that Plato's Academy has been closed for 1000 years

     • Reading, "Philosophy," and "Critical Thinking" are not taught to Europeans

The Problem of Having All the Answers

• The problem with shutting down questions and having all the answers is that this leaves no room for new questions. While this may have pacified Europeans for almost ten centuries, we were never going to get to cars, the Internet, or iPhones

• The way we teach, dissiminate information, and approach questions directly dictates how new knowledge is created and tested

• In the land where new ideas are forbidden, you're simply never going to have a new idea. Or progress. Or discovery. Or science, etc...