What Would Descartes Think About Twitter?

School of Life: YouTube.com

What would Descartes think about Twitter?


For Descartes, a rationalist (someone that believes that reason can be entirely created through the Method of doubt — “I think therefore I am”), there are three conditions of knowledge:

  1. One must believe that what one claims to know is true.
  2. What one claims to know must be universally true.
  3. The claim must be fully justified in order for it to be true. Fully justified simply means, with absolute certainty.

Rene Descartes (1596–1650)

“In just the same way those who have never philosophized correctly have various opinions in their minds which they have begun to store up since childhood, and they therefore have reason to believe may in many cases be false. . . . They can then go over each belief in turn and re-adopt only those which they recognize to be true and indubitable.”

  1. A unified certain knowledge
  2. A unified consistent method

10 Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. Are you first believing a premise to be true and then trying to find arguments in defense of it?
  2. How many people do you follow that you disagree with (politically, religiously, and ethically)?
  3. When was the last time you engaged in civil discourse and disagreement?
  4. Can you agree with the opposing political party on straight-forward matters that are of mutual concern?
  5. Do you find yourself to be blaming the nation’s problems on the opposing political party?
  6. How often do you give them the benefit of the doubt?
  7. How often do you disagree with people? Do you see patterns in your engagement that are potentially harmful.
  8. Do you appreciate questions?
  9. Do you show hostility towards discourse (thinking that it is unproductive and won’t lead anywhere)?
  10. Have you ever been content with getting angry over tweets that are only meant to bring you down?

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Jakub Ferencik

Jakub Ferencik

Author of “Up in the Air” & “Beyond Reason” available on AMAZON | MA McGill Uni | Research assistant for EUROPEUM Prague | 500+ blog posts with 1+ mil. views