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Plato and Descartes on Knowledge and Reason

Perception has traditionally and instinctively appeared to be an excellent beginning point for developing good views. People believe that if someone observes, feels, or otherwise witnesses something, it is a good justification for her to create ideas about that object and for those views to be logical. There are times when individuals would not believe this. If a person has cause to believe that her sensory perception is warped or otherwise untrustworthy, people would not consider her views formed on that impression to be rational. The concept that knowledge is theoretically tied to rational choice is gaining traction. In supporting this proposition, philosophers have relied on a theory of right action that detracts significantly from one more commonly espoused in continental philosophy, and that allocates no specific function to knowledge. This work was written with the aim of studying and comparing the concepts of knowledge and reasoning of Plato and Descartes.

Plato’s philosophy is built on analyzing and critiquing everything in order to liberate oneself from belief systems. Plato pursued truth through stories and analogies such as the caves rather than simple reasoning (Irani, 2017). This reality, according to Plato, is a reflection of the real world, and perceptions are not genuine. The path to knowing the truth is not via comprehending the object but through understanding the concept of the artifact. Plato’s concept of reasoning is akin to Descartes’ philosophy of good sense in the context of inquiry.

Descartes utilized rational thought as a tool to make judgments and distinguish the erroneous from the true. In opposition to their commonality in critiquing even the most essential things and questioning everything until a person is certain about it themselves, they vary in their approach to authenticity and the location of truth and genuine understanding. Plato considered the realm of ideas to be actual and the reality in fiction.

On the other hand, Descartes employed pure reasoning in his analysis and reasoning. His judgment and techniques for discovering facts were based solely on one’s own intellect, rather than relying on one’s perceptions, as Plato did. As a result, Plato and Descartes are comparable in their actual agreement knowing that is certain via reasoning, considering for oneself, and challenging all dogmas, but they disagree in their approach to expert understanding and where it is found.

Finally, both Plato and Descartes attempt to convey the concept of inquiry, investigation, and not accepting everything presented to us as actual knowledge. They look alike, utilize rational thought to challenge even the most basic premises, such as faith, arithmetic, engineering, or science. Plato’s early conversations, such as the discussion between Euthyphro and Socrates, demonstrate how he investigates even the most fundamental concepts. Descartes’ technique of sound reason, which is discerning well and discriminating false from true, is intimately connected to Plato’s ‘dialectic’ approach since they are both skeptical about the truth of life.

They are not, nevertheless, totally interchangeable as Plato discovers genuine truth in the sensible world, which is the realm of thoughts, and reflects it as deception in the visible realm, which is the reality of outings. This demonstrates how he discovers actual reality using his sensations, and at that moment, they are in conflict since employing the sensory perception is also questionable, according to Descartes. In contrast to Plato, he relies on his own personality and denies the perspective on the world.

Work Cited

Irani, Tushar. Plato on the Value of Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 2017.

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StudyKraken. (2022, December 4). Plato and Descartes on Knowledge and Reason.

Work Cited

"Plato and Descartes on Knowledge and Reason." StudyKraken, 4 Dec. 2022,

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StudyKraken. "Plato and Descartes on Knowledge and Reason." December 4, 2022.


StudyKraken. 2022. "Plato and Descartes on Knowledge and Reason." December 4, 2022.


StudyKraken. (2022) 'Plato and Descartes on Knowledge and Reason'. 4 December.

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