The Quest for Certainty

Descartes and al-Ghazâlî were led to inquire into the nature of certainty by their experiences of a fragmented world into which they were nurtured. Though theylived five hundred years apart, their searches were similar, to the extent that some have asked whether Descartes was more indebted to al-Ghazâlî than he would have been willing to admit. But despite striking similarities there are significant differences. Descartes found certainty in any experience or concept that overwhelmed him by its clarity and distinctness. Such certainty was achieved in intuition, which is a direct, experiential knowing. God guarantees thatwe shall not be deceived in this. On the other hand, al-Ghazâlî found certainty in a direct experience (dhawq) of God in whom all knowledge resides. For Descartes, God was an outside guarantor; for al-Ghazâlî, God was the very truth experienced inwardly in such a way that it could not be doubted
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Rod Bertolet (1987). Klein on Relative Certainty. Philosophy Research Archives 13:271-274.
    Elly Vintiadis (2006). Why Certainty is Not a Mansion. Journal of Philosophical Research 31:143-152.
    Steven D. Hales (1994). Certainty and Phenomenal States. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):57-72.

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    4 ( #198,645 of 1,089,155 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,735 of 1,089,155 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.