Discoveries by scientists are made out of their curiosity about the natural world. In order to fulfill their goals, they tend to doubt on things and question themselves to find and understand the truth and have answers to the phenomenon. Skepticism is a theory of doubting and questioning knowledge claims to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of speculations.
Based on the article entitled Descartes and the method of doubt by Michael lacewing (n.d.), according to Descartes doubt is the foundation of knowledge. In the process of having a doubt, Descartes said that do not reject everything as false and avoid believing things that are not entirely certain. Descartes only doubts his beliefs in order to find what is certain. As he said perception as illusions, however there is no illusions. On his famous quote “I Think, therefore I am” he doubts everything even his existence for that scientist develop a theory about existence of soul.
The first step in scientific process is observation. In observing we become curious to a specific object or event and in the process, we are having doubt that leads to formulating of questions. Curiosity comes with interest. That eventually or by the empirical method can formulate a hypothesis, experimentation, and overall results.
Doubt is the reason why we allow ourselves to question things around us. As stated in the article entitled “The Roles of Doubt in Science and Faith” (Udoewa, V, 2011), science is naturally doubtful in its developing state. Even though we already know everything, doubt still exist. It is said that the true aim of science is to leave an individual in doubt, thus through showing evidences and proofs will be the way to manifest facts and truth. In some cases, doubt is even stronger after it is already proven and it leads skepticism in a person.
In conclusion, doubt is the starting point of science which will help to find true knowledge. Descartes’ method of doubt allows us to find what is certain. It helps to discover what beliefs are true and correct. The main purpose of this method is to reject what is true. Everything we believe to be true and right should be test with a doubt for us to find what is correct because we cannot really find true knowledge if we didn’t start with a doubt and curiosity. According to George Hermes (Schulte, K.J., 1910), the starting-point and chief principle of every science, and hence of theology also, is not only methodical doubt, but positive doubt. One can believe only what one has perceived to be true from reasonable grounds, and consequently one must have the courage to continue doubting until one has found reliable grounds to satisfy the reason.
- Lacewing, M, (n.d.). Descartes and the method of doubt. Abingdon,U.K.: Routledge
- Taylor & Francis Group. Retrieved from: http://cw.routledge.com/textbooks/alevelphilosophy/data/A2/Descartes/DescartesDoubt.pdf
- Schulte, K.J. (1910). George Hermes. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert
- Appleton Company. Retrieved from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07276c.htm
- Udoewa, V. (2011). The Roles of Doubt in Science and Faith. Huffpost: Vertzon Media Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-many-roles-of-doubt_b_930592