Exceeding Self-Awareness and Being Aware of the External World
This paper focuses on the approaches of two rationalist philosophers, namely Avicenna from the East, and Descartes from the West, on the epistemic relationship between the human mind and the external world. The introspective reflection of both philosophers is the starting point on which they establish their epistemic structure spanning a passage over this gap. Their engagement in this introspection bears some considerable similarities and distinctions which allow me to do a comparison between some of their epistemic theories which are based on their rationalism and explain how a person exceeds self-awareness to be aware of the external world. Taking a detailed look at the two thinkers' methodologies and their approaches to self-awareness, the effort tries to analyze systematically their epistemological theories explicating the cognitive relationship between the mind and the external world. In the course of the discussion, Avicenna’s theory concerning the actualization of quiddity either with the mental or with the objective existence is compared with Descartes’ meditations according to which through a dynamic series of mental exercises the mind follows in its journey from an absolute doubt to an absolute certainty. The discussion leads to raise some fundamental questions of their expositions proceeding from self-reflection to the awareness of the outer world. Although the critical discourses in the history of philosophy on the ideas of the two philosophers assist me in this research, the methodology of this research is concerned with the conceptual analysis rather than historical influences.
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