Part GCSE Maths Coursework


Part GCSE Maths Coursework

Part GCSE Maths coursework sample on the Age of Reason. This sample does not include Mathematical calculation because the writer is focused on descriptive materials. However, it does not mean that coursework is not analytical. On the contrary, critical analysis is an essential part of this GCSE Maths coursework.

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Part GCSE Maths Coursework Sample

The Age of Reason accepted new truths and new sources of truths. Instead of doctrines postulating a world concerned with man and his destiny, a God who ruled the universe and could change its course at his pleasure, the spiritual life as the highest goal, and man as a free agent to mold his own destiny, the age chose materialism, mechanism, and determinism. As to the new sources of truth, clearly the physical world itself rather than innate truths or the Scriptures led man to some mathematical principles, and the application of mathematical processes to these principles revealed the less obvious and more profound principles underlying the design of the cosmos. Mathematics particularly was stressed as the foundation and key to knowledge. Typical of the appreciation of mathematics was the declaration of the philosopher Immanuel Kant that the progress of a science could be determined by noting how deeply mathematics entered into its method and contents. The only dissenting voice was that of Jonathan Swift, to whom mathematical astronomy was useful only because the prediction of a solar eclipse gave him time to provide candles.

To thinking beings these changes in the substance and source of truth suggested the question, How do we know what we know? After all, to be sure of what is accepted as truth, one must know that the means of acquiring it is sound. Of course, the Age of Reason had no doubts about its beliefs or the criteria of truth, but the philosophical problem of justifying its convictions remained open.

The question of determining what information we can trust had been tackled by Descartes even before mathematics and science had revealed their full power. We may recall that Descartes had rejected the knowledge which he had been taught in school and had decided to construct his own body of truths after determining the proper sources and methods. Sense perceptions he rejected because they are subject to sense deceptions. How then could he arrive it truths? Though he was the founder of the mechanistic view of nature, he made one large exception: man possessed a soul or mind which is not physical, but is nonmaterial and everlasting. He decided to accept as true only what was clearly and distinctly apprehended by the mind. But the very fact that he was able to think gave him his first truth, namely, that he existed, for a thinking mind meant perforce that there was a thinking being. He discovered further that the mind had clear and distinct ideas of duration, number, and a perfect Being, that is God.

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