Write an essay (no less than 800 words, no more than 1200) in response to the following prompt:
Both Plato a Descartes begin the process of philosophizing by worrying about the possibility of deception, and they concoct thought experiments in order to separate knowledge from mere belief and illusion. First, based on the essay we read by David Foster Wallace (This is Water”) or using Palmer’s discussions in chapter 1 and 2 tell me: why is this concern for certainty or stability a legitimate worry for the human-turned-philosopher? In other words, justify Plato’s and Descartes’ worry about the unexamined, everyday world. Second, tell me at least one significant way Plato’s and Descartes thought experiments are the same—what do they assume in common, what is their ‘rationalist’ core? And, tell me at least one significant way in which their projects differ. Third, tell me which you you think you would prefer as a method for beginning to think about the possibility of illusion or deception in your own the everyday world—escape from ‘the cave’ or purification of your ‘evil genius’? And why? Since you are already a philosopher by writing this paper, tell me: what is one practical step you could make toward that goal using this rationalist method in your current life?
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