A comparison of perspectives of descartes and locke regarding epistemology

Descartes makes an important distinction between the mind or thinking substance res cogitans and the body or extended substance res extensa. Insofar as we have knowledge in the subject, our knowledge is a posteriori, dependent upon sense experience.

Or, perhaps more strongly, the skeptic may reply that though they are compelled to assent to what the senses convey, such assent is not rational or reasonable.

Sensation, reflection, and operations of the mind can explain all of the ideas human beings have according to Locke. The same is true of our experience of a red table and our belief that something is red.

What roles do the mind and body play in the acquisition of knowledge? When you look away from the water fountain as you turn back to your friend, you no longer know that it now exists.

In some instances, their disagreement on this topic leads them to give conflicting responses to the other questions as well.

Some propositions in a particular subject area, S, are knowable by us by intuition alone; still others are knowable by being deduced from intuited propositions. Recent Locke scholars such as MR Ayers and Martha Bolton have paired externalism about the content of simple ideas with externalism about the knowledge such ideas allow for.

Locke: Knowledge of the External World

The knowledge we gain in subject area S by intuition and deduction or have innately is superior to any knowledge gained by sense experience.

Second, we only know the world as it appears to us through our senses. For both, genera and species are abstractions used for understanding. Though historical figures are as prone to error and clinging to positions they cannot adequately defend as any of us, it is generally best to explain such error or dogmatic clinging rather than simply leave it as unexplained brute failure.

Simple ideas of sensation, then, stand alone as ideas that both represent the external world and perfectly represent it.

Rationalism vs. Empiricism

In raising the doubts that they do, however, the skeptic undermines their ability to talk about knowledge at all. At the end of the field trip the class spreads all of the collected pieces of yellowish metal in front of them.

Genera are used to group things according to similarity, while species are used to identify differences or differentia Locke, No empirical lesson about how things are can warrant such knowledge of how they ought to be.

The mind, in being aware of its activities, stamps any given idea with an idea of the faculty by which the former is produced in the mind on that occasion. What is the nature of propositional knowledge, knowledge that a particular proposition about the world is true?

Cambridge University Press, Reprinted in Locke, ed. What is perhaps the most interesting form of the debate occurs when we take the relevant subject to be truths about the external world, the world beyond our own minds. Some of these reasons commonly crop up in discussions of skepticism in the early modern period from Descartes to Hume.

And by experience, the mind can gain knowledge not some divine natural light Locke, Thus, Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz are mistakenly seen as applying a reason-centered epistemology to a common metaphysical agenda, with each trying to improve on the efforts of the one before, while Locke, Berkeley and Hume are mistakenly seen as gradually rejecting those metaphysical claims, with each consciously trying to improve.

What is the difference between Descartes and Locke's view on human knowledge? Update Cancel. Descartes: 1) Descartes' Epistemology (a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, Descartes vs.

Locke The concept of the human mind: Descartes vs. Locke. According to Locke, knowledge of the external world is different At the core of Yolton’s view is a radical departure from Locke scholarship regarding the nature of Locke’s ideas.

an argument that sensitive knowledge is incompatible with Locke’s theory of knowledge but the broader point that the epistemology Locke develops in Book. While Descartes does not pontificate the details of such identity to the extent in which Locke does there is a very evident connection between his view of epistemology and identity.

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In contrast to Descartes, Locke’s theory of personal cannot be understand prima facie from his epistemic view, but nonetheless is a ground-breaking contribution. In this paper, I will consider the differences similarities between Descartes’ and Locke’s’ philosophies. I will also then discuss a few important differences in their theories of knowledge, specifically the distinction between rationalism and empiricism and the question of the existence of innate ideas.

Both Descartes and Locke attempt to find answers to the same questions in metaphysics and epistemology; among these: What is knowledge? Is there certainty in knowledge? Is there certainty in knowledge?

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A comparison of perspectives of descartes and locke regarding epistemology
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