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John Locke outlinect Essay

“Rationalism is the thought that appeals to reason or intellect a primary or fundamental source of knowledge or justification. ” “It is typically contrasted with empiricism, which appeals to sensory experience as a primary or fundamental source of knowledge or justification. ” John Locke argues that, “We come to this world knowing nothing whatsoever. ” (Warburton 74). He believes that experience teaches us everything we know.
This view is usually known as empiricism, in contrast to innatism, (the theory that some of our knowledge is in born), and to rationalism (the strife that we can achieve knowledge of the world by the power of reason alone). ?Locke’s essay “Human Understanding” published in 1689, soon became a philosophical bestseller. He produced four editions of it in his lifetime, and it had already reached its eleventh by 1735.
This book is complex and wide ranging work; its main focus is the origin and limits of human knowledge. He tries to answer these questions. * what can we know? * What is the relation between thought and reality? These are real the perennial questions of the branch of philosophy called epistemology, or the theory of knowledge.

?Locke described his role as that of an underlabourer , clearing away conceptual confusions so that the scientists, or natural philosophers, as they were then known, could carry on their important work of adding to human knowledge. (Warburton 75). ?

No innate principle 1. Locke does not believe that it makes sense to say that someone could be having a thought without their knowing what that thought was about. He rejects any idea of unconscious thoughts as nonsensical. A) One argument he uses to support his claim that there are no innate principles is that it is obvious that there is not total agreement about what the supposedly innate principles might be.
If we were all born knowing that, for example, we should keep our promises, then everyone would recognize this as fundamental principle. But, as Locke points out, there is no such general agreement. (Warburton 76). Nor do children immediately recognize the principle as one binding on them. Locke continues to argue that there is no innate principle aside from the principle that is taught and learnt. ?Locke supports his idea by saying, if there were innate principles then children must strongly abide by them since adults have already influenced by the culture and people.

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These and other arguments lead Locke to reject the view that there are any innate principles. This led him with the task of explaining how it is that the human mind comes to be furnished with thoughts, beliefs, and knowledge of the world. His answer is that all our ideas come from experience. Ideas Locke uses the word idea to mean whatever it is that anyone thinks about. When you look out of your window, what you see – a tree perhaps, or a sparrow – is not the tree or sparrow

itself, but rather representation of it, an idea, something like a picture in your head. (Warburton 76). Locke believes that not all our ideas are received from immediate sensation of the world. Some of them are ideas of reflection, such as when we reason, or remember or will do something. Locke believes that all our ideas ultimately come from experience, so that the contents of our thoughts, even when we are reflecting rather than perceiving, all come from sensation.

Example: A child locked away would have no more idea of scarlet and green than he would of the taste of oyster or pineapple if he had never tried them. Ideas can be combined in several ways, so that once we have the idea of scarlet and the idea of a coat, we can imagine a scarlet coat, even if we’ve never actually seen one. But the simpler ideas from which the complex ones are built all originate in perception by one or more of the five senses. ( Warburton 77).
Primary and Secondary Qualities When we say that a snowball is greyish-white and cold and round, what we mean is that it can produce in us ides of these properties. Locke distinguishes primary and secondary
qualities , giving a very different account of each. -Primary qualities are inseparable from objects. The primary qualities of a snowball would include its shape and solidity, but not its color or its coldness. Solidity and shapes are more likely to remain constant at place over time.
– Secondary qualities would be color and coldness because its coldness can be changed at a different room temperature while different light settings can give shade to whatever object of your concentration that in a way gives you an illusion view of what you’re actually watching. Personal Identity.

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