Rationalism – Reason

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 5 November 2016

Rationalism – Reason

The debate about truth upon two schools of thought, rationalism and empiricism has existed for long time. Although, they have played important role as contemplated for answering the proposition, their view on obtaining truth, epistemology, and nature of knowledge is different. How do these different philosophies explain and prove the nature of reality will be clarified in this paper. My reflection as a writer also present in this paper upon the truth in my view. Rationalism is the process of reason, which a priori knowledge is the bases of human knowledge (Markie, 2013).

The understanding’s priori forms become in human mind before any experience is conveyed to the human. It means that true phenomena can be known by the knower without the matter of experience. Rationalists share the vision that there is innate knowledge; they differ in the different objects of innate knowledge such as the ability to use language is innate (Markie, 2013). The remembering of perfect forms happens from when a human is born and it is the source of knowledge. For the rationalism, the mind, it can be compared with a computer which the hardware already has some functions before the software is loaded onto it.

By the way, some functions mean the innate idea and the software relate to experiences or specific knowledge. However, the mind’s perception was a lie and the influence of reason, lacking of the sense was the only way to disruption through the lies.

This philosophy disagrees with the sense because they cause of false realities. For the rationalists, it can be stated that when something became true, a reason that why it is true always illustrate. The Empiricism represent that a posteriori knowledge is origin of the theory of knowledge. It means that there is no thing as innate knowledge but knowledge is developed from experience.

When a human was born, there is no content or there are no ideas in the mind but when human learn or experience things, it is being written on. This experience achieves through sensed via the five senses (Abbott, 1977) and including reasoned via mind or brain. To gain an understanding and knowledge in the world, the past experiences are compulsory because a priori knowledge cannot be used to describe the worldly- mind phenomenon. To justify anything is true or false; it depends on what human experiences here and now, or can remember. All human knowledge goes beyond what is present to their senses or memory.

The ways to understand the world, all ideas come from experience which is divided in term of simple and complex ideas (Markie, 2013). For example, the whiteness of a flower, the taste of salt, the smell of tea, the sensation of coldness or the sound of guitar are represented as the simple ideas. Thereafter, complex ideas are formed to understand the truth of phenomenon by using those ideas as the basic for reflecting, linking and comparing. An example, when human has the simple ideas about a balance and pleasure they can compound and involving to the idea of beauty as the complex idea.

In other words, anything human knows that is not true by definition, every fact, human must learn and test through their senses. For example, human believes that there is an angel or there is a soul is not true by definition but they based on sense experience in each individual.

However, sometime empiricists accept that some proposition could be the innate ideas which are true by the definition of term and independent of experience (Markie, 2013). External world truths can and must be known a priori, that some of the ideas required for that knowledge are and must be innate (Glanzberg, 2014) and that this knowledge is superior to any that experience could ever provide.

The full-fledged empiricist about our knowledge of the external world replies that, when it comes to the nature of the world beyond our own minds, experience is our sole source of information. Thus, I support the idea of empiricism that truth can be obtained from our own experience through five senses. I also not agree that all priori knowledge can be absolute truth. For example, we intuit that a person who loses their coule might experience grief. This cannot be warranted in all situations.

A person who had bad feeling toward their couple, being abuse, might not be grief to lose him /her partner. It needs a particular causal condition. We will know that it is true or not until we experience it by observing through our senses. As a scientist, scholar and nurse, I could not rely on knowledge without proper explanation. Reason is a form of relation of information in our own idea. Priori also lets somebody lack of skeptical because they were taught to believe in some phenomenon without doubt. Furthermore, empiricism, it proves a theory because empiricism is the assertion that only real knowledge is empirical.

We can learn from experience and observation. The best way to know something is to have seen it with our own eyes and to be able to demonstrate it with repeatable observation or experiments. In fact someone interested in gathering knowledge in a scientific mode of thought, he can come up with ideas for observation and experiments to answer his questions. An example of this is if nurses represent the exercise is most effective in older adult with osteoarthritis, they could pursued those older people to learn and train to exercise and evaluate the effective of exercise.

Meanwhile, empiricism gives experimental reasoning which as well as observation and past experiences are the sources of knowledge. It is not unconditionally and concretely true in experimental reasoning depending on cause and effect. This can be said that all things can be revised when we doubt or require the answer. However, it is also important to note that both the rationalism and empiricism are not suitable to be a good source of knowledge in all situations. It depends on view of individual to select to be way of knowing in specific situation.

For example, each religion has its god;sometimes we could not doubt whereas, some phenomena can be experienced and observed by using our five senses. References Abbott, E. A. (1977). Flatland: A romance of many dimensions. Trade Publication. Glanzberg, M. (2014). Truth. In E. N. Zalta (Ed. ), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2014 ed. ). Retrieved from http://plato. stanford. edu/archives/fall2014/entries/truth/ Markie, P. (2013). Rationalism vs. Empiricism. In E. N. Zalta (Ed. ), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2013 ed. ). Retrieved from http://plato. stanford. edu/archives/sum2013/entries/rationalism-empiricism/.


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  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 5 November 2016

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