Empiricism Vs Descartes Essay

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The Clash of Epistemologies: Intuition vs. Observation Hume is an empiricist; he believes humans acquire their knowledge through sense perception and experience. He believes that there are two types of perceptions in this world that contributes to how we obtain our knowledge: impressions and ideas. Impressions involve taking in objects through the senses, whereas ideas involve remembering said objects. Hume has the belief that we as people combine ideas together to create something; you can’t come up with an object unless you’ve had the experience of it. In contrast Descartes is a rationalist, someone who believes in indubitable truths. In his eyes, knowledge is innate, and acquired to a person before birth. He also thinks there is only one divine being that is innate, and that is God. Hume’s idea of empiricism is better than Descartes’ idea of rationalism. Advocates of empiricism share the belief that we can only be sure of something once it has been tested, proven and experience. Take a billiard ball, for instance. You may believe that the billiard ball, when in contact with another ball, will go straight. However, you need to test out that theory as many times as you’d like. If it is proven that the billiard ball moves straight after several trials, then you can confidently say that after conducting a series of experiments to test out the given statement, there is a high…show more content…
He expands on this by explaining the notion that there is a divine, infinite being, such as God, that is innate. Among these statements, Descartes doubts everything he has ever been told in his life, and only keeps the belief that there is an infinite being out there. In Meditations, he explicitly states “Nevertheless I have long had fixed in my mind the belief that an all-powerful God existed by whom I have been created such as I am.”

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