John Locke Vs Descartes Essay

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John Locke and Rene Descartes are both one of the first early modern philosophers. They both enlightened us with their superior work in the seventeenth century. Both Descartes and Locke tried to find the answers to similar question in “epistemology and metaphysics”. Both these topics included questions like-“what is knowledge? Is there certainty in knowledge? What roles do the mind and body play in the acquisition of knowledge?” Although they both were trying to find answers to the same questions however the answers to these questions were not the same. In this paper I shall compare and contrast between the philosophies of Descartes and Locke. .Firstly I will explain some similarities then I will explain the differences between their theories about rationalism and empiricism. In a nutshell I will conclude that they both are two different philosophers with two different explanations. Locke and Descartes were two different philosophers however they had certain similarities as well. Locke had written an essay “Concerning Human Understanding”. In his essay he derived a lot of information from Descartes and tried to give his own explanation using Descartes theory. Locke explains about IDEA in his essay and derives this very term from Descartes. According to Locke an idea is that which “the mind perceives in itself, or is the immediate object of perception, thought, or understanding” Similarly Descartes explains this Dhillon 2 term exactly the same way. Descartes definition of idea is “whatever is immediately perceived by the mind”. Both these philosophers believe in the existence of God... ... middle of paper ... ...f self through continuity of consciousness. According to Descartes self is the only thinking soul whereas, according to Locke self is both the body and the soul. In this paper I tried to explain the similarities and differences between Locke and Descartes’s philosophies. According to me I found out that the similarities did not have a significant impact on judging their philosophical theories. The differences helped me understand better about their philosophies. Both philosophers present to us a modern theory of knowledge and abandon the older traditions that were skeptic in their approach. To summarise as a whole this paper explains to us about the ideas of self, innate ideas and knowledge. Even though they had two distinct explanations to these theories, they still took into account each other’s perception trying to come to the best conclusion as possible.

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