Locke's Theory Of Knowledge By Descartes

766 Words4 Pages
Descartes’ theory of systematic doubt centered on his belief that individuals cannot trust their perceptions of the external world because sensory stimuli do not necessarily reflect true depictions of the world. Throughout his life, Descartes assumed information being received through his senses to be accurate representations of the external world until he realized that the senses as a source for information can occasionally mislead both himself and all other people. With this knowledge in mind, Descartes knew that an absolute confidence in sensory perception could deceive individuals about the external world and lead to a challenging of beliefs. As an example of this, Descartes considered that, as he wrote this meditation on systematic doubt,…show more content…
Descartes argues in favor of human reasoning, involving innate ideas and subsequent deductions, as the sole avenue toward reaching this certain knowledge. On the other hand, Locke does not invest himself in the possibility of achieving any knowledge that can be claimed as a universal truth. Rather than this, Locke favored the idea that experience can lead individuals to knowledge that is most probable. Ultimately, these two philosophies cannot reconcile themselves together because of a core divergence on the question of the origins of knowledge. As Locke’s argument finds itself dependent on the concept of the mind as a “tabula rasa” at birth, this doctrine surpasses Descartes’ assertion of innate knowledge and, by extension, systematic doubt. For readers, the acceptance of the mind as a blank slate invariably leads to an acceptance of Locke’s reasoning above Descartes’. The argument propelling Locke’s essay and the improbability of innate knowledge favors the idea that there can be no universal truths and that, since individuals are born without any truths evident to them, they must depend entirely on sensory perception of the external world on which to base the beginnings of their knowledge. To support this, Locke considers how children gain knowledge of the world in small increments, as opposed to possessing an extensive knowledge from the time of their birth. Locke discusses that an individual with exposure solely to black and white would be absolutely unaware of scarlet or green, just like children are ignorant of the taste or texture of pineapples and oysters until they first taste
Open Document