The Theory Of Knowledge Is Derived From Sense Perception

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While empiricism is the theory that knowledge is derived from sense perception, there are varying degrees. Radical empiricists believe that all knowledge results from experience, while more moderate empiricists believe that experience is the basis of all knowledge except for analytic statements which are considered logical truths. Similarly, synthetic statements are considered by such empiricists as empirical truths. Empiricists stress the importance of observation. Unlike rationalists who believe in the existence of priori knowledge that can be deduced through reason, empiricists believe in posteriori knowledge, knowledge resulting from or dependent on experience, more specifically from sense perception. The implication of believing that all ideas are derived from experience is that there is no such thing as an innate idea. Another crucial difference between rationalism and empiricism is that because it involves induction instead of deduction, it can’t be as certain as a sound deductive argument – it can be at best probable. Locke was influenced by Hobbes, and so it makes sense that there is a degree of overlap between their philosophical works. Both Hobbes and Locke share the defining empirical belief that knowledge comes from sense experience. Both Hobbes and Locke share a similar obsession with language and can be classified as nominalists; unlike absolutists who believe that there is no division between name and thing, they deny that there is any necessary or logical relationship between names and things and instead believe that names are arbitrarily decided by humans. Emphasis on semantics and the correct usage of words is evident in both Hobbes and Locke, which makes sense because they both have notions about human beings ... ... middle of paper ... ...ntuitive, demonstrative, and sensible. Strangely, sensible knowledge is the only on involving sense perception, intuitive knowledge is immediate and certain and is knowledge of oneself, while demonstrative knowledge is of God, made possible by proofs. In contrast, Hobbes makes the argument that immaterial substance is an oxymoron, by arguing that everything is physical and that includes God. Hobbes’s formulation of the world is mechanistic and everything, including human behavior is determined and God has no external cause clearly doesn’t have a place in such a world. Unlike Hobbes’s purely materialist worldview, Locke is less mechanistic and tries to insert God into his empirical picture, but ultimately fails to do so in a way that adheres to his other empirical claims. The idea of God is clearly a priori and incompatible with his argument against innate ideas.

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