Essay on John Locke is Focused on Epistemoloy

Essay on John Locke is Focused on Epistemoloy

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Locke is most interested in what we really know. He is focused on epistemology. He wants to find out about the origin of our ideas, the level of certainty we can have of our ideas and what we are capable of truly understanding. His main stand-point is that we don’t have innate ideas and he aims to get rid of the sceptical doubt about what we know.
He has two types of argument against innate ideas; direct and indirect. The indirect argument can be seen as the more positive of the two, and the idea of it is that we are able to explain all knowledge we have without innate ideas but from other sources. EXPAND ON THIS. The direct argument (more negative) focuses on the problem of universal assent which Locke believes to be an insufficient idea and modified universal assent is too inclusive and depends on the order of discovery. So really he is saying that the argument for innate principles doesn’t work, especially with regard to universal assent. He believes that if universal assent existed, it could be explained in other ways and therefore it cannot be innate. However, Locke doesn’t believe that universal assented principles can exist at all and thinks that it is impossible to have principles innately in your mind without being aware that you do.
Locke goes on to say that a person who believes in innate principles will modify their positions, for example, once hearing something and agreeing with it, will believe it was an innate idea. If we thought like this, he believed that all sorts of things would end up being defined as innate.
Locke thought that we had the capacity to recognise “self evident” truths and that we do have an innate capacity allowing us to recognise things, however they are not actually innate ideas within us, but i...


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...whether we perceive them or not. Secondary qualities are powers which produce certain ideas in us which objects have by virtue of their primary qualities. Taste, colour, smell, and temperature are not really in things as such, these ideas don’t resemble the things are they are in themselves, independently of us.
Some of the main problems with Locke’s ideas are; the veil of perception, which basically makes it obvious that the theory leaves room for scepticism. If the mind perceives only ideas of things, how can it know whether those ideas agree with the things themselves? Another problem is the thought that primary qualities are no less mind-dependent than secondary qualities. It is thought that Locke’s account of ideas is fuzzy and that he doesn’t always clearly distinguish them from qualities. It seems that different ideas might represent things in different ways.

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