Webster's dictionary defines the word idea as 1) something, such as a thought or conception, that potentially or actually exists in the mind as a product of mental activity, 2) an opinion, a conviction, or a principle, 3) a plan, scheme, or method 4) the gist of a specific situation, and 5) a notion. We have a better understanding of these definitions today because of the thoughts and writings of Descartes and John Locke. These two have very different views on the origin of ideas. Descartes is a rationalist, one who uses a method of inquiry that regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge, while Locke is an empiricist, one having the attitude that beliefs are to be accepted and acted upon only if they first have been confirmed by actual experience. Their views are opposites, but they both left their mark on the concept and origin of "the idea".
Locke believes that all our ideas come from experience. The mind has no innate ideas, it has only innate abilities. Our mind is like a clean white sheet of paper. It is experiences that fill our sheets of paper with characters and symbols (33). Locke also compares our acquisition of ideas to that of a child coming into the world. If the child grew up in a world of black and white he would know nothing (have no ideas) of a world of green or scarlet (35). Our mind can perceive, remember, desire, deliberate, and will. It is these mental activities that are themselves, which along with experience, are the source of most of the ideas we have.
Locke also claims that our senses play a major role in creating ideas. The ideas we have due to our senses are called sensation. Without sensation the mind would have nothing to operate on and ther...
... middle of paper ...
.... This requires intellectual thought and reasoning, the basis for the rationalist view.
Experience? Reasoning? How do we develop ideas and become the people we are. Perhaps it is a combination of the two methods. The origin of ideas is a very complex issue. Two great philosophers have opposing views on how an individual from the time of birth develops ideas and transforms them into knowledge. How are we to know which one is correct? Without experience how do we develop ideas about things and without reasoning how do we put the ideas together and make sense of them so we can gain knowledge. We need both of these methods of creating ideas in order gain the most we can. Neither one is totally correct; neither one is totally wrong. It is when you combine the two, using as little or as much rationalism/empiricism as one likes to get the true origin of ideas.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Origin of Ideas What is a an idea. Is it something that is spiritually put in your head by some outside source (God). Or does an idea come from independent pieces of matter and the properties of this matter implants some knowledge of the idea in our head. This is the argument that Locke and Berkeley are indifferent about. Personally, I believe that ideas are something that just comes into your head thorough the knowledge of experiences and maybe some spiritual power. Of course, when we see things like matter, it will put ideas in our head.... [tags: Perception, Mind, Metaphysics, Cognition]
1464 words (4.2 pages)
- The Origin of Ideas Webster's dictionary defines the word idea as 1) something, such as a thought or conception, that potentially or actually exists in the mind as a product of mental activity, 2) an opinion, a conviction, or a principle, 3) a plan, scheme, or method 4) the gist of a specific situation, and 5) a notion. We have a better understanding of these definitions today because of the thoughts and writings of Descartes and John Locke. These two have very different views on the origin of ideas.... [tags: Papers]
810 words (2.3 pages)
- To talk about the Enlightenment taking current times into consideration, and more specifically to talk about an enlightened aesthetic, may seem unusual as the concept “enlightened” is usually identify with political regimes and scientific systems. But the truth is a return to the meaning of the concept of enlightenment and its aesthetic has never been so necessary for understanding the world that surrounds us as now. At a time in which "cultural marketing" and culture industries and their products are spreaded, it is inevitable to put back on scene the aesthetic reflection that accompanies the Enlightenment movement of the 18th century.... [tags: cultural marketing, enlightment]
1290 words (3.7 pages)
- Great Ideas Project: Origin of Sex Sex, though usually used in terms of reproduction, is actually quite separate: it refers to the splitting and recombining of genetic material through the meiosis (fission) and fertilization (fusion) of genomes in such a way that, when they are reproduced, the new generation of cells contains a different set of genes than that of its parents. Sex is by no means necessary for reproduction. Asexual reproduction, or parthenogenesis, is actually about twice as efficient for population growth; there is thus a “two-fold cost” of sex in reproduction.... [tags: DNA Biology Biological Papers]
1083 words (3.1 pages)
- The idea of free expression of political thought really came into its own in 18th century Europe. Writers and thinkers like Adam Smith, Rousseau, and Edmund Burke shared their ideas that still give reasons for consideration even today. Rousseau gave the underpinnings for the French Revolution. Smith gave us the foundations for modern economic theory. Burke gave us the idea of Conservatism, which fathered all other -ism's. While all three of these writers gave us so much, it is important to look back and and see not only where their ideas came from, but also how there were in some ways just different interpretations of the same thing, and where they were in stern disagreement.... [tags: Philosophy]
1909 words (5.5 pages)
- On November 24th, 1859, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life by Charles Darwin (renamed On the Origin of Species 13 years later) was published in London, England. In it, Charles Darwin specified his observations and gave his insight on what he thought caused evolution. He called it "natural selection." Before this, nearly everyone believed that a single God created every living organism that none of them had changed a bit since then.... [tags: natural selection, preservation]
1158 words (3.3 pages)
- Systematic Analysis In understanding others, one must first understand our own family background and how it affects our understanding of the world. Conversely, family systems draw on the view of the family as an emotional unit. Under system thinking, one evaluates the parts of the systems in relation to the whole meaning behavior becomes informed by and inseparable from the functioning of one’s family of origin. These ideas show that individuals have a hard time separating from the family and the network of relationships.... [tags: Attachment theory, Family, Family therapy]
1912 words (5.5 pages)
- In The Origin of the Work of Art, Heidegger attempts to the answer the question of what art is, as well as try to find the origin of art itself. In his attempt Heidegger distinguishes between his ideas of “Work” and “Equipment”. While, central to his argument within The Origin of the Work of Art, these ideas are important within themselves in Heidegger’s Philosophy. In this essay I will define as well as compare and contrast these two concepts. I will also explain the ideas of “Earth” and “World” presented by Heidegger in order to facilitate this goal.... [tags: Literary Analysis, Heidegger]
1397 words (4 pages)
- The Moon is the only natural satellite of Earth. The distance from Earth is about 384,400km with a diameter of 3476km and a mass of 7.35*1022kg. Through history it has had many names: Called Luna by the Romans, Selene and Artemis by the Greeks. And of course, has been known through prehistoric times. It is the second brightest object in the sky after the Sun. Due to its size and composition, the Moon is sometimes classified as a terrestrial "planet" along with Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
1560 words (4.5 pages)
- Hypotheses On the Origin of Birds Since the advent of the theory of evolution the origin of birds has been a thriving topic in science. Many ideas and hypotheses have been presented, but only two stand today: that birds are descendents of ancient thecodont stem reptiles, and that birds are the direct descendents of a group of dinosaurs known as the coelurosaurs. Both hypotheses pose many interesting and insightful ideas based on information obtained from the fossil record. There is not enough evidence at this time to determine which hypothesis, if either, is right.... [tags: Evolution Literature Science Essays]
4397 words (12.6 pages)