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Debates on the Nature of Knowledge

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 894 words Published: 18th May 2020

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“To know is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.” – Socrates, What is knowledge? Many philosophers can define knowledge as some form of true belief; different philosophers give different answers that involve the roles of reason, perception, experience, intuition, and universal agreement that is in this process. The nature of knowledge has different ideas about it, for example, rationalism, empiricism, and idealism. Immanuel Kant is the philosopher of idealism theory. Idealism is the result of the mind and sensation that is structures by regulation ideas called categories. Whereas Kant’s Reconciliation is the knowledge that comes from two sources: feeling and intuition, and Rationalism is the theory of reason, I believe knowledge will become found by experience is given that experience about space has provided new technology that we now use today in our everyday life’s. (Soccio) John Locke is the philosopher that founded the theory epistemology, Rene Descartes theory is a rationalist, and Kant’s theory was epistemological reconciliation.

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John Locke was an empiricist back in the 17th century. Locke offered the theory of empiricism, which we obtain ideas through our experience. He claims that the mind is then able to take the ideas and examine, compare, and combine them into countless different ways. For example, if two people are outside of a locked door and the first person says ‘I have the key to the door. I know it is the correct key to the door because I have tested this key in the door and it opened it last time.’ The second person says, ‘I also have a key, but I have never used it on this specific door, but I know it will work because I have a good feeling about it.’ The second’s persons key might work but wouldn’t you rather trust the first person to open the door because that key was used to open the door before. (Serva) Locke argues that the mind is a blank slate (or a tabula rasa) that will become populated from ideas from its interactions from the world. The blank slate is the model of the mind inadequate to explain the beliefs about objects we have, components of our beliefs must be accompanied by the mind to experience. (McCormick)

 Rene Descartes was the first modern rationalist. Rene believed that knowledge is only the untold truths, which includes mathematics. He states that knowledge should be that the mind was the source of real knowledge. He believed that “if I am thinking, I exist.” Descartes was searching for certainty in something that would go beyond doubt. During the search, he found that he would have to acknowledge that everything is false, and he must understand that there was a thinking subject. (Mitra) Descartes refuted that the senses reveal the natures of substances. He trusts that, in fact, human comprehension that recognizes the nature of reality through a purely intellectual perception. What that means is, to acquire the rudimentary truths of metaphysics, that we must “withdraw the mind from the senses” and believe in the innate ideas of the essences of things, including the essences of mind, matter, and an infinite being. Descartes established the Meditations to secure this process of withdrawal from the senses in Meditation. In conclusion to Rene, Descartes claims about knowledge, only the self and God can be the fundamental principles of knowledge, clear and distinct ideas must derive all other knowledge. (Sager)

Immanuel Kant found the middle ground on the epistemology by reviewing Hume’s Enquiry when he stated he was “awakened from his dogmatic slumber.” Kant reasons “that it may be better to turn things around and determine if it is not the case that objects of experience conform to its understanding; or more to the point, our rules of understanding.” (Sager) Kant claims that if we are given an object of an experience only through the representation of the sense will make no sense to suggest that we can say something about whether the representation will obey to their objects. (McCormick)

Thus, Kant argues that although our knowledge begins with experience, it cannot become reduced to experience alone; knowledge is a composite of both the representations provided by experience (the senses) and the rules of understanding that produce the judgments that govern reality.

 Empiricism means that our knowledge becomes restricted by description implies because the connection between most simple human ideas is unknown. Because ideas are limit by experience, and we cannot possibly experience everything that exists in the world, our knowledge is further compromised.

Works Cited

  • Serva, Christine. “John Locke’s Theory of Empiricism.” (2016).
  • Soccio, Douglass J. Archetypes of wisdom: An introduction to philosophy. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 2016.
  • Sager, Angela. “Kant’s Epistemological Reconciliation.” Philosophy 290, Butler Community College.               Received 1 July 2019. Instructor notes.
  • McCormick, Matt. “Immanuel Kant: Metaphysics.” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy,  www.iep.utm.edu/kantmeta/#SH1a.


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