This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Comparing The Approaches Of Rationalism And Empiricism Towards A Theory Of Knowledge

1536 words - 6 pages

Comparing the Approaches of Rationalism and Empiricism Towards a Theory of Knowledge

Rationalism
-----------

Rene Descartes was the main rationalist. He said he believed he had to
doubt everything known to him to really understand knowledge.

Rationalism first began in Ancient Greece with two extreme
rationalists - Parmenides and Zeno. Rationalists believed in innate
ideas - ones that are present at birth, in the mind.

When Descartes started his thoughts, it was in the 17th century,
during the rise of science. Descartes decided to set up a new system
of knowledge to replace the knowledge of the church. This is where
Descartes introduced his 'Method of Doubt'. In his 'Method of Doubt',
he couldn't question every single object, so concentrated on three
main things:

§ The Senses

§ Physical Bodies

§ Maths and The Sciences

He said he could doubt all by the following explanations

§ The Senses - can be deceived - e.g. Optical Illusions, you think you
can see something when it's not there

§ Physical Bodies - dreaming - e.g. do you know you are awake now? Or
are you dreaming?

§ Maths and The Sciences - Descartes couldn't think of a valid reason,
so blamed an Evil Demon.

All Descartes knew, was his thoughts. He felt he could doubt
everything about everything, but all he thought that was real was his
thoughts. This is where he came up with his famous quote,

"I Think Therefore I Am"
========================

Spinoza was another rationalist. He was Jewish, and fled from
persecution from his home in Spain. His beliefs upset the Jewish faith
and his family disowned him. He was a very odd man. On the death of
his wealthy parents, his sister got all of their wealth, so he went to
court to get his share. He won and gave all the money back to his
sister. He worked as a lens grinder, which led to an early death, due
to the effects of glass dust on his lungs.

Spinoza thought that everything was an aspect of God. Descartes said
everything was from the mind or made from matter. Spinoza believed
that all we are, are ideas in the mind of God.

Leibniz, a supreme intellect in his day, was a very shallow, but
ambitious. He thought that matter with no material form, were called
Monads, which are spiritual forms that from complexes which are seen
as matter. In other words, these 'Monads', bits of spiritual
nothingness, can from material objects.

Because of Descartes emphasis on the mind, it became easier to know
than the body. He also found it difficult to bring back the subject of
matter back into his philosophy. Descartes set up a problem…

"How do the mind and the body connect?"
=======================================

This question has presented problems to all rationalists. To make it
easier, the mind and the body were...

Find Another Essay On Comparing the Approaches of Rationalism and Empiricism Towards a Theory of Knowledge

The Theory of Knowledge Essay

1686 words - 7 pages many hypotheses and theories, such as Newton’s laws of physics and the Big Bang theory this often leads to the subject knowledge being further built upon and evolved. Although Scientific claims and hypotheses are frequently discarded, they can also be slightly altered to make them not false. Most frequently in the natural sciences, if theories have taken hold and are proven to be false, they may be replaced by a theory that simply changed minor

The Theory of Knowledge Essay

1781 words - 7 pages . Hindsight allows for predictions based on the past, a theory vindicated by history sometimes repeating itself. For example, there were clear similarities between the causes of the two World Wars, such as feelings of being wronged that prompted belligerence; the belief in pre-emptive action to prevent invasion and that war would distract the populace with nationalism. In history, knowledge in the past was rejected, but not discarded. All

The Theory of Knowledge

1376 words - 6 pages “functional accompaniments of an intention to attack” a stranger and the same dogs’ reverse contraction of muscles rather than expansion of the muscles “functional accompaniments to affection” towards its master had been observed in physiognomy changes with sensations triggering tail straightening, hair stiffening, ear straightening in the case of an intention to attack; tail wagging or waving side to side, ears flattening and hair smoothening in the

The Theory of Knowledge - 1824 words

1824 words - 7 pages to record what couldn’t be recorded, with unprecedented precision and accuracy, producing new knowledge as a result. Even our language has adapted to express the new findings; would anyone have been able to communicate 100 chemical elements 100 years ago? However, the area of natural sciences may be a unique area of knowledge in terms of its characteristically incessant build-up of knowledge; by contrast, for example, the area of ethics

The Theory of Knowledge - 1850 words

1850 words - 7 pages visit a country from your bed, is single-mindedness a problem or a trademark that sets you apart? This question inspired the knowledge issue, Is being conditioned to having only one perspective hindering one's pursuit of knowledge? Through the exploration of the ways of knowing like emotion and reason and areas of knowledge like art, I will critically analyze this question through the perspective of professional, religious, or/and demographic bias

The Rationalism of Descartes and Leibniz

2257 words - 9 pages The Rationalism of Descartes and Leibniz Although philosophy rarely alters its direction and mood with sudden swings, there are times when its new concerns and emphases clearly separate it from its immediate past. Such was the case with seventeenth-century Continental rationalism, whose founder was Rene Descartes and whose new program initiated what is called modern philosophy. In a sense, much of what the Continental rationalists set out

The Main Problems of Rationalism

1077 words - 5 pages rather it can be explained through a combination of both sense perception and reasoning. Empiricism tells us that knowledge of our world is gained through the senses. The reason to agree with empiricism a little more is that reasoning cannot work alone without sense perception. Some ideas in rationalism and empiricism can work together to an extent to help explain our world in a more comprehensive way, rather than one position alone. Rationalism

Empiricism and Rationalism: Searching for God and Truth

890 words - 4 pages for proof. The existence of God for some philosophers have fueled a many arguments that to this today still have not been answered. The two streams I will discuss are Empiricism, and Rationalism. The empiricist is trying to find sense in their primary path to knowledge, while rationalist look for other ways to acquire knowledge for reason on why things are happening, even though they have different beliefs they are still searching for truth and

Plato - "The Republic" - Explain and Evaluate Plato's theory of knowledge

1148 words - 5 pages realms of C and D on the line - truth and reality in the simile of the sun. The prisoners' situation is akin to that of the non-philosopher existing in the world of belief; all we are seeing is the bare essences and vagaries, not the true forms of things.All three of Plato's metaphors link together knowledge; if you have it, there is nothing beyond your reach. Whilst his theory is a romantic reflection about the rule of philosopher, the validity of

Comparing the Nomothetic and Idiographic Approaches as They Apply to the Study of Intelligence and Personality

1976 words - 8 pages theories, the Trait theory (Gordon Allport 1897 - 1967, Raymond Cattell b. 1905, Hans Eysenck 1916 - 1997, McCrae and Costa, 1985, 1987, 1990) and the Type theory (Greek Physician Galen). The nomothetic approaches carry a strong sense of biology essence, e.g., type theory has a conversional medical background. Four-type theory suggests the excess or lack of the four humours produces certain behavior, these humors are blood, black bile, yellow bile, and

Theory Of Knowledge And Its Justification

1586 words - 6 pages commonality, knowledge, and the justification of our own beliefs that hold to be true.Olen considered the levels of certainty, and the levels of justification. Can we prove something to be truer than the other? He explained the ¡®justification¡¯ of thoughts through ¡®Justification Chains¡¯ and ¡®Webs of Belief.¡¯ However, there were some inconsistencies in a ¡®justification chain

Similar Essays

When Rationalism And Empiricism Collide: The Best Of Both Worlds

1346 words - 5 pages For a lengthy period of time, philosophers have been fiercely debating the classification of philosophical epistemology into two categories: rationalism and empiricism. Empiricism is the idea that knowledge can only be gained through obtaining facts via observation or experimentation, while rationalism is obtaining knowledge through logical reasoning . Though rationalism and empiricism are very viable methods of thought in philosophy on their

Rationalism And Empiricism Essay

1572 words - 6 pages credit for developing rationalism. Rationalism is the idea that reason and logic are the basis of knowledge. It says that knowledge is innate, and that it cannot come from sources such as the senses. Rationalists believe that we are all born with a means of obtaining truth and knowledge. Empiricism also came about in the 17th Century, mostly through the ideas of the philosophers Locke and Bacon. Although Hume wrote several decades after these

Empiricism Versus Rationalism: Descartes And Hume

645 words - 3 pages , both all stars in their respective philosophical traditions, provide the best representation of rationalism and empiricism. Descartes posited that deduction, reasoning and innate ideas were the source of true knowledge, but David Hume disagreed. He thought the idea completely anti-scientific, which put it beyond the realms of testability. In Hume’s view, actual knowledge came from induction sense perception and our ability to analyze. Hume’s empiricism seems much more prevalent in the modern age, with industrialized science and from a modern perspective, rationalism seems like a last ditch effort to stick with renaissance ideas.

The Theory Of Knowledge Essay 1671 Words

1671 words - 7 pages know whether Olber’s paradox was due to other unexplained phenomena of physics and must therefore require the development of knew knowledge to disprove it. The knowledge shown to be wrong by Olber however was proven to be wrong in Einstein’s ‘Theory of General and Special Relativity’. Einstein showed that Newton’s model was impossible and that a different model would need to be found (which was found by Edwin Hubble in 1929). Einstein proved the