What are the limits of our knowledge?

Empiricism is the belief in sense perception, induction, and that there are no innate ideas.

Empiricists endorse the following claim for some subject area.

A question that divides the two dogmas is; "Is perception the source of knowledge?" Empiricists say yes whole-heartedly while Rationalists believe that we accomplish knowledge through reason....

The two schools deal specifically with epistemology, or, the origin of knowledge.

Empiricism." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.Sweeney, M.

Consider, for example, our idea of causation. Descartes takes it to beinnate. Locke offers an apparently circular account of how it isgained from experience. Hume’s empiricist account severelylimits its content. Our idea of causation is derived from a feeling ofexpectation rooted in our experiences of the constant conjunction ofsimilar causes and effects.

We've been studying empiricism, logical positivism and metatheorical realism.

Intuition and deduction can provide us with knowledge of necessarytruths such as those found in mathematics and logic, but suchknowledge is not substantive knowledge of the external world. It isonly knowledge of the relations of our own ideas. If the rationalistshifts the argument so it appeals to knowledge in morals, Hume’sreply is to offer an analysis of our moral concepts by which suchknowledge is empirically gained knowledge of matters of fact.

The second is that reason is superior to experience as a source ofknowledge.


Rationalism vs. Empiricism Essay - 797 Words

Leibniz (1704) offers a rationalist reply to the first concern. WhereLocke puts forth the image of the mind as a blank tablet on whichexperience writes, Leibniz offers us the image of a block of marble,the veins of which determine what sculpted figures it will accept.

Rationalism Vs Empiricism Free Essays - StudyMode

An empiricist response to this general line of argument is given byLocke (1690, Book I, Chapter IV, Sections 1–25, pp.91–107). First, there is the problem of explaining what it isfor someone to have an innate concept. If having an innate conceptentails consciously entertaining it at present or in the past, thenDescartes’s position is open to obvious counterexamples. Youngchildren and people from other cultures do not consciously entertainthe concept of God and have not done so. Second, there is theobjection that we have no need to appeal to innate concepts in thefirst place. Contrary to Descartes’ argument, we can explain howexperience provides all our ideas, including those the rationaliststake to be innate, and with just the content that the rationalistsattribute to them.

Rationalism vs. Empiricism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Some rationalists think that a reliabilist account of warrant providesthe answer. According to Reliabilism, beliefs are warranted if theyare formed by a process that generally produces true beliefs ratherthan false ones. The true beliefs that constitute our innate knowledgeare warranted, then, because they are formed as the result of areliable belief-forming process. Carruthers maintains that“Innate beliefs will count as known provided that the processthrough which they come to be innate is a reliable one (provided, thatis, that the process tends to generate beliefs that are true)”(1992, p. 77). He argues that natural selection results in theformation of some beliefs and is a truth-reliable process.

Empiricism,’ can retard rather …

One way to meet at least some of these challenges to an empiricistaccount of the origin of our concepts is to revise our understandingof the content of our concepts so as to bring them more in line withwhat experience will clearly provide. Hume famously takes thisapproach. Beginning in a way reminiscent of Locke, he distinguishesbetween two forms of mental contents or “perceptions,” ashe calls them: impressions and ideas. Impressions are the contents ofour current experiences: our sensations, feelings, emotions, desires,and so on. Ideas are mental contents derived from impressions. Simpleideas are copies of impressions; complex ideas are derived fromimpressions by “compounding, transposing, augmenting ordiminishing” them. Given that all our ideas are thus gained fromexperience, Hume offers us the following method for determining thecontent of any idea and thereby the meaning of any term taken toexpress it.