John Locke Summary Essay Research Paper John

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John Locke: Summary Essay Research Paper

John Locke: The Empiricist Theory of Knowledge: Summary

Understanding and knowledge is what makes man superior to all other beings according to John Locke. However the bounds of this understanding and knowledge are questionable. Is some knowledge innate? How certain can we be about beliefs and the knowledge we have? John Locke attempts to give some insight as to the answers of these questions in his work The Empiricist Theory of Knowledge.

John Locke does not believe in innate knowledge one of the more argued areas of philosophy. Innate knowledge must be known by everyone with a soul and universally agreed upon. “Children and idiots” are not in accord with the idea of innate knowledge because they “have not the least… though of” (p138) knowledge considered innate. So then if there is no innate knowledge then how does the mind gather knowledge? All knowledge is gained through experience or is eventually derived from experience. There are two different areas of experience sensation and reflection.

Sensation is the more concrete sort of experience most people associate with experience. Sights sounds taste smells and everything that can be gained through the senses contributes to this sort of external experience. Reflection on the other hand is more of an inward sort of experience. Reflection is composed of thoughts and ideas that are processed within the mind. It is from sensation and reflection that “all our ideas take their beginnings.” (p140)

These ideas can form things in the mind similar to things that exist and giving similar impressions and perceptions as things we sense. These ideas can become representative of all beings of…

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