John Locke's Proposal of Empiricism Argumentative Essay by arrakis

John Locke's Proposal of Empiricism
Examines the relevancy of John Locke's proposal of empiricism in today's society.
# 27453 | 773 words | 4 sources | APA | 2003 | CA
Published on Jun 04, 2003 in English (Argument) , Philosophy (General) , Political Science (John Locke)

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This essay deals with John Locke's views and promotion of empiricism. The essay proves that Locke's theory of empiricism is still relevant in today's society. The main points of the essay deal with Locke's rejection of innate ideas, the fact that all ideas are a result of reflection or sensation, and that observations are either simple or complex.

From the Paper:

"The idea that humans are born with prior knowledge is known as innate ideas. Innatists such as Plato believe that mental contents exist in the mind prior to any past experience. Locke highly disagrees with this concept and rejects every aspect of an idea being innate. Locke believes that since children and mentally disabled people cannot rationalize or think abstract thoughts like a mature person, ideas cannot be innate. Locke states "tis evident that all children and idiots, have not the least apprehension or thought of them: and the want of that is enough to destroy that universal assent, which must needs be the necessary concomitant of all innate truths" (Locke, 60). Locke believes that since children and those who are mentally disabled cannot think as complexly as grown adults, it is because they have to gain knowledge through life experiences, therefore, ideas cannot be innate. Locke also suggests that ideas cannot be innate because he strongly believes in, and promotes the theory of empiricism. Locke believes "the mind to be, as we say, white paper, void of all characters, without any ideas" (Locke, 109). Locke holds that we come into the world with a clear mind ready to learn. If innate ideas were true then children would have the same knowledge as an adult has, though it is clear that children do not. Today, Locke's rejection of innate ideas and promotion of empiricism is an acceptable explanation for the way humans think. Humanity accepts Locke's explanation because it is very relevant and cannot be disproved."

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