Locke, Berkeley and Hume on Human Thought Comparison Essay by Nicky

Locke, Berkeley and Hume on Human Thought
An analysis and comparison of John Locke's, George Berkeley's and David Hume's theories on the origin of human thought.
# 145494 | 1,147 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2010 | US

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper first looks at John Locke's "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding" and discusses his belief that all humans are born with their minds a blank slate, without any ideas, prejudices, or beliefs. Next, the paper considers George Berkeley's "Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Understanding" and his claim that ideas are not only shaped by experience, but they are the means by which experience exists.
Finally, the paper discusses David Hume's work "An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding" where Hume agrees that sensation creates thought, but he also describes how these thoughts can be manipulated. The paper shows how the arguments put forth by these three men are similar in that they all agree there can be no knowledge without experience, but, each philosopher perceives the nature of reality itself differently.

From the Paper:

"The nature of thought is one of the oldest and most debated philosophical questions. Because no philosophy can exist without thought, the question of how thinking and ideas occur could be considered one of the paramount questions of human understanding. To have an idea of how ideas work is essential for an examination of truth, reality, and even perhaps the existence (or non-existence) of God. Conversely, these things can all play an important role in developing an explanation for how thought and ideas work. Yet for all the importance of understanding how and why thought works, and the importance of many related philosophical and even practical questions, this issue is still very much a matter of debate. Perhaps at no time in the history of philosophy, however, was the debate ever so full explored as in the eighteenth century, when three British philosophers advanced their theories regarding human thought."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Berkeley, George. A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge. Chicago: Open Court Publishing, 1904.
  • Hume, David. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Chicago: Open Court Publishing, 1907.
  • Hooker, Richard. "Empiricism." Washington State University Website. 1996. Accessed 11 February 2009. http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/GLOSSARY/EMPIRIC.HTM
  • Locke, John. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. New York: Macmillan & Co, 1894.
  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Accessed 11 February 2009. http://plato.stanford.edu/

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Locke, Berkeley and Hume on Human Thought (2010, November 12) Retrieved March 25, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/locke-berkeley-and-hume-on-human-thought-145494/

MLA Format

"Locke, Berkeley and Hume on Human Thought" 12 November 2010. Web. 25 March. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/locke-berkeley-and-hume-on-human-thought-145494/>