John Locke : An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

2360 WordsOct 24, 201610 Pages
John Locke published in 1690 a twenty year long masterpiece, which ultimately becomes the masterwork of this great philosopher, titled as An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. This philosophical treatise took twenty years to complete when he began his work on The Easy in 1670. Locke composed The Essay in order to formulate what it is and is not likely attainable for us to fathom and perceive. John Locke’s aim was not to establish utmost certainty, but to fathom the amount of substance we can distribute to distinctive categories of knowledge. What is knowledge according to John Locke? Locke went about answering this question by splitting up his philosophical essay into four books, where the first three provided the infrastructure for the arguments set out in Book IV. Do we enter this world with a mind that is a blank slate or is a person born into this world equipped with knowledge? Paramount to Locke’s discourse during the whole of the Essay is the notion that when an individual born into this world their mind is a blank slate. Locke argued that all of our knowledge is from information one collects from the five senses – we enter this world knowing nothing – experience is our master teacher and imparts knowledge. This is the underlying score of empiricism that is so often contributed to Locke, a philosophical theory in contrast to innatism – the theory that knowledge is inborn – and to rationalism where the attain knowledge of reality through the power of reason apart
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