John Locke's Theory of Knowledge Essay

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I. General Notions
Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes were not truly conscious of the phenomenalistic consequences of their theory of knowledge, which was based on empiricism. Both considered sensation as phenomenal presentations and also as representations of reality. Thus they still had something upon which to build an absolute metaphysics. With Locke gnosiological phenomenalism enters its critical phase. By considering sensations merely as subjective presentations, Locke gives us a theory of knowledge of subjective data devoid of any relation with external objects. Hence Locke is the first to give us a logic for Empiricism, that is, for sensations considered as phenomena of knowledge.
Such an attitude excludes any consistent metaphysics
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After the accession of William of Orange, he returned to England, retired to private life, and dedicated himself to his studies. He died in 1704. Locke is a representative of the English culture of his time. With a mind open to the most varied problems, Locke was a philosopher, a doctor of medicine, and educator, a politician and a man of action.
Locke's principal works, in chronological order, are: Treatises on Government; Essay Concerning Human Understanding (his masterpiece); Thoughts on Education.
III. Epistemology: Origin of Knowledge
Descartes had admitted that some some ideas are innate in the intellect. Locke dedicated the first book of his Essay Concerning Human Understanding to a refutation of Descartes' innatism. If we had innate ideas, says Locke, we would be conscious of having them. But it is an undeniable fact that children, savages, the unlearned, are not conscious of having innate ideas; they acquire knowledge during the course of a lifetime. It is impossible that anyone should have knowledge of something of which he is not conscious.
Furthermore, experience teaches that certain moral principles and the notion of God, far from being innate, vary with different people and at different times. Hence there exists no innate idea; our intellect, at the first moment of its being, is a tabula rasa, a clean sheet of paper on which nothing has yet been written. All impressions we later find thereon (which for Locke
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