The Principles Of Empiricism And The Spirit Behind It

2295 WordsJan 15, 201510 Pages
Critical Reasoning Essay 3: British Empiricism with particular reference to Locke’s theory of ideas – the basic principles of empiricism and the spirit behind it; Locke’s theory of the origin and types of ideas and the problems it gave rise to. Locke, John, An Essay concerning human understanding, Everyman, 1961: Book 1, of Innate ideas, Book 2, chapter 1, of ideas in general and their original, Berkeley, George, A treatise concerning the principles of human knowledge. Empiricists endorse the idea that we have no source of knowledge in S or for the concepts we use in S other than sense experience. This radical way of thinking began in the 17th century, with John Locke often regarded as the “father of British empiricism” after writing the 1690 Essay Concerning Human Understanding and within this thesis arguing directly against philosophers such as Descartes and particularly opposing views on innate ideas and how a person comes to conclusions of concepts and whether ideas are born into the mind from birth or not. Locke’s views were certainly not universally accepted but did help the rise of British empiricism and led to the more radical empiricists such as Berkeley, who although disagreeing largely with much of what Locke said, regarding it as “abstract general ideas”, added to British empiricism hugely. Empiricism began in the 17th-18th centuries for a number of reasons, including scientific advances and a search for ‘new certains’. Arguably more importantly, the Reformation
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