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Modern Philosophy

In philosophy, empiricism is generally a theory of knowledge emphasizing the role of experience, based on perceptual observations by the five senses. . such as sight, touch, hearing and smell. According to Hume, empiricism is a reduction of ideas to nothing more than fuzzy remembered images of actual perceptions that they regard freedom or self-determination both as real and as having important ontological implications, for soul or mind or divinity.
John Locke is the father of true empiricism, which is nothing more than a denial of innate (or a priori) knowledge and philosophical rationalism (the belief that knowledge can be derived by reason alone without reference to the perceived world) and insistence that all knowledge is derived and based on conscious experience of the world. That the world we are conscious of is objectively real, and it is our conscious perception of that objectively real world and our reasoning about it, which is the only source of true knowledge. Locke's empiricism began and ended with Locke. Bishop Berkley and Hume immediately destroyed it, and "empiricism" after Locke devolved into extreme Skepticism and subjective Idealism.
In the late eighteenth century Immanuel Kant set forth a groundbreaking philosophical system which claimed to bring unity to rationalism and empiricism. Rationalists believe there are innate ideas that are not found in experience. These ideas exist independently of any experience people may have. These ideas may in some way derive from the structure of the human mind, or they may exist independently of the mind. If they exist independently, they may be understood by a human mind once it reaches a necessary degree of sophistication. Empiricists who denied that there are concepts that exist prior to experience. For them, all knowledge is a product of human learning, based on human perception. Perception, however, may cause concern, since illusions, misunderstandings, and hallucinations prove that perception does not always depict the world as it really is. In Kant's view people certainly do have knowledge that is prior to experience, which is not devoid of cognitive significance.
Kant has been justly recognized for creating a revolutionary synthesis between the absolute, but speculative certainties of the continental rationalism of his time (represented by Leibniz) and the practical approach of British empiricism (culminating with Hume) that ended up in universal skepticism. Kant's initial position was considerably closer to the continental rationalism of Leibniz and Wolff than to British empiricism. Both his background and his personal inclination caused him to search for absolute certainties rather than pragmatic solutions. It was Hume's skepticism merely served as a catalyst to make him realize how little certainty there could be in any metaphysical construct which described himself as a lover of metaphysics whose affection had not been reciprocated. In the eighteenth ...Show more

Summary

Epistemology or theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy that is concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. It focused on analyzing the nature of knowledge and how it relates to similar notions such as truth, belief, and justification. It also deals with the means of production of knowledge, as well as skepticism about different knowledge claims.
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Modern Philosophy essay example
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