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Rationalism and Empiricism - Essay Example

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Rationalism and Empiricism

Empiricism after Hume’s philosophy, however, requires an a posteriori knowledge apart from analytical endeavor for such theory posits that matters of fact in the world may only be ascertained by perceiving through the senses. In the light of an empirical attempt for one to obtain certainty with truths that may be contingent, Hume necessitates engagement with observations wherein an observer becomes capable of designating philosophical connections with contiguity and identity of objects [2]. _____________________ 1. “Rationalism – Rene Descartes.” 2012. Web. http://science.jrank.org/pages/10983/Rationalism-Ren-Descartes.html. 2. Harrison-Barbet, Anthony. “Philosophical Connections: Hume (1711-76).” 2011. Web. http://www.philosophos.com/philosophical_connections/profile_068.html. A rationalist like Descartes proposes that the knowledge we may acquire is derived from the ideas that are intrinsic by nature. As such, the mathematical knowledge that the sum of all three angles in any triangle is always equal to 180 degrees is an innate conception that is part of a universal set of absolute truths the discovery of which is made by reasoning. It is believed under the argument of Descartes that since genuine knowledge is inborn, God has created the natural laws for this knowledge to constitute our mental faculties inherently. The rationalist thereby goes on to state – “there is no single one we cannot understand if our mind proceeds to consider it” for the things conceived already exist as they are and are brought to cognition only to reveal their proofs yet to be unfolded in the absence of regard for senses [3]. On the contrary, nevertheless, an empiricist like Hume maintains that beliefs regarding matters of fact, hence, determine genuine progress for explicating that no self-evident relation exists when ideas bear apparent distinctions and separability within their number. For Hume, we possess no knowledge of such factual matters since connections in beliefs presupposed by cause and effect can only be yielded at after experiencing cases with similar characteristics that not even inferential validity of previous encounters would do alone to make adequate explications of these same beliefs [4]. What –ism seems to be stronger  in your mind and why? What are the arguments for and against Rationalism and Empiricism? Descartes is suspicious of the senses because for him, in order to fathom a significant truth, one must doubt all perceived knowledge. Since preconceptions are normally acquired by _________________ 3. “Descartes – The Rationalist.” 2012. Web. http://www.creatorix.com.au/philosophy/11/11f09.html. 4. Kemerling, Garth. “Hume: Empiricist Naturalism.” 12 Nov 2011. Web. http://www.philosophypages.com/dy/a5.htm#a-pr. the senses then these senses should be subject to scepticism as well. Once the intellect has been purged of its old content with the attached senses by the method of doubt, only then can scepticism be defeated on its own ground in the process of rebuilding knowledge upon pure cognition that enables a rational person to yield to clarity and distinction of ideas. On the other hand, Hume suspects reasoning on the ...Show more

Summary

Complete Explain the difference between Rationalism and Empiricism? Give an example of a  philosopher who is a rationalist and one who is an empiricist. Explicitly contradicting the emphasis on sense-based experience which the Aristotelian school of thought proposed, Descartes presents his argument for rationalism by executing around relations of ideas…
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