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Philosophy-Assessing knowledge of the modern world Name: Institution: Abstract Knowledge can be acquired through rationalism or empiricism. Rationalism uses innate ideas and deductive reasoning to generate knowledge. On the other hand, empiricism uses experiences and observations to generate knowledge.
Rationalism is defined as acquiring knowledge about human existence and the world through innate ideas and further through deductive reasoning (Lemos, 2007). Innate ideas are inborn ideas that provide a solid foundation for learning about other important things in life. These ideas are considered absolute certainty by famous philosophers. All the ideas cannot be acquired through experience or experiments. The most significant innate ideas that serve as a source of knowledge of human existence and the world is that of God, substance, infinity and finally destiny among others. Rene Descartes suggested that deductive reasoning enables a person to use innate ideas to infer other ideas (as cited in Lemos, 2007). An example from Descartes’ rationalism theory includes the use of geometry to deduce important ideas such as lines, points and other geometrical shapes. Empiricism is a scientific method of acquiring knowledge through experience, experiments and observations (Lemos, 2007). This theory challenges the theory of acquiring knowledge through innate abilities. John Locke, the initiator of empiricism, suggests that when a person is born, his mind is blank and lacks knowledge of himself and the world around (as cited in Lemos, 2007). ...
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