AQA AS Introduction to Philosophy - Unit 1: Reason and Experience - Revision Notes

Reason and Experience - Knowledge...Do we know it?

  • Detailed discussion of topics!
  • Discussion of key theories and philosophers!
  • Key Terms defined!
  • Key knowledge needed for passing the AQA AS Introduction to Philosophy Unit 1 Exam

A detailed and easy to understand revision document for the AQA AS Introduction To Philosophy Unit 1: Why Should We Be Governed.

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Reason and Experience
Knowledge...Do we really know it?
Key Terms:
Term What It Means... Examples
Concept/Idea A thought or notion that cannot be true or God, Dog, Evil
Proposition A statement which is either right/wrong "God is pink"
Knowledge Expressed in propositions that are formed by "The dog is…

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All Ideas Come From Experience: Empiricism
John Locke David Hume
· The mind is a Tabula Rasa ­ Blank Slate · Sensation creates impressions in our minds
Sensation + Reflection Ideas are 'faint impressions' of
sensations which are 'vivid and forceful'
· Simple, complex, and abstract ideas All thoughts are…

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2. The view reflects our experience of learning ­ It explains why we learn like we do

Counter Arguments:
· Sense experience is never certain ­ Leads to scepticism
Senses, Dreams, Deceiving Demon ­ Descartes
Cave Analogy Plato
· Some knowledge about what exists is known a priori
Self/God/EW ­…

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Innate ­ In the mind at birth
· 'God', 'Infinity', and 'supreme perfection' are not experienced or made up
They must therefore be innate (Trademark Argument ­ We know of God, but
do not experience God ­ He left his mark on us ­ This is innate)
· Innate ideas…

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E.g. Reverse Backwards (i.e. Analytic)
David Hume · Hume's Fork
Reason is limited to the meaning of words
Descartes · Experience is limited to immediate awareness
We can never be sure that the external world corresponds to out
experiences (we might be dreaming/demon)

David Hume Yes · Hume's Fork…


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