First 564 words of the document:
Contingent- may or equally may not be true
Necessary has to be true
Analytic - true in the virtue of meanings of words
A priori- before sense experience
A posteriori from sense experience
Deductive an argument where the premises logically entail the conclusion
Inductive an argument where the premises suggest but do not logically entail the
Empiricism all knowledge comes from sense experience.
Locke mind tabula rasa blank slate at birth to be written on by the pen of experience.
Empty cupboard filled with ideas. No innate knowledge because we can only have
knowledge if we are aware of it and if innate has to belong to everybody but children are
not aware of knowledge. Simple ideas from sense experience complex ideas from reflection
on one or more simple ideas.
Hume no innate ideas, impressions come from sense experience and ideas are copies of
these and therefore weaker, imagination is only changing sense experience e.g. griffin =
eagle + lion. Difficult to grasp ideas without direct sense impressions. We recognise objects
by seeing the same qualities going into the object repeatedly.
Objections Wittgenstein sense experience not enough (rabbit or duck, this is tove), sense
experience is not necessary we understand words without direct sense impression e.g. if.
Empiricism leads to solipsism that nothing really exists and we cannot communicate with
others because our senses sometimes deceive us so we cannot trust them, everyone only
views the world from their perspective and so we cannot communicate. Can understand
things without fully experiencing them e.g. yellow, can understand without forming mental
picture e.g. chilliagon.
Rationalism knowledge innate and from the mind.
Descartes, we cannot know the world exists as we may be being deceived but we cannot be
deceived about thinking therefore I think therefore I am. Wax example, we recognise wax
when it is solid but when it is left in front of the fire it melts and all sensory qualities change
but we still recognise it. Therefore knowledge of the external world comes from the mind. It
must be from God because we have the idea of a perfect God yet nothing in our world is
perfect. Our knowledge must be correct as God would not deceive all of the time.
Plato knowledge comes from the world of the forms, our souls have knowledge from the
world of the forms and sense experience triggers this. E.g. Socrates gets a boy to find the
answer buy only asking questions. Only philosophers can have full knowledge as they are
closest to the form of good.
Objections It is fine for God to deceive us some of the time, perhaps we learn by watching
that it is still wax. No argument to prove world of forms. Knowledge must come from
somewhere , no prove of transcendent being.
Kant- we have innate structures in the mind like causality and time so we can make
unintelligible sense impression into intelligible experience.
Whorf and Hare conceptual schemes come from language of our community, language
defines the way we view the world e.g. Hopi (birds, flies, aeroplanes) and ancient colour.