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Hume, Locke
A posteriori Synthetic:
only experience gains new knowledge
Synthetic= substantive Complex impressions made up
of individual parts/ atoms
Copy Principle: ideas are
copies of impressions
Empiricists Principle: no
impression, no idea
Tabula Rasa: `blank slate'
At birth the human mind is blank
Empiricism
Why? Innate ideas do not exist (Locke)
Words stand for ideas, ideas
stand for sense impressions eg Hume's Fork
blue
External: senses knowledge
copied
Impressions Memory Ideas Imagination
Internal: emotions mind combine/ augment ideas…read more

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Hume's Fork
used as a criterion to establish what is and isn't knowledge,
if neither then `commit it to the flames.'
Relation of Ideas Matters of Fact
A priori A posteriori
Analytic Synthetic
True by definition Test through senses
Trivial Substantive
Logically necessary Contingent
Deductive Inductive
`All sons have fathers' `The chair is blue'
Rationalists claim A priori Synthetic knowledge can exist
Eg physics/geometry- discover the world through reason
A.J. Ayer's verification principle: to be meaningful, proposition must either be empirically verifiable
or analytic
BUT...This rules out many important things: religion- GOD, aesthetic, metaphysical
AND...self- referentially incoherent: neither analytic nor empirically verifiable.…read more

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Empiricism
Strengths Weaknesses
Appeal to common sense: `seeing is -raised by the issue of sense impressions as
believing.' exclusive
Example of blind person can not have Scepticism of the external world
sense impression of the colour blue
therefore no idea. Problem of communication
-but can gain impressions through other senses
Solipsism
Can have ideas of things you've never
experienced
E.g. can imagine a `golden mountain'
(Hume) by combining `gold' and Only weakness Hume admits to:
`mountain' If someone were presented with all
the shades of blue but one ­ they
would be able to imagine it.
Idea of God: reflection on the operation of our own minds
and augment its qualities without limit…read more

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Knowledge of..
The External World
?
Veil
of
Perception
(Jonathan Bennett)
Perceiver Impression Object
V of P stops us experiencing the real world and only perceive through sensory
impressions.
If ideas are derived from sense impressions, we are not to know anything else but them
eg. a stone feels cold to a human, but hot to a reptile. Sense data does not represent
the object.
Banging your head against a wall is still a sense impression does not prove external
world
stand for stand for
Words Ideas Impressions External World…read more

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Communication
problem of sharing ideas
Ideas and impressions are exlcusive we can not know other people's as we have not got
their experiences
BUT...
stand stand stand Impressions
Words Ideas Impressions
for for for
Therefore any meaning words derive from sense impressions
Problem: one person's ideas and impressions are different to another,
yet the words are the same so never mean the same thing.
e.g. I see the colour `blue' but someone else sees it as what I would call `red.'
counter-argument...
That is irrelevant, as there is still understanding between the two people
Solipsism
Scepticism about the external world and the problem of communication
Def: only my mind and its ideas exist, only thing that can be known with certainty.
`the mind is its one place and in itself' Milton…read more

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