Philosophy AS: Reason and experience

Reason and experience covers:

  • Empiricism and rationlism
  • Tabula rasa
  • Innate knowledge
  • Conceptual schemes

Key terms

Reason and experience vocab

  • Epistemology: Study of knowledge
  • Rationlism: Knowledge gained from thought and logical reasoning
  • Empiricism: Knowledge gained from experience
  • Priori: Knowledge gained in advanced of experience
  • Posteriori: Knowledge gained after experience
  • Nessesary truth: Has to be true in all worlds "2+3=5"
  • Contingent truth: May be true but it doesn't change laws of nature if it isn't
  • Analytic statement: (Tautological) True because of the language used "A square has four sides"
  • Synthetic statement: May be true but not in all cases "Justin is a bachelor" but not all Justin's are bachelors
  • Inductive arguement: A conclusion that logically leads from the outcomes
  • Deductive arguement: A conclusion based on what has been observed will be true in the future "All swans are white" What about the black swans in australia
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Tabula rasa

The Mind as a Tabula Rasa

  • The most extreme view of empircism (Tabula rasa) came from David Hume
  • All of our concepts are formed from sense experiences, for example, tea.
  • A have a cup of tea and can smell, taste and see it. It is only because i have encountered tea that I have a concept of it. This allows me to say what is not tea. Imagination of monsters are formed of different parts of other experience.
  • Simple and complex ideas -
  • Simple idea cannot be reduces like red
  • Complex idea would be a red chair which is a combination of these reduced simple ideas.
  • Internal and external impressions -
  • Internal impressions of anger or pain (Emotions) for red
  • External impressions of what we sense
  • David Hume says experience can come from internal impressions as well as external, seeing red blood may leave the internal impressions of pain which will be an experience
  • Used to prove there is no God, no experience of omnipresent, omniscipent etc but we have experiences of mankind being none of these things so God was created in man's mind from things we haven't experienced.
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Hume's Causality

David Hume used his idea on the mind as a tabula rasa and his most famous use of it is his idea on causality.

  • Aware of casality, the footballer kicks a ball so the ball moves
  • Hume's example, billiard ball hits another and goes into a pocket
  • With this example we see the balls moving and hear them, but we never have a impression on what we would call the cause
  • Might have been intricate magnets under the table, what we experience is the same so we don't experience the cause
  • Hume claimed causality was a feeling of anticipation from a constant conjuntion
  • Everytime i clap there is thunder, might happen purely by coincidence but after a while i will believe my hands clapping are the cause, these are the constant conjuntions but doesn't mean to say this is the cause
  • In essence a posteriori
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The view of Phenomenlism

  • If I believe something my justification is because of knowledge gained from the sense
  • This is sense perception
  • Phenomenlists say that a statement is true as long as it is a sense data experience
  • "I see red now"
  • Physical object statements might not be true because they refer to knowledge of language which requires interpretation
  • "I see a red chair"
  • It might not be a chair it might be a hollogram but you would have still seen red
  • Sense data statements are incorrigible
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