Reason and Experience

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  • Created by: Laurel
  • Created on: 23-03-11 20:07

Types of Knowledge

  • A priori knowledge: intuitive knowledge that we know prior to sense experience.
  • A posteriori knowldge: Knowledge through sense impressions, that can be doubted.
  • Analytic truth: tautologies, facts that are true by definition.
  • Synthetic truth: Non-analytic truths that can reasonably be presumed to be the opposite, e.g. the grass is green, though it may be blue.
  • Necessary truth: Truths that must be true - would be the same in a parallel universe
  • Contingent truth: Truths that aren't necessary - could be different in a parallel universe
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  • We are born with our minds as a tabula rasa, or blank slate.
  • Knowledge is gained through experience.
  • Our ideas are copies of sense impressions, e.g. we have an idea of snow being white and cold.
  • We can have complex ideas, e.g. a gold mountain, which are based on our experiences of numerous simple ideas, e.g. the colour gold and a mountain.
  • Not all of our ideas/knowledge can be traced back to sense experience. We must already have knowledge in order to experience other things, e.g. we can see a pen, close our eyes and assume it will still be there.
  • Experience alone doesn't give us knowledge as empiricism implies. We can get knowledge from our community through a common knowledge, or we can be taught.
  • We cannot all have the same sense impressions so we cannot share ideas. My words stand for my sense impressions so how can you understand me when we are communicating?
  • How do we know we're experiencing the same things? What I see isn't necessarily what others see, e.g. what may be green to me may look purple to someone else.
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thank you

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