Reason & Experienc
Belief that most knowledge comes from reason
A priori - knowledge without/before experience
Continental rationalist tradition
Most rationalists agree that most propositions are analytic 'All bachelors are unmarried men'
Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Plato, Permenides, Pythagorus
Belief that most knowledge comes from experience
A posteriori - knowledge with/after experience
British empricist tradition
Most empricists agree that most propositions are synthetic 'Fish in the sea can swim well'
Locke, Hume, Berkeley
Theory of 'Tabula Rasa' - mind like a blank slate
John Locke said we are not born with a priori knowledge - all knowledge comes from experience
Many rationalist philosophers believe we have innate ideas - means we are born with knowledge
Undoubtedly born with certain instincts, e.g. crying when hungry, however does this count as knowledge?
Some philosophers argue that we are born with innate knowledge which goes beyond instinct e.g. mathematics
Plato's Arguement for Innate Ideas
Argues in his dialogue, Meno, that we are born with knowledge
Through a process of philosophical contemplation we can recollect this knowledge, which is hidden
The main character in this dialogue, Socrates, shows this by asking an uneducated slave boy questions about a geometric puzzle. The boy eventually gets the right idea, This proves that the boy had the knowledge already