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Philosophy - Essay Example

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Hobbes took another path to sense, or sensory perceptions, than his Christian counterparts; for Hobbes asserted that it is our sense that enable us to know our surroundings. That is to say, Hobbes held the view that we acquire knowledge through our senses and/or sensory…
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Download file to see previous pages... Thus, all knowledge of things comes to us by objects that are outside. In a way, Hobbes has put forward a mechanism of knowledge; we receive stimuli and our brain and heart interpret it and then they send us signals that help us interpret what that thing is. However, at least in Leviathan, Hobbes is not too clear on how the signals are sent from within us.
Hobbes goes on to state that, thus, “when we would express the decay, and signify that the sense is fading, old and past, it is called memory” (Hobbes Chapter II). He says that memory is simply our old sensory perceptions that have faded enough for us to not be able to remember them clearly, likening it to the light of the stars which fades during daylight, but is there still. Thus, our experiences are the sum of our memories. For Hobbes, memory is at par with imagination, with one slight difference, memory must always be empirically possible, whereas imagination need not be so. However, what is interesting is that Hobbes does not lay down the condition that memory has to be true in the sense of it having actually occurred, it can be an untrue event when it comes to the veracity of its occurrence, but it will be considered a memory of it is empirically possible. So, according to Hobbes, all memory, just like our senses, are perceived from objects that are outside of us, which we interpret through our sensory perception. In turn, it is these memories that shape up our world-view and our beliefs about things that are around us.
When it came to memory, Plato held the view that everything that we know, or will ever know, is actually present in our memory already, or anamnesis. Time, and its passing, are mere illusions, when what is actually happening is that our memory is unfolding, nothing more. We are not acquiring new knowledge, rather it is our old memories that are unfolding and the illusion of time makes us believe ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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