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John Locke's Ideas on Primary and Secondary Qualities - Assignment Example

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This assignment "John Locke's ideas on primary and secondary qualities" outlines Locke's ideas on the distinction between primary qualities and secondary qualities. The resemblance thesis of Locke speaks of the “resemblance” between the idea of primary qualities (which is explicitly pointing to the mind) and the qualities itself (external objects)…
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John Lockes Ideas on Primary and Secondary Qualities
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Download file to see previous pages John Locke (1632 –1704) is an empiricist. In fact, he is considered the father of Modern British Empiricism. But what is empiricism? The fundamental form of empiricism that can be claimed to have been developed out from the philosophical system of Locke is the idea that “sense-perception (including direct observation senses, an indirect observation by the use of instrumentation, and experimentation) is the only reliable method for gaining knowledge and for testing all claims of knowledge.”1 Thus, Locke’s empiricism is a contra-position against the rationalist philosophers position that holds the supposition that there are innate ideas that are intrinsic and inherent to human nature. And with the innate ideas, thereby, creating the notion that human beings are aware or have knowledge of simple truths that do not necessitate experience. This very idea of ‘innatism’ is what Locke intends to destroy when he raised the claim that the human mind is a tabula rasa implying the notion that the human mind is a blank slate and that all the things that we claim we know is derived from experience. As Locke has stated in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding,
Whence has it all the materials of reason and knowledge? To this, I answer, in one word, from EXPERIENCE. In that, all our knowledge is founded, and from that, it ultimately derives itself. Our observation employed either, about external sensible objects, or about the internal operations of our minds perceived and reflected on by ourselves, is that which supplies our understandings with all the materials of thinking. These two are the fountains of knowledge, from whence all the ideas we have, or can naturally have, do spring. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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