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Assessing Knowledge in the Modern World - Coursework Example

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"Assessing Knowledge in the Modern World" paper argues that rationalism uses innate ideas and deductive reasoning to generate knowledge. Empiricism uses experiences and observations to generate knowledge. Both scientific theories and religious beliefs are still popular in the 21st century.  …
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Assessing Knowledge in the Modern World
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Download file to see previous pages Rationalism is defined as acquiring knowledge about human existence and the world through innate ideas and further through deductive reasoning (Lemos, 2007). Innate ideas are inborn ideas that provide a solid foundation for learning about other important things in life. These ideas are considered absolute certainty by famous philosophers. All the ideas cannot be acquired through experience or experiments. The most significant innate ideas that serve as a source of knowledge of human existence and the world is that of God, substance, infinity, and finally destiny among others. René Descartes suggested that deductive reasoning enables a person to use innate ideas to infer other ideas (Lemos, 2007). An example from Descartes’ rationalism theory includes the use of geometry to deduce important ideas such as lines, points, and other geometrical shapes.

Empiricism is a scientific method of acquiring knowledge through experience, experiments, and observations (Lemos, 2007). This theory challenges the theory of acquiring knowledge through innate abilities. John Locke the initiator of empiricism suggests that when a person is born, his mind is blank and lacks knowledge of himself and the world around (Lemos, 2007). However, the person grows into an adult with the knowledge of God, himself, and the world through experience, experiments, and observations. Newborn babies do not know the existence of God until an adult impact the teachings and beliefs of God upon the growing baby. People learn to do things such as swimming, running, working, and driving among others through experiments and experience.

Rationalism's source of knowledge includes non-experimental sources such as logic, beliefs, and mathematics. A person cannot experience any of these sources of knowledge but can derive a sense of reality and purpose from them. Empirical sources of knowledge in the world today include acquiring information through an experience such as seeing, feeling, and hearing (Lemos, 2007). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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