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LU4 Philosophy Essay 06-2.docx - Brynnley Tompkins...

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Brynnley TompkinsPhilosophy 6LU4 EssayVernon Martin10/13/21LU4 EssayJohn Locke and Rene Descarte are two well known philosophers from themodern era. John leaned more towards an empirical approach to epistemology andmetaphysics; whereas, Descarte relied heavier on rationalism,in determining hisbeliefs. When considering the following scenario;“ a 10 year-old girl, Jessica, has beencomatose since birth. The doctors have discovered a cure which will result in Jessicabecoming consciously aware of her surroundings for the first time.”, it is reasonable tosay the men would have a different approach of how Jessica obtains knowledgemoments after regaining consciousness. Locke would state that Jessicas’ senses wouldformulate a large portion of what she perceived as true, in contrast to Descartes’ innatetruth argument, and denial of sense experience as a solid base for forming beliefs.John Locke in response to Jessicas’ awakening, would state that knowledgewould be formed based on her sense experience. Locke believed that when we areborn, we do not have innate knowledge and are considerably what he calls “ blankslates' '. This notion can be shown in his response to the notion that there are nouniversal truths held by all people, in all time, in all cultures,where he asks if you canfind these truths “mentioned in the huts of Indians, much less are found in the thoughtsof children.” (Martin Power Point, 2021). Understanding this belief of Lockes’, he wouldbelieve Jessica would only be able to form thoughts based on what she is perceivingaround her, and not from innate truths. John held the idea that while sensory informationand human knowledge are limited to what we and our sensory organs are able toperceive, knowledge from sense experience is the best way to understand the world
around us. Sensation and reflection of our senses by understanding objects of realityand their primary and secondary traits are factors that John believed beings are able touse to gain knowledge of what exists. Jessica therefore, when waking up, would derivesense experience from the worldas her own subjective experience, and use theprocess of reflection with her mind in organizing these sensations to create anunderstanding of the reality that she has become aware of. Jessica would then be ableto formulate sense experiences she derives from objects through their secondaryqualities, such as color, taste, smell, as well as primary qualities, including their size,figure, shape; adding definition to what surrounds her. John Locke would add that whileshe is able to create these secondary qualities off her perceiving these objects, shewould not be able to define the objects as what they actually are, but as what she canperceive them as being through our limited human knowledge. Locke's support of thispath of obtaining knowledge can be seen in his statement, “Let any one examine hisown thoughts, and thoroughly search into his understanding; and then let him tell me,

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Epistemology, Ren Descartes

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