Dalesa's-1 - UNIT THREE (Test Date: April 14) 1. The...

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UNIT THREE (Test Date: April 14) 1. The Rationalism – Empiricism Debate a. Definition of rationalism : Rationalism – belief that there is an innate knowledge or some ideas are innate; people who believe in rationalism are called rationalists such as Descartes and Plato (Descartes and his innate knowledge of God who ultimately gives us our source of innate ideas); idea that you come and are born with certain ideas; rationalist do NOT believe that ALL ideas are innate…; without these innate ideas (such as idea of cause, idea of substance) one is not able to understand anything else (Descartes’ Meditations are good example); there are relatively few innate ideas, but they are key in order to have some sort of knowledge b. Definition of empiricism : Empiricism – the negative of rationalism and people who believe in empiricism are called empiricists like Hume; the belief that there is no such thing as innate knowledge or innate ideas; everything is acquired through experience and mind is a blind slate according to John Locke c. Rationalist v. empiricist tendencies : A rationalist tends to – 1.) believe that there is more chance of fixed human nature; in other words, all humans carry along the same package of innate ideas (such as idea of God) so there’s a common basis for understanding 2.) build a metaphysical system based on innate ideas; rationalist tends to be more metaphysical An empiricist tends to – 1.) think of human nature as more malleable or flexible; to empiricists, our experiences shape who we are so cultures aren’t more than likely to be the same 2.) shy away from metaphysics (not all empiricists but many); for example, Hume develops an epistemology over metaphysics; he’s an absolute skeptic 2. Hume on Miracles (Looking at the application of the view, then the view itself…) a. The argument :
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Hume thinks faith is linked to religion, and religion is linked with faith; belief in faith is religious and faith includes belief in miracles (to Hume, there’s a difference between just understanding religion or believing in some religious ethics and having faith according to his definition of faith) Definition of miracles : Miracle – examples include Jesus walking on water, resurrection of Jesus in 3 days; changing water to wine; it’s a contradiction of the laws of nature Definition of a wise or reasonable man : Wise or reasonable man – one who proportions his belief based on evidence from whatever he’s learned or from past experience, or even cause and effect; examples include putting key in the ignition to start car, not putting hand in fire, etc…; the more consistent experience is, the stronger one’s belief and more wise he is Conclusion : it is unreasonable to believe in miracles (definition of miracle + definition of wise man = Hume’s conclusion which is his main argument); he makes a clear distinction between it being unreasonable to believe that there are miracles and there are NOT miracles… b. Other (related) arguments regarding miracles
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course PHL 304 taught by Professor Leon during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Dalesa's-1 - UNIT THREE (Test Date: April 14) 1. The...

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