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John Locke_s Contributions _ Epitaph-1_2_

John Locke_s Contributions _ Epitaph-1_2_ - John Locke 4391...

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John Locke – 4391 Ginsburg’s Notes Locke was a Liberal Philosopher – the founder of British Philosophical Schools of ‘Associationism’ (Connectionism) and British Empiricism, arguing that there are NO INNATE IDEAS and that SELF is not inborn attribute of the supernatural SOUL at birth, but emerges and develops with life experiences. Locke becomes enthused about the enmeshment of self and consciousness (what happens to self when we sleep, when we lose mental capacities with age, etc – are we the same person when we awake; are we the same person if we lose memories of past and self ?). EMPIRICISM: Locke’s philosophy begins with the agnostic premise that humans always have limited knowledge and that we can never ‘know’ about metaphysical concepts like ‘Soul’. Locke’s philosophy is at odds with Descartes’ dualism of Soul-Mind/Body and Descartes’ interactionist view that Soul-Mind interacts with Body. Further, Locke disputed Descartes’ Rationalism, that knowledge derived purely by reason is innate, infallible truth and superior to the fallible senses. Locke’s empiricism offered that human knowledge is limited by the capacities of the human senses (or the tools like telescopes or MRI or seismographs that amplify our sensory ability. Following the lead of Aristotle, Locke was an empiricist, meaning Locke was only interested in that which could be determined by direct observation of materials derived OF THE SENSES., e.g., the term empirical evidence. It is empirical when you can see or hear or smell or touch or taste the material substance. ASSOCIATIOISM: Read Locke’s view of mind as a web of ‘mental connections’ (following his Epitaph, p.3). Locke argued that ASSOCIATIONS form what we call ‘the mind’. Therefore, mind is a network of empirically derived associations that are stored as what we call memories; Locke’s ‘mind’ was not a metaphysical substance like Descartes ‘Mind’. In addition to his interest in how memories are formed from Associations and the ‘Succession of Memories’ which directs Consciousness and forms our ‘PERSONAL IDENTITY’, TABULA RASA: Locke’s tabula rasa concept, that we are blank tablets at birth, is a stunning philosophical refutation of Platonic-Cartesian views of INNATE IDEAS, the Hindu Doctrine of Eternal Reincarnation of the Souls (until Nirvana is achieved), and the Christian Doctrine of Original Sin (humans are born into the world as God-damned Sinners (EVE ate the ‘Fruit of Knowledge’ causing Adam to lose his immortality and for her the curse of bearing offspring because of the
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original transgression of disobeying God. As you may see from the assigned readings, Locke’s tabula rasa is a profound idea – that self, personal identity and perhaps even your soul are all products of your experiences after birth, not experiences or metaphysical substances derived before birth.
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John Locke_s Contributions _ Epitaph-1_2_ - John Locke 4391...

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