Locke An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

Locke An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - An Essay...

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An Essay Concerning Human Understanding John Locke Descartes Innate Ideas Wax example- extended, flexible, changeable = essential properties. Reason is what adds the other properties to the wax. Proof of God- idea cannot be addititous because it’d come from an external source, and since we can’t see it, it can’t be inventive because it’s take forever to invent it in the mind and our mind doesn’t last forever. Therefore, it’s innate. Locke’s empiricism- knowledge comes from experience. Heavily influenced in the sciences (friends wit Isaac) Arguments against Innateness Children and Idiots Children and idiots have no knowledge of innate ideas. Innate ideas would be expected to be universal. If children and idiots don’t have innate ideas, then innate ideas aren’t universal. Why should we think they’re universal? o Example of innate ideas: It’s impossible for the same thing to be and not to be. o Descartes distinguishes between innate and a priori. Locke puts both of them in one category. Therefore if a priori = universal then innate must also be universal o Why’s there a connection? Descartes never said innate ideas are universal. Locke owes us an explanation on this. He needs to disprove innate by proving there IS a trigger and there is an ability and nothing happens. A normal person has the ability to use limbs for movement. If a child is born without legs then they still have the ability to walk, they just can’t because they don’t have the proper trigger. Basically you might have innate abilities right now you don’t know about because you don’t have a proper trigger. People’s abilities to learn language is innate. If we have innate ideas, they must be universal. Some children and idiots do not have innate ideas, therefore innate ideas must not be universal Appeal to Child Development Children obtain ideas gradually. Therefore those ideas are not innate. (An apple isn’t associated with the word apple until you see one). We should just start with instantaneous arguments in our mind. However, without certain triggers we wouldn’t have access to these innate ideas. o Reality: Children obtain knowledge at an astonishing rate, not gradually. There’s something innate about watching a trajectory. Even little kids like doing that. “John loves Susan.” Once kids understand that sentence they can say “John loves ____.” Their experience is triggering them to say other things through syntax. Children in youth are horrible about identifying colors until 4 years of age (2-3 weeks in). Is it a full coincidence? No, there’s a trigger Descartes has something going with innateness for sure. We have particular abilities in our mind that help us in our environments. Shifting the Burden of Proof
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Locke An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - An Essay...

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