L3 empiricism


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L3 empiricism

  1. 1. LESSON 3 - EMPIRICISM Presented by: Arnel O. Rivera LPU-Cavite Based on the presentation of: Mr. Alexander Rodis
  2. 2. EMPIRICISM  It is the view that all knowledge of reality is derived form sense experience.  There are so many sorts of experience, but here experience means “sense experience” that is perceptions derived from five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.  Empiricists deny that any ideas or even intellectual structure is inscribed on the mind from birth- the mind at birth is a blank tablet, devoid even of watermarks. The implication is that anything “written” on the tablet is written by five senses.
  3. 3. ARISTOTLE  Like Plato, Aristotle believed that knowledge necessarily involves general or universal ideas – man, dog, table, chair, etc.  Aristotle believed that our knowledge of the general comes from our experience of particular men, tables, chairs, dogs, oceans etc.
  4. 4. THE PROBLEM:  How do we arrived at universal ideas on the basis of our limited and fluctuating experience of particular things?  Aristotle’s answer is that the universal and necessary elements of knowledge- the foundations of all subsequent reasoning - are built up in the mind through INDUCTION.  This means, that a wider and wider generalization is derived from repeated experiences of particular things until a general or universal concept is established in the mind: and the universal ideas become the tools and building blocks of all reasoning.
  5. 5. EMPIRICISM OF ST. TOMAS AQUINAS  St. Thomas expresses the same empiricist idea with the word: “Nihil in intellectu quod prius non fuerit in sensu” or “Nothing in an intellect which was not first in the senses”  For St. Tomas, the essences of things are locked inside the particular things of which they are the essences - individual human beings, animals, tables, chairs, dogs and cats, etc.  The intellect is able to liberate the essence in particular things and thus to “see” the universal idea of their common, essential nature: human, animal, table, chair, dog, and cat.  The intellectual faculty by which the essential or formal or universal element of particular by which the essential element of particular things is unlocked and “seen” by then mind is called ABSTRACTION.
  6. 6. ABSTRACTION  It is the process of removing or separating something from something else.  In epistemology, what is being abstracted is a common nature, and that from which it is being abstracted are the particular and varying instances of it. PROCESS  We begin with the particular things we encounter in the sensible world and from this we derived universal concepts and principles.  With our universal concepts and principles, we are enabled to return to the sensible world and speak of it, think about it, and know it:
  7. 7. The three stages of knowledge according to Aristotle and St. Tomas may be represented more vividly: in the mind II. UNIVERSAL CONCEPT IN THE MIND: HUMAN BEINGi Particular things in the sensible world: I. PARTICULAR THINGS IN THE SENSIBLE WORLD: Socrates, John, Bill, Sally Knowledge of the world utilizing universal concept: III. KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD UTILIZING UNIVERSAL CONCEPT: SOCRATES IS HUMAN BEING. II
  8. 8. MODERN EMPIRICISM OF JOHN LOCKE  He rejected the innateness of both “speculative” and “practical” principles (reality and morality)  Locke emphasized what is called epistemological dualism. This is the view that there are two factors involved in knowing: a. mind, which does the knowing; and b. ideas, which are the known.  The mind has no other immediate object but its own ideas  But there is a third factor, the object in the external world that is known by means of ideas.  Locke believed that our ideas represent those objects, and therefore really inform us about the external world.  Thus we have also what is sometimes called representative perception, the theory that our ideas correspond to and faithfully represent objects in the external world.
  9. 9. The initially empty room of the mind is furnished with ideas of two sorts:  first, by sensation we obtain ideas of things we suppose to exist outside us in the physical world; example, "hard," "red," "loud," "cold," "sweet," and "aromatic" are all ideas of sensation,  second, by reflection we come to have ideas of our own mental operations. while "perceiving," "remembering," "abstracting," and "thinking" are all ideas of reflection.  Everything we know, everything we believe, every thought we can entertain is made up of ideas of sensation and reflection and nothing else.
  11. 11.  He distinguished between simple and complex ideas and acknowledged that we often employ our mental capacities in order manufacture complex ideas by conjoining simpler components Example: my idea of "unicorn” may be compounded from the ideas of "horse" and "single spiral horn," and these ideas in turn are compounded from less complex elements.  What Locke held was that every complex idea can be analyzed into component parts and that the final elements of any complete analysis must be simple ideas, each of which is derived directly from experience
  12. 12. POWERS OF MIND PASSIVE POWER OF MIND Perception of ideas through the senses and retention of ideas in memory beyond our direct voluntary control and heavily dependent on the material conditions of the human body. ACTIVE POWERS OF MIND Include distinguishing, comparing, compounding, and abstracting. It is by employing these powers.
  13. 13. TYPES OF COMPLEX IDEAS Locke supposed, that we manufacture new, complex ideas from the simple elements provided by experience. The resulting complex ideas are of three sorts:  MODES are complex ideas that combine simpler elements to form a new whole that is assumed to be incapable of existing except as a part or feature of something else. The ideas of "three," "seventy-five," and even "infinity," for example, are all modes derived from the simple idea of "unity." We can understand these ideas and know their mathematical functions, whether or not there actually exist numbers of things to which they would apply in reality.
  14. 14. TYPES OF COMPLEX IDEAS  SUBSTANCES are the complex ideas of real particular things that are supposed to exist on their own and to account for the unity and persistence of the features they exhibit. The ideas of "my only son," "the largest planet in the solar system," and "tulips," for example, are compounded from simpler ideas of sensation and reflection. Each is the idea of a thing (or kind of thing) that could really exist on its own.
  15. 15. TYPES OF COMPLEX IDEAS  RELATIONS are complex ideas of the ways in which other ideas may be connected with each other, in fact or in thought. The ideas of "younger," "stronger," and "cause and effect," for example, all involve some reference to the comparison of two or more other ideas.
  16. 16. THE EGOCENTRIC PREDICAMENT Some philosophers claim that all we can know is our own ideas. But on this view, we are trapped in the world of our own egos (or selves) and ideas. We could never get outside ourselves to verify whether ideas correspond to anything in the external world.