Descartes Vs Locke

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René Descartes and John Locke were two of the foremost influential philosophers of the 17th century. The two each had their own distinct methods of inquiry into metaphysics and epistemology; including questions about our capacity for knowledge, the separation between the mind and body, and the basic functioning of how knowledge is acquired therein. Descartes and Locke each offer different views about knowledge and certainty, though the two have similarities within their logic as well. For Descartes, certainty is a vital factor of knowledge. He attains absolute certainty through a process of eliminating doubt. In his Meditation One: Concerning Those Things That Can Be Called into Doubt, Descartes gives an account of the senses as sensory…show more content…
He asserts that every idea comes from the senses and reflection (what is also referred to as internal experience), and, similarly to Descartes, that knowledge is a fundament of experience. That the senses first let in the ideas, which are categorized and ultimately ingrained into memory, later to be built upon. Furthermore, Locke suggests that there are no innate thoughts. He recognizes that ideas do arrive in the mind at an early age, however, but its the acquired knowledge that the mind uses to determine what is truthful or not (Locke, 14). Locke disregards the possibility of any principles existing innately on the grounds that they cannot be “universally assented to.” For example, he asserts that it is not possible for something to exist and not exist at the same time, and if such an concept were innate, then it would it would be universally true—though this is not the case. He proposes the notion that if any idea or proposition were to be universally innate, then children would have immediate knowledge of it, though this has been proven not to be the case over over time as well (Locke,…show more content…
Locke gives an opposition to Descartes’ essential proposition regarding doubt and innate knowledge in his first meditation. In contrast, Locke proposes two kinds of experience, external and internal experience. He classifies external experience as the experience of an object that takes place through the senses: color, smell, motion, etc. His definition of internal experience is the guiding feature that allows the mind to register and interpret the physical aspects produced by external

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