John Locke Research Paper

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Why are you who you are today? For century’s psychologist have had ongoing arguments about this question and many others just like it. It is the argument about whether people are predestined to certain personality traits and behavioral characteristics, or is it truly Tabula rasa. The philosopher John Locke was one of the first British empiricists in the 17th century, who came up with the concept of the mind as a blank slate or Tabula rasa. Which explains, people are not born with thoughts or ideas but they develop them through sensory experience. John Locke said, “there were two kinds of experiences: sensations of objects in the external world, and the reflections of the mind’s own operations.”(Francher & Rutherford, 64) Through this idea of…show more content…
In the second book of the essay he begins his empiricist theory of the mind. In example two he starts to explain Tabula Rasa and that all ideas come from sensation and reflection. Locke says at birth the mind is, “as we say, white Paper, void of all Characters, without any Ideas... Whence has it all the materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from experience that all our knowledge is founded.”(Locke, 73) This stating that all people start with a blank slate at birth, and the only way we develop all of knowledge is through the experiences that life imprints on us. The two ways to develop this knowledge is, the physiology of sensations or the psychological aspect of reflections. Those two things are the starting line of all our ideas and knowledge that we have or learn to have. Sensation is the one source of idea, and it is the reality of people and it happens to us externally. Our five sense that we are born with gives us a distinct perception of objects and how are mind perceives them. For example, we know that the sky is blue, ice is cold, and candy is sweet. Locke said these perceptions we have of these objects are called sensible qualities. Him believing that these external objects are the reason we have perception, and the only way we can fully understand our perceptions is because of our sensations. The next…show more content…
The mind has a bottom-up processes. One source says, “At the base of experience we have the “simple ideas” which embody inputs from an independent reality and etch a mental imprint upon the tabula rasa intellect with which we are all born.”(Rychlak, 1969) This agreeing with Locke’s philosophy, because he mentions that the inexperienced mind gains simple ideas from sensation and reflections. In order to have a simple idea you have to experience it concretely. For example, to teach a kid the color green you point to grass and show them that it is green. Locke also said, “Some simple ideas come to us by way of reflection, such as the simple idea of perception, or thinking” (Carlin, 87) He explained this idea, that if you know the color red you will be able to imagine your dog red. If you combined simple ideas with enough experience you form complex ideas. With complex ideas you do not need to experience them directly. For example, if you know how to drive a car then you will be able to make a road trip. Locke explained a very empirically accurate theory through the two ways of developing knowledge, and the two types of ideas humans can

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