Rationalism And Empiricism

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APPROACHES, STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS OF COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY Rationalism versus Empiricism Early history had it that the root of cognitive psychology was premised on two approaches, rationalism and empiricism respectively. Two of the foremost Great Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristotle have overwhelmingly influenced contemporary thinking in psychology, sociology, anthropology and other disciplines with their enormous works. The duo disagreed on how to research on ideas. Plato who professed rationalism believed that the route to knowledge was through critical thinking and logical analysis. That is, a rationalist operates without experiments to develop novel knowledge. A rationalist who has interest in cognitive processes would appeal to reason…show more content…
Descartes viewed introspective and reflective methods as being superior to empirical methods. He argued that the only evidence of his existence is that he was thinking and doubting. Descartes believed that it is not worthy relying on the senses because it most times proven to be deceptive. For instance, optical illusion. John Locke, on the other hand, was passionate about empirical observation (Leahey, 2003). He believed that all human beings are born without knowledge thus, must seek knowledge through empirical observation. He called this tabula rasa i.e “blank slate”. This is the belief that life and experience “write” knowledge on us. Locke firmly believed that the study of learning was the route to understanding the human mind, therefore no innate ideas. Also, a German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) synthesized the views of Descartes and Locke holistically, believing that both rationalism and empiricism have their place in establishing the truth. Strengths of Empiricism: It can demonstrate the truth it proclaims thus giving it more acceptance and enabling ground to demystify falsehood It also encourages researches on issues that border on the existence of man Weaknesses of…show more content…
This school of thought firmly believed that, we cannot wholly understand behavior when phenomena are splitted down into smaller parts. For instance, behaviorists assumed to study problem solving by searching out for the observable behavior through which problem solving can be understood. Gestaltists, in contrast, examined insight, seek to understand the unobservable mental phenomena by which someone goes from having no idea about how to solve a problem to understanding it fully in what seems a mere moment of time. The popular maxim “the whole is more than the sum of its parts”, explains better the Gestalt perspective. For instance, to understand perception, it would be apposite we would have to take into consideration the whole of the

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