Descartes And Locke Analysis

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Ideas are defined as whatever is perceived or understood about something; despite this simple denotation, humankind 's capacity to acquire and understand these complex thoughts remains a controversy in philosophical literature. As major role models in the foundation of modern philosophy, Descartes and Locke feud over the definition of these ideas, the acquisition of these concepts, and the content of these thoughts. Descartes identifies with a rationalistic view where knowledge is based on innate ideas and these ideas are acquired through reason, whereas Locke believes in empirical explanations which state that ideas are formulated from sensory experiences with the outside world. In many of Descartes’ works, he emphasizes the importance of …show more content…
Descartes, especially in his First Meditation, condemns the ability of sensation to provide information about the natural world and humans’ surroundings. Although he believes that humans must trust their senses to understand the obvious, he believes that not all perceptions can be trusted as bodily senses can be deceptive to internal understanding. However, a problem arises: how can one contemplate everything that is perceived around them as false? Certainly, unknown truths must reside in experiences not yet encountered especially those that require interactions with distant places and unfamiliar ideas. Descartes argues that these unfamiliarities are produced by pure introspection, but it can be argued that communication with a superior being allows humans to fully understand their supposed innate ideas. The innate ideas proposed by Descartes must be learned through a proper method such as utilitarian schooling, as one cannot possibly understand all things about the world at

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