Essay about Epistemology : Why Empiricism And Rationalism Don 't Hold Up

1336 Words Nov 3rd, 2016 6 Pages
Epistemology: Why Empiricism And Rationalism Don’t Hold Up
Epistemology, the question of how do we know what we know, has plagued philosophers since Socrates himself. The problem at hand seems to be that we cannot be certain of where our knowledge originates. Over the centuries of human thought, many have tried to tackle such a question. The two major schools of thought along these lines I am looking at are empiricism and rationalism. Both of these philosophies attempted to answer this dense question but fell short of a concise solution.
The first look at an answer is rationalism. Rationalism uses a plethora of theses and theories to explore the answer to the question of where our knowledge comes from. In particular, three of these theses make up the backbone of rationalist belief. The first of these is the Intuition/Deduction Thesis (Markie). This is the idea that certain propositions in a particular subject in question, X, are knowable only by intuition (Markie). This is followed by the idea that propositions not in this category are only knowable when deduced from intuition (Markie). Claims in rationalism can vary in levels of controversy with regards to what is derived from one’s intuition. Furthermore, rationalist agreement on the role of intuition is varied. Some rationalists believe what is intuited without a doubt holds truth (Markie). Although there isn’t a completely opposite extreme, because that would undermine intuitive propositions, the other side of…

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