• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is Perception the Source and Basis of Knowledge?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Scott Donnelly Is Perception the Source and Basis of Knowledge? It is human nature to desire to acquire knowledge, but how we acquire this knowledge is a constant debate between philosophers. For years philosophers have written about different sources of knowledge. We can divide these ideas into two theories, rationalism and empiricism. A question that divides the two dogmas is; "Is perception the source of knowledge?" Empiricists say yes whole-heartedly while Rationalists believe that we accomplish knowledge through reason. Both empiricism and rationalism can be convincing, but there are some points on both sides that would need rethinking. Rationalism is purely based on reason and the foundational concepts known through it. A rationalist would say that experience is not our only source of knowledge; some ideas are not accumulated through experience. ...read more.

Middle

Though it is presented in the name that the red river is red, it is not. This is simply the name for a dirty river; we cannot assume that it is red. There are countless other examples of names like this, "the Barenaked ladies are not Barenaked ladies" for example. This knowledge we call a priori, is not necessarily true by definition. We would need experience to learn that the red river is not red and that a band named the Barenaked Ladies is actually a group of men who are often clothed. Rationalists also use mathematics to support their claims. Common examples of this are; parallel lines never meet and the sum of the angles in a triangle is 180�. This is true for some people. ...read more.

Conclusion

They also say that reason produces nothing but analytical statements that are true by definition and they do not produce genuine worldly knowledge. They argue that knowledge is based on both sense experience and internal mental experiences. It is very difficult to prove this though, because it seems that they have come to this conclusion based on reason. Rationalism and empiricsim both present good evidence to secure their arguments, but they also both have some holes in their arguments. It is impossible to prove without exception which of these ideologies is the correct one. It can be assumed that both reason and experience are necessary to acquire knowledge, but it cannot be proved. So you must base your own decision on your own perception of the situation. But this statement brings us back to the question, is perception the basis of knowledge or not? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Existence of God section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Existence of God essays

  1. Compare the respective approaches of rationalism and empiricism towards a theory of knowledge ...

    Spinoza thought that everything was an aspect of God. Descartes said everything was from the mind or made from matter. Spinoza believed that all we are, are ideas in the mind of God. Leibniz, a supreme intellect in his day, was a very shallow, but ambitious. He thought that matter with no material form, were called Monads, which are spiritual forms that from complexes which are seen as matter.

  2. Theory of Knowledge.

    These attempts are usually written, and used as a guidance on how to lead a proper life at the time. This written explanation and thesis are then classified as the holy book for the religion. "The Bible" for the Christian, "Al-Quran" for the Moslems and some that is not named.

  1. Is there knowledge we should not seek? Or is all knowledge inherently a good ...

    Things become meaningful only if and when human beings make use of them; thus, the theoretical knowledge of things is neutral and only the practical knowledge is value-laden. This being the case, we may conclude that the nature of practical knowledge is open to argument because humans play a decisive role in its application.

  2. One definition of knowledge is true belief based on strong evidence. What makes evidence

    There is no way to prove that this is true or not true, yet the idea seems to be enough for most people to believe it. Faith is belief without doubt based on revelation, faith based on experience is not faith.

  1. Extreme Rationalism

    People had no real control over the world in which they lived so when events such as the Black Death broke out they could only rely on religious explanations and the hope of a Divine cure. In modern times we would explain plague in terms of a biomedical model and use drugs in which to treat it.

  2. God: a definition

    Chapter 41 of the Tao Te Ching describes the Tao: "When a great person hears of the Way He follows it with devotion When an average person hears of the Way He doesn't know if its real or not When a small person hears of the Way He laughs out

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work