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Is Perception the Source and Basis of Knowledge?

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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.


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.


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.

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