What are the similarities and differences between locke and descartes arguments about human understanding?
Descartes mediations 1 and 2 only, and lockes essay to human understanding
Question asked by: littlefoot
Asked on: 30 Nov 2010
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They come at it from different viewpoints. Locke was one of the first in the great British empiricist traditional following on from Hobbes etc.
Whislt Descartes being continental was part of the rationalist school, deriving everything ultimately from the one thing he felt certain: the existence of God.
so for Locke everything was deduced through human experiment and enquiry, and it was through looking at nature and asking question he derived his principles, whilst Descartes' baseline was the existence of God and things that God gave to man.
That said there are similarities, and infact there is a lot of empirical stuff in Descartes. The so-called way of ideas from Descartes is essentially adapted into Locke and changed slightly, but the core idea is the same. The general mechanism of learning is similar, the idea of innate ideas but a tabula rasa, or blank canvas, as you would probably expect to be the case.
Replied at: 05 Dec 2010Rate Answer
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