AlliedAmerican University



Iagree with Locke’s view that we can have no ideas without firsthaving sensory experiences. The source of an idea, according to Lockeis through the feeding of the brain. I further agree since, as achild, one does not identify with anything before the time they startidentifying with the common items that they relate to every day. Forexample, the idea of a color, it happens so fast in our brains to theextent that we do not recognize. However, the source of the samecolor was fed into the brain by use of one of the human beings`senses, which is the eye. The same applies to sound and the ear,smell and the nose, touch, and the skin. It is through these sensesthat the brain is fed with an idea and from there on, the brainthrough memory, relates the idea to the experience over and again(Schurz et al., 2009).

Thefundamental epistemological difference between Hume and Berkeley wasthe language used to disagree with Locke’s theory of abstractideas. Both Hume and Berkeley disagreed with Locke’s theory,however, Berkeley being the first to disagree with the theory, he wasso severe and dismissed the theory as an abuse of language. Humeprovided arguments in support of Berkeley but in a lighter tone. Thefundamental difference can be depicted on their dispute on Lockesbundle theory. The theory states that the composition of a givenabstract idea is a collection of simple ideas (Schurz et al., 2009).

Themain question was whether one could generate an idea of a thingwithout having a definite value of each quality like color, size, andmotion. Berkeley and Hume disagreed by stating that, even though themind may have never experienced, it is capable of putting ideastogether in a non-contradictory way. However, Berkeley argues for theinseparability of certain parts or qualities unless those qualitiesand parts can exist on their own. Hume claims that all differentthings are distinguishable. In addition, they are separable by themind. Further, both Hume and Berkeley agree that ideas can beconstructed in the mind such that a person can distinguish betweendifferent aspects of inseparable qualities that they further defineas making a distinction of reason (Schurz et al., 2009).

Kant`saccount of knowledge combines elements of both rationalism andempiricism. As an ethical theory, Kant aims to address the source ofethical knowledge. Rationalism differentiates between empiricalinformation obtained from experience and priori knowledge, which isbefore experience. He contributed most of his work towardsidentifying what humans can know. He found out that humans’knowledge is constrained to the mathematics and the science of anatural and mathematical world. He further asserted that it is notpossible to expand knowledge to the supersensible kingdom ofprovisional mataphysics. Kant argues that the mind imposes limits onthe amounts of knowledge since it plays an active role in combiningthe features of experience and limits, its experience only to theempirical sphere of space and time.

Kantwas against both the empiricists and the rationalists. To theempiricist, he argued that the mind is not an empty lineup that ismeant to be written upon by the empirical world. Further, he rejectedthe rationalist’s view that a priori familiarity of an independentmind was achievable. Kant’s explanation relies on the forms ofexperience and categories that give a reasonable and extraordinarystructure for any given object of observed occurrence. Kant arguesthat these conditions cannot be avoided to develop a mind that isindependent. Hence, he advocates that people learn from theirexperiences. In addition, he adds that experiences are necessary forspacio- temporal objects together with their casual behavior andlogical properties. The two theses create Kant’s famoustranscendental idealism and empirical realism (Schurz et al., 2009).

Kantovercomes the human doubts by explaining that doubt is as a result ofassuming the priori knowledge that is certain resulting intoimaginations. For example, priori knowledge is clear that 2+2=4 butKant states that it is still impossible to imagine a universe inwhich 2 +2=6 or which the worlds circumference is 30,000 miles ratherthan 25,000 miles or a world in which politicians are honest. Hestates that the cause of doubt is due to the difficulty inestablishing whether an empirical statement is true (Schurz et al.,2009).

Kant’sclaims that true knowledge has its basis in experience followed byclaims that it is possible to have a priori knowledge are not acontradiction. According to him, it is possible for one to learnthrough experience, however, that knowledge is referred to require noexperience for it to be known. Priori knowledge is said to resultfrom reason alone. For example, he states the knowledge that alltriangles have three sides does not require experience since thereare no triangles in the universe. He clarifies by stating that theremight be triangular entities inform of physical shapes, but there areno triangles in the world. Similarly, he states that the expressionequation 3+3=6 does not make any claim about the universe since thereare no threes or sixes in the world that one can experience hencethis knowledge is purely empirical. Further, he states that even thelogical statements that X=X, where entities in the universe areconsidered as x or not x’ Kant states that no entities in theuniverse are both x and not x. He states that these statementsalthough applicable to experience, they are not about experience(Schurz et al., 2009).


Schurz,G., Werning, M., &amp Goldman, A. I. (2009). Reliableknowledge and social epistemology: Essays on the philosophy of AlvinGoldman and replies by Goldman.Amsterdam: Rodopi.


Dewey,J. (1891).&nbspPsychology&nbsp(3drev. ed.). New York: American Book Company.

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