Rene Descartes and John Locke By: Many elements of his philosophy have precedent in late Aristolelianism and earlier philosophers like St.
October 28, Descartes and Locke: Both Descartes and Locke attempt to find answers to the same questions in metaphysics and epistemology; among these: Is there certainty in knowledge? What roles do the mind and body play in the acquisition of knowledge?
Descartes and Locke do not provide the same answers to these questions. In this paper I will consider the similarities and differences between the philosophies of Descartes and Locke. I will first briefly consider several similarities. I will then discuss a few important differences in their theories of knowledge namely the distinction between rationalism and empiricism and the question of the existence of innate ideas.
Having enumerated similarities and differences, I will conclude that Descartes and Locke offer fundamentally different philosophies. Although I maintain that the philosophies of Descartes and Locke are different, this does not exclude the possibility of similarities.
In fact, I believe there are many points of agreement between Locke and Descartes. Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding is not a direct attack on Descartes; in contrast, it is an account of epistemology which, though not Cartesian, was influenced in part by Locke's reading of Descartes.
Locke borrowed many of Descartes' philosophical ideas and objections and adopted much of his terminology. I will now consider four passages in which Locke appears to be drawing on Descartes: Note that in these cases differences as well as similarities may be found, but I am here choosing only to address the similarities.
Locke's notion of the idea is one example of a term borrowed from Descartes. This seems to be exactly Descartes' definition of idea: Locke then goes on to consider the qualities powers to produce ideas of external objects.
He distinguishes between primary and secondary qualities; the latter are those which are not in the objects themselves but are perceived or sensed, while the former are those which cannot be separated from the object and belong to it at all times such as solidity, extension, figure, and mobility Locke, This echoes the distinction made by Descartes about the qualities of wax.
Descartes clearly perceives the having of size, shape, and number, as well as motion, substance, and duration, but qualities such as color and sound Locke's secondary qualities are not as clearly perceived Descartes, For both Descartes and Locke there is something about man which sets him apart from machines and animals.
Descartes says that though machines may superficially appear to imitate man, they could still be discerned from real men with certainty. Nor can animals beastsas they have not only less reason than men, but no reason at all Descartes, John Locke was an English philosopher.
Locke is considered the first British Empiricists but equally important to the social contract theory. His ideas had an massive influence on the development of epistemology and political philosophy.4/4(1).
John Locke was an English philosopher. Locke is considered the first British Empiricists but equally important to the social contract theory.
His ideas had an massive influence on the development of epistemology and political philosophy.4/4(1). Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding is not a direct attack on Descartes; in contrast, it is an account of epistemology which, though not Cartesian, was influenced in part by Locke's reading of Descartes.
Locke borrowed many of Descartes' philosophical ideas and objections and adopted much of . The Essay Concerning Human Understanding is sectioned into four books.
Taken together, they comprise an extremely long and detailed theory of knowledge starting from the very basics and building up. Book I, "Of Innate Ideas," is an attack on the Cartesian view of knowledge, which holds that human.
Rene Descartes and John Locke are both philosophers with two different views how we obtain knowledge. Descartes believes we cannot believe our senses and begins to question lifetime and we can not really know what real is. John Locke feels that all knowledge comes from experience, and nothing is .
"John Locke". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. "John Locke: Political Philosophy". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
John Locke Bibliography; Locke Studies An Annual Journal of Locke Research; Hewett, Caspar, John Locke's Theory of Knowledge, UK: The great debate.
The Digital Locke Project, NL. Portraits of Locke, UK: NPG.