A blupete Essay

How Come, We Know, What We Know, Part 6 to blupete's Essay
"On Philosophy"

The Fundamental Question (the study or the investigation of it is known as epistemology), is, how does one come to know what he knows. While man might well come delivered with certain primitive urges, plainly needed for a start: the question is, does the process of learning operate in the same way; or, is it, simply the full development of innate urges? Or, does man have free will, and while having an innate capacity to receive data, is guided by his past experiences; proceeding in life on a trial and error basis, a basis, in fact, on which all science proceeds.

In answer to the question of how man comes to know what he knows (the study of epistemology) we see that two theories have come about. There is the rationalist view, led by Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, and others; who sought to integrate a belief in the existence of certain innate ideas with an acceptance of the value of data received by experience. Empiricism (expounded by Hobbes, Hume, Locke) denied the existence of innate ideas altogether, maintaining that all knowledge comes from human experience. Kant and numerous people since have attempted to combine the two views.

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2011