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Knowledge Through Experience Essay

1083 words - 5 pages

“Whatever we learn, according to empiricists, we learn through perception” (“Empiricism”- Theory). This quote is a basic definition of what empiricists believe in and how they perceive the world through their own minds. The true definition of empiricism is that “all concepts originate in experience...or applicable to things that can be experienced, or that all rationally acceptable beliefs or propositions are justifiable or knowable only through experience” (“Empiricism”- Britannica). Although empiricism isn’t a well-known philosophy as of today, it flourished during the Renaissance and during British colonization in the Americas. Empiricism is a very interesting philosophy which has even ...view middle of the document...

The main part of time that empiricism began to flourish was around the 17th and 18th century, during the time of British colonization within the Americas. Some of the British Empiricists during this time were considered one of the main people to have “developed versions of both concept and knowledge empiricism” (Lipton). One of these well-known British empiricists was John Locke, whose contributions during the time helped him to become of the main people to influence the writings of the constitution. Locke was born in August of 1632, and lived in England for most of his life. In, 1658, he attained his masters degree, and began looking for work. Locke began to dip into politics around 1672, when a man known as Earl of Shaftesbury became the Lord Chancellor. When Shaftesbury fell from honor around 1675, Locke decided to go to France as a tutor to Caleb Banks, a medical expert. In 1683, after Locke returned to England, he soon had to flee to the Netherlands after being strongly suspicioned of being involved in the Rye House Plot. Locke then went back to England in 1688, and then passed on October 28th, 1704. Locke’s main influential things were his writings. He wrote something called “The Two Treatises of Government”, right along the same time as Thomas Hobbes wrote something of the same nature. Unlike Hobbes, Locke’s thoughts on politics “was grounded in the notion of a social contract between citizens and in the importance of toleration...” (“Locke”). Although both of their works contrasted against each other, both of their works had become major influences when it came to writing the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Empiricism isn’t as popular of a philosophy today as it was back then. There are also many different forms that are based on empiricism, but have slightly different methods or beliefs against from what the original belief. Empiricism could actually be categorized into “three principal forms: (1) Materialism, (2) Sensism, and (3) Positivism” (Siegfried). People who have joined/were intrigued by the empiricistic ways was to see the way of life through another mindset. That to find out facts about how life and all of it really works, you make experiments to test...

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