All Ideas Derive from the Sense Experience Which They Copy. Discuss

Topics: Empiricism, Immanuel Kant, A priori and a posteriori Pages: 3 (904 words) Published: March 6, 2013
All ideas derive from the sense experience which they copy. DISCUSS An empiricist would be in favour of this view as they believe that knowledge is gained through experience (a posterior). For example, John Locke believes that the mind is a blank slate, or tabula rasa, which becomes populated with ideas through sense experience – in order to create ideas and knowledge, we must have sense experiences. Hume, also an empiricist, argues that ideas are copies of sense data. He has a method which states that faint ideas can become stronger through a fresh sense experience – thus implying that all ideas do derive from the sense experience which they copy. He further backs up this idea through his negative view on the imagination, which in his words is “confined within very narrow limits”. His strong stance states that no idea can be constructed without any sense experience -anything that may seem like an idea built without sense-data is simply a combination of other ideas. I can give the example of a Golden Mountain. Such a thing can never be experienced, but we can have an experience of “gold” similarly to the fact that we can also experience a “mountain”, and through these separate ideas we can construct a singular hybrid idea. Hume also talks of the concept of ‘a time when nothing happens’. The concept is easily fathomable in the human mind and seems logical. He argues that, although no sense experience was required to have an idea of this concept, such a time is actually impossible to experience - thus dismissing this illusive idea as something he refers to as ‘sophistry and illusion’. A huge criticism of the Empiricist view is the fact that we only experience sense-data rather than the world itself. This is best explained through the idea of Noumena/Phenomena, in which the phenomena is our perception of the world and the noumena is the actual world itself. The only way to experience the noumena would be through a sense experience – however this experience would...
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