Philosophy 101

Topics: Free will, Determinism, Empiricism Pages: 2 (797 words) Published: December 18, 2012
Bridget Rogers/ Phil 101-07/ Final Paper
Part 1/ Epistemology
In studying the nature of knowledge I find myself agreeing with empiricism. I find it to have valid points that make the most sense to me. Born without experiences, we go through life developing schemas, good and bad ones; however these schemas and ideas become a part of us, and helps us to see things as we have experienced them in past situations. The things we learn from these past encounters become empirical beliefs. As an empiricist, I need empirical evidence to justify believing in something. I find empiricism attractive for the simple reasoning behind it. I can know my mother is standing in front of me because my senses of seeing, feeling, and hearing are reliable forms of empirical evidence. An attractive quality about empiricism is that I can believe something with the help of empirical evidence. I didn’t have to meet Gandhi to know he was a man of great character, there is evidence of it. There are things in life I will never see with my own eyes, but because there is evidence that it exists, I believe I have knowledge of its existence. Empiricism has more strong points; Ockham’s Razor would say it’s a simpler theory than making the distinction between analytic and synthetic truths for rationalism. Assuming your eyes are working perfectly, is the first weakness of empiricism, how can we account for that pool of water in the distance? Your eyes are taking in distorted rays reflected off the air. This is the way in which we perceive a chair as well; the light is stimulating a sensory nerve. Another criticism would be that natural sciences are always changing and pure knowledge should remain unchanging to a rationalist. I agree with the natural sciences of biology and chemistry that proven knowledge comes from the discovery of empirical evidence. I believe pure knowledge should change. The development of telescopes and microscopes has created methods of...
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