Empiricism and Rationalism

Topics: Empiricism, Immanuel Kant, Reason Pages: 3 (947 words) Published: April 2, 2007
The basic definition of empiricism is that the philosophy that all knowledge originates in sensory experience. The definition of Rationalism is the epistemological theory that reason is either the sole or primary source of knowledge; in practice, most rationalists maintain merely that at least some truths are not known solely on the basis of sensory experience. Plato which suggested within the "Cave Theory" which showed a group of Prisoners is placed so they can see, on the wall of the cave, only reflections of objects carried back and forth in front of a fire behind them. Because the reflections are all they see, the prisoners assume the reflections to be reality. Heraclites, a Greek nobleman from Ephesus, proposed "all is fire" he thought the essential feature of realty; namely that it is ceaselessly changing. There is no reality, he maintained, save the reality of change: permanence is an illusion. Thus, fire, whose nature it is to ceaselessly change, is the root substance of the universe, which describes the thought of an empiricist view, that things are physical, dynamic, and uses the senses. This is an example of a Rationalist. Zeno who devised a series of ingenious arguments to support Parmenides' theory that reality is one. Zeno's basic approach was to demonstrate that motion is impossible, by saying For example a rabbit, to move from its own hole to another hole it must first reach the midway point between the two holes. But to reach that point it must first reach the quarter point. Unfortunately, to reach the quarter point, it must first reach the point that is one eighth the distance. But first, it must reach the point of one sixteenth the distance. And so on and so on. Basically a rabbit, or any other thing, must past through an infinite amount of points to go anywhere. Some sliver of time is required to reach each of these points, a thing would require an infinite amount of time to move anywhere, and that effectively rules out the possibility of...
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