Epistemology – Assessments

2.2 Rationalist and Empiricists Discussion

Do you think that innate ideas are possible? Putting it another way, do you think that we have ideas or knowledge not based on experience? Provide your reasons/argument for your position.

2.2 Rationalist and Empiricists Submission

John Dewey tells us that Gottfried Leibniz, in defense of his theory of innate ideas, “asserts that ‘unconscious ideas’ are of as great importance in psychology as molecules are in physics.” And “To become conscious of the innate idea is to lift it from the sphere of nature to the conscious life of spirit.” What do you think of this psychological perspective on innate ideas? Does it seem predictive of modern thinking about the mind, (for example Stephen Pinker)? (100-200 words)

2.3.1 Hume: Empiricism and Doubt Submission

Briefly explain Hume’s skepticism. Do you think he makes a good argument for his position of doubt? (100 – 150 words)

2.3.2 A Reasoned Response to Skepticism Submission

Explain how an active-versus-passive role of the human mind contributes to Kant’s position that the external world is knowable? (100 – 200 words)