Can we trust what we see, hear, and feel? Do our senses tell us how the world “really” is? Or is there a different reality that our senses cannot fully help us comprehend? Both Plato and Aristotle grappled with these questions, and each philosopher settled on his own theory. In this assignment, you will explore Plato’s theory of rationalism as well as Aristotle’s theory of empiricism. You will then connect one of these two theories with your own experience.
To complete this Discussion:
By Day 4
Post to the Discussion board the following:
A description of the philosophical approach of the Rationalists (represented by Plato) and the Empiricists (represented by Aristotle). As part of your descriptions, identify at least two ways in which these approaches differ from one another.
A paragraph in which you select either Rationalism or Empiricism as the approach that resonates most deeply with your personal experiences. Support your selection with an example from your own life.
Rationalist claim that people possess substantive a priori knowledge of the world as well as non-empirical concepts. On the other hand, empiricists claim that all concepts and substantive knowledge of the world are grounded on experience (Kasmad, 2016). Rationalism and empiricism have various differences in their approaches. Rationalists hold the view that truth can only be achieved via reasoning analogical arguments but not through sensory perception alone. Empiricist holds the view that correct conclusions and truth can only be reached via experimentation as well as from the use of sensory experience (Shah et al., 2020). Rationalists hold the view that human beings are born with some true and innate ideas as well as concepts such as mathematical concepts and language. On the other hand, empiricists view that observations, experiences, or sense data are only way for acquiring knowledge. Empiricism also holds the view that the meaning of our concepts and words are derivatives of experience. Besides, all knowledge need not necessary to be related with experience (Shah et al., 2020). Rationalists hold the view that rational intuitions are the fundamental way of acquiring knowledge (Shah et al., 2020).
Both rationalism and empiricism is associated with the scientific method of inquiry, which can be utilized in social as well as natural science research (Kasmad, 2016). I do select rationalism as the philosophical approach that resonates most deeply with my personal experience. I do gain knowledge through reasoning rather by relying solely on my sensory experience. Through reason I cannot accept new knowledge, concepts, or ideas blindly but I have to process it to acquire meaning or to reach the truth.
Kasmad, R. (2016). Empiricism and rationalism in nineteenth-century histories of philosophy. Journal of the History of Ideas, 77(2), 253-282. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/620981
Shah, N. A. Khan, A., Ahmad, P., & Arshad, M. (2020). The Use of Empiricism, Rationalism and Positivism in Library and Information Science Research. Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal), 4448. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libphilprac/4448