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Enlightenment Epistemology

An overview of developments in the philosophy of knowledge, including the rise of empiricism and science, during the Enlightenment
by

Gideon Burton

on 4 May 2016

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Transcript of Enlightenment Epistemology

how do I know?
Enlightenment Epistemology
Bacon - Descartes - Locke
dr. gideon o. burton
brigham young university
epistemology
The theory or science of the method or grounds of knowledge
reason
empiricism
authority
religious
political
intellectual
intuition /
revelation
observation & measurement
of natural phenomena
deductive
reasoning
"a priori"
inductive
reasoning
subjective
objective
Bible - priests -church
Aristotle - Scholasticism
Francis Bacon
Scientific Method
1561-1626
nature
observation
"knowledge is power"
inductive reasoning
"Nature to be commanded must be obeyed"
"In order to penetrate into the inner and further recesses of nature, it is necessary that both notions and axioms be derived from things by a more sure and guarded way, and that a method of intellectual operation be introduced altogether better and more certain"
"Deri[ving] axioms from the senses and particulars, rising by a gradual and unbroken ascent, so that it arrives at the most general axioms last of all."
"Man, being the servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he has observed in fact or in thought of the course of nature. Beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything"
Tribe
Cave
Marketplace
Theater
four
idols
man is not the
measure of all things
individuals
distort reality
words are imperfect
representations
danger of
philosophical systems
Advancement of Learning
New Organon
1596-1650
René Descartes
Discourse on Method
(1637)
cogito ergo sum
I think; therefore I am
the self or mind as ground for reality
methodical skepticism
1.
2.
3.
4.
Personal Verification
Division into smallest units
Simple to complex
Overview to avoid omission
“Never to accept anything as true unless I recognized it to be evidently such”
“To divide each of the difficulties which I encountered into as many parts as possible”
“To think in an orderly fashion, beginning with the things which were simplest and easiest to understand, and gradually and by degrees reaching toward more complex knowledge”
“To make enumerations so complete, and reviews so general, that I would be certain that nothing was omitted”
John Locke
1632-1704
An Essay Concerning
Human
Understanding (1690)
tabula rasa
blank slate
ideas
sensation
reflection
1.
2.
knowledge tentative, progressive
analysis, self-consciousness, identity
Full transcript