John Locke Theory Of Knowledge

Topics: René Descartes, Perception, Idea Pages: 3 (869 words) Published: April 12, 2015
 Assignment of Theories of Language Description

John Locke’s Theory of Knowledge

Submitted to:
Mr. Waseem Hassan
Submitted by:
Ali Furqan Syed

MPhil (1st Semester)


John Locke’s Theory of Knowledge

John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding is a monumental work in which he presents the theory of knowledge. He puts forward his arguments by opposing the theory- that some ideas are not derived by sense experience, but are ‘innate’ which means a mind possesses these ideas by birth. He argues that knowledge is not innate and all ideas are originated from sense experience. He introduces the concept of ‘tabula rasa’ which means we are like ‘blank slates’ when born but have the ability to write on it e.g. Eve was not learned when she was born.

He argues that there is no innate knowledge. So he claims that all our knowledge is derived from sense experience; and that we have no knowledge prior to or independent of sense experience. Moreover, the idea that comes from the soul itself is too taken for sensation by us when asleep. Locke allows that our reflective ideas can be ambiguous and obscure, if do not concentrate. In this sense, sensitive knowledge is the least certain degree of knowledge.

In this essay, John Locke varies knowledge into two categories- ‘sorts’ of knowledge and ‘degrees’ of knowledge. On the one hand, four “sorts” of knowledge: of identity;...
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