Readings are in Weeks 5-6 of Blackboard (Locke, Berkeley, Paley, Aquinas, Anselm, Hume and Pascal).
1. How is Locke a representational realist?
What does Locke’s copy theory claim about our perception of physical objects?
Which kinds of qualities really inhere in external objects, primary or secondary qualities? pretty sure its primary
What are examples of primary versus secondary qualities?
Representational Realist b/c he believes that ideas of sensation are caused by objectively existing things in the external world
Copy Theory: Do ideas resemble the external objects? -ideas are copies (like photographs)
Primary Qualities: objective properties (independent of the perceiver) i.e. round, small, on top of my head, at rest [apple as an example]
Secondary Qualities: subjective properties ( depends on the perceiver) i.e. sweet, green, cold, smooth
2. What does it mean to say that Locke is an empiricist?
Does Locke think that the laws of logic are innate ideas? Why or why not?
What does Locke mean by the phrase “tabula rasa”?
What is an idea?
What is the difference according to Locke between simple and complex ideas?
· Empiricism: source of knowledge is experience.
· Does not believe in a priori knowledge (what can be known through an understanding of how certain things work rather than by observation). Locke does not believe in innate ideas because knowledge is not present in infants and idiots.
· Tabula Rasa means blank slate. He believes that only after experience can you come up with further knowledge.
· An idea is the immediate object of thought or perception. (All ideas come from experience) Ideas come from two origins: Sensation and Reflection. Sensation ideas of external sensible objects conveyed to us by the 5 senses. Reflection: perceptions of the internal operations of our minds: thinking doubting, willing. (experiencing our ‘inner states’).·
Simple Ideas: of one uniform appearance or conception in the mind; cannot be created or destroyed. Basic building blocks of knowledge. Simple ideas cannot be broken down into more simple ideas.
· Complex ideas: Ideas constructed by combination (putting various simple ideas together into one complex idea), relation (seeing the relation between ideas), and abstraction (separating one property from many particular ideas). A wall is composed of individual bricks, so is our mind (complex ideas).
3. Why is Berkeley categorized as an idealist or immaterialist? In Berkeley’s view, what are the objects of our knowledge? What do ordinary objects such as apples and chairs consist of?
· Idealist: everything that exists is a mind, or depends for existence upon a mind.
· Immaterialist: matter does not exist. Physical world is ordinary objects that are only collections of ideas (in our mind).
· Ideas are the immediate objects of knowledge. Minds (as knowers) are distinct from ideas (things known). For an idea, to be is to be perceived (known).
· Objects such as apples consist of a collection of ideas (shape, color, taste, physical properties) which are caused in the spirits of humans by the spirit of God.
4. What kinds of substances exist? What is Ockham’s razor? What does Berkeley mean by the motto “esse est percipi”?
· There are NO material substances. There are only mental substances.
· Principle of parsimony (niggard). The simpler of two competing theories is to be preferred/true.
- Ockham’s razor - Parsimony
· Esse es percipi means to be perceived. Time is just a succession of ideas in individual minds. A mind-independent thing is something whose existence is not dependent on thinking/perceiving things, and thus would exist whether or not any thinking things (minds existed). Berkeley rejects that there are mind-independent things or substances and this is where the phrase came from.