During the 17th and eighteenth century two philosophers. Plato and Aristotle. originate carving for themselves a trench in the philosophical universe. We can see the biggest differentiation between the two in their theories of how we know things exist. The traditions of Plato and Aristotle have been dubbed rationalism and empiricist philosophy severally. Under these traditions many good known philosophers have formed their ain theories of God. being and the material universe. Through these single theories I will demo how each fits into the class of either Rationalist or Imperialist.
The Hadean philosophers to be discussed will include Descartes. Spinoza. and Leibniz. And the Aristotelean philosophers will include Locke. Berkeley and Hume. Plato. a philosopher of the seventeenth century. contended that “Opinion at its best is a affair of chance. and cognition at its least is wholly certain ( Lamprecht. 1955. p. 43 ) ” For Plato. cognition starts with 1s senses. nil can be thought without first being sensed. He so contended that we live in an inferior universe of specifics parallel to a universe where all objects are perfect. where world stems signifiers thoughts or ideals.
For Plato’s civilization this was peculiarly of import because they needed a manner to separate between justness as it was practiced by their authorities. and the ideal justness that could be thought and hoped for ( Rogers & A ; Baird 1981. p. 3 ) . In Plato’s hunt to clear up this job he used what is now normally referred to as Rationalism. Rationalism can be defined as “the epistemic theory that important cognition of the universe can outdo be achieved by a anterior agencies. ” Or in simplified footings. rationalism is when we come to a decision by tax write-off from abstract thoughts ( Rogers & A ; Baird 1981. p. 3 ) .
Juxtaposed to this manner of thought was Aristotle. a philosopher of the 17 century. who stated “Reality consists finally of many concrete. single things and that nil else is existent except in so far as it in some manner pertains to these things ( Lamprecht. 1955. p. 57 ) . ” For Aristotle world was found in the peculiar things in this universe. Each object was a substance composed of both affair and signifier ( Rogers & A ; Baird. 1981. p. 4 ) . Aristotle compiled facts inductively as apposed to Plato’s deductive logical thinking. His method was to detect and pull generalisations on the footing of forms perceived in many specifics.
This method of job resolution has since become known as empiricist philosophy. “According to which general constructs are arrived by go uping inductively from centripetal specifics ( Lamprecht. 1955. p. 44-45 ) . ” Simply stated knowing is based on experience. Though rationalism was started in the seventeenth century by Plato. it was further developed by three great minds. The three philosophers are: Descartes. Spinoza and Leibniz. Descartes’ most of import part was his method. He decided to doubt everything he had of all time been taught until he came to some clear and apparent thought that could non be doubted.
He eventually came to the decision that he was unable to doubt the fact that he was at that minute doubting. And if one was able to doubt so they were able to believe. and if he was believing so he existed. His first principal was “I think. there forward I am ( Rogers & A ; Baird. 1981. p. 69 ) . ” Descartes started with this basic thought of his being. and through his mathematical methods. he deduced that everything. including God and the universe. existed. Baruch Spinoza continued on Descartes work. Spinoza saw that head and organic structure seemed like two separate substances.
He wanted to calculate out how they functioned together. Spinoza accepted Descartes mathematical theoretical account for infering cognition. He defends. outside the mind ; there is nil but substance and its manners or fondnesss. Spinoza establishes the “Fact and mode of [ a ] Godhead causality” through careful mathematical tax write-off. Consequently. God’s kernel exists through His ain active power and necessity. For this Spinoza was considered an atheist ( Collins. 1967. p. 83 ) . Last Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was an educated mathematician. scientist. historian. diplomat. theologian and philosopher.
He had the same dream as Spinoza and Descartes. that is. “hope for a systematic organisation of all imaginable cognition. ” In order to accomplish this dream he required foremost. to hone a cosmopolitan scientific linguistic communication that would cut down all ideas to mathematical symbols. Second. he succeeded in developing one of the first signifiers of concretion. With this concluding tool Leibniz hoped to convey all thought under the reign of symbolic logic ( Rogers & A ; Baird. 1981. p. 70 ) . By the eighteenth century in Great Britain a new philosophical motion was turning.
The experimental and experimental was coming into focal point. The involvement of philosophers in the eighteenth century shifted from rationalism and deductive. to Empirical and inductive. A doctrine was sought that could reason cognition through since experience entirely. The philosophers to make this were Rationalist Locke. Berkeley and Hume. John Locke took an attack that was contrary to that of Descartes. He contends that at birth our heads are clean tablets. As our senses receive information from the outside thoughts originate. The head has strictly empirical beginning.
Lock says it is “Inductively constructed with the assistance of the operations of a esthesis and contemplation which provide the head with the thoughts of esthesis and contemplation ( Collins. 1967. p. 13 ) . ” Anglican bishop George Berkeley did non peculiarly agree with Locke’s theory. Though he did non reject it. he alternatively argued on the footing of our experience. Berkeley contended that “we know no thoughts exist as perceived by some head ( Collins. 1967. p. 73 ) . ” In fact. Berkeley said the lone head capable of doing all the beauty. profusion. and diverseness that we experience is that of Gods.
Therefore Berkeley had an alternate empirical solution to Lock’s inquiry. “What causes our esthesiss? ” His reply. God. “Only God was a sufficient beginning and cause of all esthesiss and thoughts everyplace ( Rogers & A ; Baird. 1981. p. 71 ) . ” David Hume besides asked the inquiry “What causes our esthesiss? ” He agreed with Locke that all the thoughts in our head come originally from sense experience. But that is every bit far as he agreed with either Locke or Berkeley. Hume admitted that he did non cognize what the causes of our esthesiss were based on the sense experience entirely.
He conceded that “One could non cognize with certainty that cause and consequence were needfully connected. or that there was an external universe. a ego. or a God. ” Hume said. “We may retain our beliefs for practical intents if we wish ( Rogers & A ; Baird. 1981. p. 72 ) . ” But in the terminal he had to state that through empirical observation we know nil. In the seventeenth century Descartes. Spinoza and Leibniz expanded in Platonic believing utilizing rationalist traditions. Each of these philosophers used Hadean thought. that is. tax write-off from abstract thoughts. to come to their concluding decision.
For Descartes. everything in the universe. including God and the universe existed. For Spinoza. the head and organic structure worked together because of a Godhead substance which he identified as God or nature. And For Leibniz. all idea could be reasoned through symbolic logic. Likewise. the philosophers in the eighteenth century. Locke. Berkeley. and Hume. expanded in Aristotelean thought utilizing empiricist traditions to come to their decisions. That is. inductively turn outing that cognition is acquired through centripetal specifics. For Locke. he concluded that we gain knowledge through our senses.
Berkeley concluded that God is the lone manner we are able to see cognition. And Spinoza concluded that we know nil. References Collins. J. ( 1967 ) . The British Empiricists: St. Louis. The Bruce Publishing Company. Collins. J. ( 1967 ) . The Continental Positivists: St. Louis. The Bruce Publishing Company. Lamprecht. S. ( 1955 ) . Our Philosophic Traditions: A Brief History of Philosophy in Western Civilization. New York. Appleton Century Crofts. Rogers. J. B. ( 1981 ) . Introduction to Philosophy: A Case Study Approach. San Francisco. Calcium: Harper & A ; Row.