understanding of empiricism and rationalism centres on the justification of our
beliefs”(Meyers, Robert G, 2014, p.2) following on from this quote and
explaining my views and beliefs I have chosen to the side of proposition 2
which is elaborating and explaining why I believe that knowledge is not innate
and thus it is only derived from sense experience (sense data & reasoned
via the brain or mind) When you think about what you know, you almost always
can remember where you were and even who you were with when you were taught
that. You rely on you sense of sight and hearing when in a classroom and being
taught. When you are born you don’t just know everything, through your life
experiences you learn and extend your knowledge.


Empiricism is
the theory that the knowledge we have comes from our own experiences and is
derived from our senses. When you think about it why would we go to school or
university if this weren’t true. How would we have any knowledge on anything if
we weren’t either taught it or learnt it through own real life experiences? The
whole education system would be pointless if everyone followed the Rationalism
theory. What would be the point in getting an education in schools if we all
already had the knowledge? We each learn something different from our own
experiences because we all perceive things differently and take away our own
knowledge from own experiences.

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When it comes to
obtaining our knowledge from our own sense experiences you have to think and
understand how important all of our sense are, and how they contribute to the
knowledge we gain from our experiences. If you were to try and explain to
someone what a certain fruit tastes like how could you if you haven’t tasted it
yourself? You would have to taste it and rely on your senses to be able to have
the knowledge of what the fruit tastes like. 
It’s the same as saying, how are we able to describe and tell colours
apart, we have used our senses, specifically sight, and we have the knowledge
of different colours from our own experiences. Again how would you explain what
country music sounds like? You would use the knowledge you have gained from
listening to it using your sense of hearing and from that experience you would
be able to describe it. If you had never heard county music before you wouldn’t
have any knowledge on it at all.

If we were all
to believe and follow the rationalism theory how would we be able to drive a
car? We all have had to go through our own experiences and take driving lessons
so that we can drive a car correctly and gain the knowledge through the
lessons. We don’t just wake up one day and know how to drive a car; we have to
be taught and to use our sense to help us drive safely and correctly.


Think of a child
learning how to walk, they don’t just wake up one day are able to walk. They
observe others using their sense and use the knowledge they have gained through
observation as well as practice. Parents have helped them by giving them some
guidance and a helping hand in the process but eventually through observation
and practise they are able to eventually use their knowledge to walk. To think
that a child has the knowledge on how to walk without learning is not something
I can agree with.

“The Empiricism thesis does
not entail that we have empirical knowledge. It entails that knowledge can only
be gained, if at all, by experience”(Markie,
Peter, 2017) This is a theory and a view that I agree with when it comes to
most things. If you have not experienced certain basic things in life how can
you say you have knowledge I that field/subject. I would not trust of believe
some one whom has never eaten an apple that it tastes sweet. Another way of
understanding this is that I have never flown a plane or had lessons on how to
fly a plane; therefore I have no knowledge on how to fly a plane. How can
someone do something that they have no knowledge, training or experience in? I
can in some way understand that someone can teach themselves how to play the
piano or the guitar by figuring out what sounds correct, but how would you be
able to tell if what you are playing sounds correct if you have never had a
sense experience of someone else playing the piano.


When it comes to gaining knowledge in school
or university sometimes it cam help save a life and if you were not to go to
school or university and to just believe that you already have the first aid
knowledge you would need to say a life, that would be putting that persons life
at risk. Having basic first aid training is something that you can only really
learn by doing a first aid course or through classes. To follow the rationalism
theory when it comes to someone’s life it can become a bit tricky.


When you refer to something as general
knowledge, would you say that is part of the empiricism theory or the
rationalism theory? If you said it was part of the rationalism theory it
wouldn’t really explain how you know that, where as if it were seem as part of
the empiricism theory you would argue that you had seem someone do something in
your own experiences, and you don’t remember experiences it or seeing it but
your in your brain you has just kept the knowledge of how to do it rather that
when you learnt or observed someone doing it. For example, opening a can of
cold drink, I have no memory what so every on how I learnt how to open a bottle
of cold drink but I do have the knowledge of how to open the cold drink.

“Knowledge derived from observation involves a chain of
cause and effect” (Murphy, 2010, p.44) This is something to think about,