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The Philosophy of John Locke Essay

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Johnathan Robert’s life has been characterized by a keen ability to self teach. At two years old, he suffered an accident that broke his femur. Within weeks of his caste being removed, he relearned the skill of walking. At no older than six years old Johnathan had received numerous ear surgeries yet refused to allow his speech to reflect any of his hearing loss. By the age of seven, he had effectively taught himself how to read and write. According to the philosophy of John Locke, Johnathan’s knowledge did not come from innate ideas or principles, but rather from experiences and sensations. Although John Locke’s thoughts were monumental, flaws exist in the rejection of innate ideas.
John Locke begins his argument with a weighty dismissal. Contending innate, or inborn, ideas do not exist. In essence, Locke claims that humans set out as empty cabinets. As time progresses human sensations fill the emptiness with ideas that are then named. Furthermore, Locke continues by stating that, “a child knows not that three and four are equal to seven, till he comes to be able to count seven, and has got the name and idea of equality; and then, upon explaining those words, he presently assents to, or rather perceives the truth of that proposition” (Stumpf and Fieser, 195). Fundamentally, children do not understand until they comprehend the names of things and then they are able to build upon that understanding to grasp basic truths.
After denying the concept of innate ideas, Locke comes to the obvious question of, “How comes it to be furnished?” (Stumpf and Fieser, 195). Answering simply and concisely, Locke offers two explanations. Firstly, ideas come about through sensations, which refer to conditions that are caused by actions of external...


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...IV Bible. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2000. Print.
“Romans 3:23.” NIV Bible. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2000. Print.
Stumpf, Samuel Enoch, and James Fieser. The Origin of All Our Ideas in Experience. 1690.Philosophy: History and Problems. 7th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2008. 194. Print.
Stumpf, Samuel Enoch, and James Fieser. The Origin of All Our Ideas in Experience. 1690.Philosophy: History and Problems. 7th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2008. 195. Print.
Stumpf, Samuel Enoch, and James Fieser. The Origin of All Our Ideas in Experience. 1690.Philosophy: History and Problems. 7th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2008. 197. Print.
Stumpf, Samuel Enoch, and James Fieser. The Origin of All Our Ideas in Experience. 1690.Philosophy: History and Problems. 7th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2008. 197-198. Print.


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