empiricism and rationalism

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Before moving on to Kant’s resolution of the Rationalism-Empiricism debate, it is important to take stock of what we’ve covered thus far, which we’ll address in this Discussion Board.

Now that you have an understanding of Rationalism and Empiricism, and have studied Descartes’ Meditations as well as David Hume’s empiricism (which leads to skepticism, for Hume), you are well situated to apply what you’ve learned about theories of knowledge acquisition to your own experience in the world.

For this Discussion Board, you will post a thread that considers the merits of both Rationalism and Empiricism, before stating which theory (empiricism or rationalism) you are more inclined to agree with.

As you prepare your post, consider the following questions:

1. Is there anything you know with absolute certainty? If so, what is it, and how did you acquire knowledge of it?

2. Generally speaking, how do you acquire reliable knowledge about the world (through your reason and intuition, or through your sense experience)?

As you think about these questions, really try to challenge yourself. One way of doing this is by thinking about some of the more “abstract” knowledge you have, such as knowledge of you “self” as a substance that persists through time. How do you know you are a “self” and not just a mind plugged into a computer program?

NOTE: Be sure to include what you’ve learned thus far in this module. Students should demonstrate an understanding of the differences between the competing positions, as well as demonstrate an ability to logically evaluate the competing positions.

(Please note: students must first create a thread in order to view other threads in this forum. Only after your post will you be able to post your comment to another student’s thread.)

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