Philosophical Schools of Thought: From Plato to Kant

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Philosophical Schools of Thought

Major Philosophers and Their Ideas

John Locke------------->Empiricist

Key Concepts and Arguments:

  1. Accepted both ideas of permanence (higher forms) and impermanence (lower forms). Plato
  2. Reality is divided into two parts: the visible and the invisible. Plato
  3. Believed humans are born without any knowledge. Locke
  4. Created a synthesis between rationalism and empiricism. Kant
  5. Thought the mind and body are connected in the pituitary gland. Descartes
  6. Concluded there is as much reality in the cause as in the effect. Descartes
  7. Found the mind to be structured to apprehend “Sense reality.” Kant
  8. Said, “The seen is changing. The unseen is unchanging.” Plato
  9. True knowledge is found only through intuition and deduction. Descartes
  10. Primary qualities are found in the thing itself; secondary qualities are within the subject. Locke

Influential Ideas and Concepts:

  1. Newtonian Science appealed to both rationalists and empiricists, as it saw the universe as “machine-like.”
  2. Math, though the surest of science, cannot provide an unassailable foundation for knowledge.
  3. Kant was initially concerned about rationalism and empiricism because both led to skepticism.
  4. Heraclitus is known to have said “change is unchanging.”
  5. A priori can be defined as, “existing in the mind before and independent of experience.”
  6. To Kant, reason is the faculty by which one seeks unity, completeness, and the unconditioned.
  7. Parmenides was a monist and found that variety and change in the world are mere illusions.
  8. Descartes’ conclusion on God: “God, understood as an infinite and perfect being, exists and would not use deception to fool us.”
  9. Locke believed that the mind was tabula rasa at birth, and experience thereafter was a combination of sensation and reflection.
  10. John Locke, David Hume, and George Berkeley were the most famous British Empiricists.
  11. Descartes believed that true knowledge was only possible through intuition and deduction.
  12. “We experience things within space and time and subsume them under categories.” –Kant
  13. Plato believed in teaching through mythology.

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