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Written by:

Jermaine D


Date added:

March 3, 2016








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3 / 704


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He is particularly keen on demolishing the nativist position because it had recently gained renewed currency among intellectual circles, partially in response to Rene Descartes' philosophy. Descartes believed that inborn in our minds are certain mathematical ideas (such as the ideas of geometrical shapes), metaphysical ideas (such as the idea of God and of essences), and eternal truths (such as the truth that something cannot come from nothing)...
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He begins by attacking the possibility of innate principles, such as the principle whatever is is. He then moves on to attack the possibility of innate ideas, such as the idea of God and of infinity. Locke only wages this second attack in order to cover all of his bases. The meat of the argument against innate knowledge rests on an argument against innate principles, since only principles (statements of fact), and not ideas (which are the building blocks of these statements of fact, the sort of things that have names, such as "God," "Man," "blue," "existence"), can properly be called "knowledge...
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