Total Philosophy: Epistemology – How we gain knowledge



When I wake up in the morning I know that the sky is going to be blue And that the sun will be shining The tweeting I hear are birds singing I know that when I go downstairs And feed my cat He will have four legs and will be ginger And that the big metal box with wheels outside
my house is called a car But how do I know these things? How did I come to be of this knowledge? What allowed me to gain my concepts of Sky Sun Birds Cat and Car? There have originally been two schools of
thought to how we come to be of knowledge Empiricism which argues that we gain all of
our knowledge from experience And rationalism which argues that certain
knowledge Can be gained just by reason and thinking British Philosopher John Locke Was an Empiricist and argued that when we
are born Our minds are in the state of Tabula Rasa Which when translated to English Simply translates as blank slate But what does John Locke mean by this? Well John Locke was basically saying that
when we are born Our minds are completely empty of all ideas
and concepts And that as we start to experience things
through our senses Such as touch taste sight sound and smell Our minds start to gain those ideas and concepts We are all familiar with For instance a new born baby might see a dog And therefore gain the concept of dog On top of this Locke says as our mind gains
certain concepts It starts to group them together to form more
complex concepts For example it may group the concepts of Cat
Dog and Cow together To form the concept of animals Or group Box Wheels Motor together To form the concept of car This view on how we gain knowledge is supported
by Scottish Philosopher And heavy pie eater David Hume Who says A blind man can form no notion of
colours A deaf man of sounds Restore either of them that sense in which
he is deficient By opening this new inlet for his sensations You also open an inlet for the ideas And he finds no difficulty in conceiving these
objects This suggests that surely then our ideas can
only come from our sense experience However rationalists would strongly disagree And instead argue that there is some knowledge That we can get without needing to have experienced
anything For example a rationalist like Descartes Would argue that concepts such as mathematics Can be gained without experience He backs up this claim by saying that we can
conceive the concept of a chiliagon A one thousand sided shape Without having experienced such an object Other mathematical concepts such as Square root equals and plus Also do not seem to have come from experience Implying that the Empiricist view that that
all knowledge comes from sense experience is false Lastly we will have a look at another more
modern view of how we gain knowledge Raised by German Philosopher Immanuel Kant Kant is neither an empiricist nor is he a
rationalist Instead being German he created his own theory Kant argued that we are all born with certain
innate concepts That allow us to make sense of the world The official term he gives to these are Predetermined conceptual schemes Kant argues that without these concepts our
experiences would just be a unintelligible buzz of sensation To illustrate this point he gives the the
analogy of a ship sailing down a river He says that if we looked at a ship sailing
down a river Without the predetermined concept of casualty We would perceive the boat as a different
object every time it moved And our perception of it changed It is only our concept of causality that we
are born with That tells us that the boat is the same boat
that we saw a few seconds ago up the river So what do you think? How did you become to know of things? Please leave your thoughts and ideas in the
comments below Please tell us what philosopher or theory
you would like next Remember that you can be kept updated on the
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Philosophy

47 thoughts on “Total Philosophy: Epistemology – How we gain knowledge”

  1. What about the knowledge inherent within our DNA. Everyone is conceived with different inherent knowledge. And then there are the Supernatural and Metaphysical knowledges… Neither of which were discussed in this video!-)

  2. Read, watch, listen, think about the GREATS. (i. e. Revelations of GREAT religions, Concepts of GREAT scientific thought, GREAT authors) "In truth, knowledge is a veritable treasure for man, and a source of glory, of bounty, of joy, of exaltation, of cheer and gladness unto him. Happy the man that cleaveth unto it, and woe betide the heedless." ~ Bahá'u'lláh

  3. Did he say imperialism? ……..that seems like a mutated ' complex concept' or an misplaced 'Kantian Category'

  4. Writing an essay for English (not tok but it is a tok essay): it is only knowledge produced with difficulty that we truly value. To what extent do you agree with this? I can't decide.. my two areas of knowledge are natural sciences and religious knowledge systems and my ways of knowing are emotion and reason. Any advice?

  5. What about people who are born blind and then regain their sight in later age, are they freaked out by objects moving and becoming smaller in the distance? I would think so, but surely whatever answer is should say a lot about this. Or not?

  6. how about this all knowledge is already known becose all knowledge that is not known it not knowledge so all knowledge is already known

  7. please find my papers

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sujay_Rao_Mandavilli/contributions

    Sujay Rao Mandavilli

  8. May I suggest another component influencing how we gain knowledge? The blank slate mind view at birth is what provides my injection into a way in which we gain knowledge from the perspective of epistemology. Pinkerton (biologist) makes the case that at birth our brain is not a blank slate. So if his view is correct, and I think the evidence is sound, then can a case be made the new born in the early stage of life are subject to additional programing to an extent that it is a factor in how we gain knowledge as we age?

  9. When I want to know something, I use the following steps… the first is the highest most accurate way of gaining knowledge, the next steps however are indispensable when first steps are unavailable. Although less accurate, they can form a more detailed and nuanced view:
    1-Is it empirically testable?
    2-Can it be known by reason to form a strong hypothesis in coherence with empirical knowledge?
    3-Can it be known from tradition? from other people's experiences and cultural/inherited knowledge?
    4-Can it be known from intuitive instinct? (if the higher forms of knowledge are unavailable, simply I follow "my heart").

  10. By Speaking slower will help us to focus on the core of your explanation instead of rushing up ´cause you are about to finish and we are still behind

  11. You know when you are about to go to a new type of place or situation, the kind that you have no experiences so far. You still have a idea of what it will be like, and often the new thing was and felt just as you had imagined. This happens to me alot. New and fascinating experiences do not give me anything that I could't visualise by my self beforehand. As we grow older, our past experiences grow our skill of pre-living situations. Skill of creating knowledge in more and more accurate way.

  12. Kant was an Empiricist. He believed that there categories of the mind that let us know of causality and number and such things a priori, but knowledge was gained through experience, albeit via these underlying schema. It's why he distinguished knowledge about God and metaphysics from rational beliefs about God and metaphysics. He thought knowledge of God and metaphysics was impossible, since there is no sensory experience of those things. But he believed you could have beliefs about God and metaphysics that are rational. Those are what his transcendental arguments were for.

  13. But the knowledge of square root, plus, and minus must be gained through the senses. Would it even really be knowledge, if we couldn't somehow obtain it?

  14. Please do a video on Kant vs. Hume. My suggestion comes from one of the textbooks I'm currently delving into. Thanks. The Philosopher's Way: Thinking Critically About Profound Ideas

  15. Kant is the ultimate.

    Also when you mentioned about predetermined conceptual schemes you meant his 'a priori' knowledge did you not?

  16. How would one use epistemological in a sentence? Or better yet, how can one identify if something is in fact "epistemological"? That is how would I know when to apply it in its adjectival form?

  17. Descartes was a moron and one of the ultimate concept-stealers. So, the concept of addition is a priori? The addition of what? Numbers? Numbers of what? No answer.

  18. I do love your accent and how you present! Just slow down a little.. It's kinda fast even there is pause it's just fast. thumbs up!

  19. Isn't Immanuel Kant a rationalist? He is considered as one of the modern rationalists. Based on my understanding, (you can correct me if I'm wrong) Kant highlights the concepts we gain from our experience but still it cannot be considered as a basis for knowledge. We should still rely on our ability to make use of our reason so that we can interpret the concepts as universal despite of our subjective experiences and also experience should just act as a tool towards knowledge. I think his famous work entitled Critique of Pure Reason is also a proof of him being a Rationalist.

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