Premium Essay

Critically Evaluate Locke’s Argument Against Innate Ideas

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By cm1991
Words 1664
Pages 7
Critically Evaluate Locke’s Argument against Innate Ideas
In the enquiry, Locke talks of the notion of innate ideas as being ‘an established opinion amongst some men,’ this opinion can be seen as a direct conflict with Locke’s empiricism. Locke’s philosophical standpoint is that the mind gains ideas and concepts solely through experience; he argues that when we are born, we are born tabula rasa, a blank slate free from any knowledge or understanding and it is as we grow and experience the world around us that we form knowledge. The notion of innate ideas and principles then is clearly in complete contrast with Locke’s epistemology and as such Locke needs to show the arguments in favour of innate ideas to be flawed. I will show how Locke focuses his attack on one major assertion for the innate concept thesis, known as the great argument; how his two major problems with this argument are unfounded and how we can hold onto the concept of innate ideas in light of Locke’s criticisms.
The great argument which Locke views as the main argument in favour of innate ideas goes as such:
1: If a principle is universally accepted then it is innate (as are the ideas which make it up)
1 2: There are some principles which are universally accepted 3: These principles (and the ideas which make them up) are innate
This argument can be seen as fairly self-explanatory, but it does seem to rely completely on two major assumptions. Firstly, that all universally accepted principles must be innate, and that there can be no other explanation for how a principle can become universally accepted, and secondly that ‘the argument of universal consent’ as stated in the second premise is true and needs no supporting evidence. The reliance upon these assumptions form the basis of two criticisms which Locke uses to attack the great argument for innate ideas and I think it is clear that he is…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Argument Against Wearing School Uniforms

...Argument Against Wearing School Uniforms Theirs is an ongoing discussion in the nation about school uniforms, whether or not they help with behavior problems and scores (“An Argument Against School Uniforms”). Kade A., A sixth grade student, when asked about school uniforms she said, “no, I don’t like them because they are uncomfortable and makes her and maybe the people around feel like their wearing church clothes all the time” (“An Argument Against School Uniforms”). “Clothes are a sources of expression for children, an as kids get older they become increasingly resentful of uniforms. By instituting a uniform policy, schools are taking away kids individuality. Schools need to decide if that sacrifice is worth making” (“An Argument Against School Uniforms”). “School Uniform use was not significantly correlated with any of the school commitment variables such as behavior, or substance use of (drugs). In addition, students wearing uniforms did not appear to have any significantly different academic preparedness, proschool attitudes, or peer group structures with proschool attitudes other than students” (“An Argument Against School Uniforms”). Middle School/Junior High is a time of maturing, physically, mentally, academically and emotionally. Schools need to create an environment that encourages students individuality and motivate them to challenge themselves and inspire self confidence. Some people feel that school uniforms diminish creativity and self expression (“An......

Words: 1124 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Locke's Argument on Innate Ideas

...Locke’s argument against innate ideas. In Locke’s ‘An Essay Concerning Human Understanding’, he argues for his view of empiricism, concerning the origin of ideas. A conflicting position for this subject is rationalism. According to rationalists, ideas are innate. However, Locke was an empiricist and believed that ideas came from experience. In this essay I aim to explore Locke’s position on the formation of ideas and consider how his arguments may be criticised or indeed supported. According to Locke, an idea is “the object of the understanding when a man thinks” (I.i.8). In his ‘Essay’, Locke argues against the notion that ideas are innate in humans. He argued that ideas were formed from sensory experience rather than being innate. By innate, we mean that we were born with the ideas. Locke mentions the argument for innate ideas being that there are universally accepted ideas, so they must be already present in people when they are born. In the ‘Essay’, Locke said that the existence of innate ideas could be disproved if another way was found in which all mankind could come to agree on a certain truth. I think there is a weakness in this argument. In order for his point to be relevant, he would need to find this truth that is universally accepted and prove that it was born from experience. Therefore, the argument that innate ideas are responsible for universal truths is the best explanation that can be given. Although Locke’s argument does not have a lot to justify......

Words: 1608 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Critically Evaluate Internal Analysis

...their competitive advantage position and renew and/or change their resource and competence basis. They have certain capabilities and resources that can be coordinated and utilized in different ways, and the dynamic capabilities view is about an “organization’s ability to build, integrate, and reconfigure capabilities to address rapidly changing environments” (p.109). If the company is successful in this it helps them on their way to fulfill the organizational goals. This framework facilitates the analysis of both sources and methods of wealth creation, and finds that the internal processes in the firm are important to take care of since they are the main source of wealth creation. The main purpose however of an internal analysis is to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses. An assessment is made whether or not you possess the right resources and if you possess the right competencies and capabilities. There are methods you can use in order to analyze the internal environment. First you can conduct a value chain analysis and find out what it is that your customers value most and what activities the firm is currently conducting. Secondly, the internal side of the SWOT-analysis can be used to summarize the strengths and weaknesses found. These methods that have been mentioned here will be further explained in the Tools-section. Analytical Tools The following tools can be used to conduct an internal analysis: The VRIN framework was developed by Barney in 1991 and shows......

Words: 1315 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Argument Against Free Trade

...Institutions in International Relations: Understanding the Effects of the GATT and the WTO on World Trade Judith L+ Goldstein, Douglas Rivers, and Michael Tomz Abstract The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ~GATT! and the World Trade Organization ~WTO! have been touted as premier examples of international institutions, but few studies have offered empirical proof+ This article comprehensively evaluates the effects of the GATT0WTO and other trade agreements since World War II+ Our analysis is organized around two factors: institutional standing and institutional embeddedness+ We show that many countries had rights and obligations, or institutional standing, in the GATT0WTO even though they were not formal members of the agreement+ We also expand the analysis to include a range of other commercial agreements that were embedded with the GATT0WTO+ Using data on dyadic trade since 1946, we demonstrate that the GATT0WTO substantially increased trade for countries with institutional standing, and that other embedded agreements had similarly positive effects+ Moreover, our evidence suggests that international trade agreements have complemented, rather than undercut, each other+ When and how do international institutions promote cooperation? Few questions are as fundamental to international relations or as salient for world leaders+ Due to the contributions of Keohane and others, we now have sophisticated theories about the emergence and effects of international......

Words: 13582 - Pages: 55

Premium Essay

Arguments for & Against Congress

...problems with lawmaking that most people see is the time involved in getting a law passed. In order for a bill to become a law it must first be "introduced to the House or Senate, or both, then referred to a committee." (Cummings / Wise 479). This can be a very time consuming process. Anyone interested in having a law passed must realize the process involved and be patient. In addition to lawmaking Congress is also involved in passing amendments. Our nation has been able to grow and strengthen due to the amendment process. In order for our government to keep up with the changing times it is crucial that we make adjustments to the constitution. The downfall is that the amendments passed have not always kept up with changing times. Arguments against Congress would be that they taken to long in enforcing the amendments. The U.S. Congress must also implement national policy. The Congress must regulate commerce in order to create a prosperous economy. It is up to Congress to monitor the growth of the economy and be ready to act if necessary. Congress has the power to implement monetary policy in which they decrease taxes to induce spending during a slow economic period. They can also increase taxes if there is a threat of inflation. The problems with the role of Congress in the economy is again the time factor. It takes time to get the policy going so Congress must be able to detect future economic problems in order for it to be effective. Congress makes up......

Words: 1762 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Arguments for and Against the Death Penalty

...Arguments FOR and AGAINST the death penalty The death penalty has been used since ancient times in almost every culture. Today it will still executed in some states like the USA, China, or in Islam Countries. I would like to talk about the Arguments for and against the death penalty. There are many justifications going around for capital punishment. Deterrence is the most common used argument for the death penalty. Many states believe that it is necessary to kill a prisoner to disadvise other people from committing the same kind of crime. Some people who commit violence are highly unstable or mentally ill. Murders are most committed in moments of passion, when extreme emotions overcomes himself or under the influence of drugs. In none of these cases can fear of the death penalty be expected to deter. Sometimes maybe a murderer or a rapist has a bad conscience due to his act. However, he can‘t make it undone. If he has a life-long sentence, he will always suffers for his felony. He must live with that and will never have the chance to apologise. In my opinion this punishment is a better way and in many cases it‘s much more striking. Of course many people think there are some lawsuit which are so brutal or horrifying that the murderer „must“ be killed, because it‘s not fair that he has any rights to live. The problem is, that often the murderer wants to be executed, because of his actions. So is it then punishment or deliverance for him? The protection......

Words: 630 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Arguments for and Against Diversification

...ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST DIVERSIFICATION AS A STRATEGY. Diversification is the act of introducing variety into an existing business; it is an addition of valued products in relation to organizations productivity. Diversification involves a lot of responsibility; it is not a thing that should be done in a rush. When it is successful, it gives great competitive advantage and a substantial growth but if it fails it could lead to very grave consequences. It is used to defuse the risk of losing out totally if one business performs better than the other. Arguments in favour of diversification is that, * It makes it simpler for a business to protect its capital when it is assigning funds to other investments. * It lowers the risk of putting all the eggs in one basket * It provides the human resource department the chance to improve and also attract efficient professionals. * It safeguards against financial failure if the market becomes dormant. * It also helps in managing risk and lowers the instability of an asset price change. Unfortunately, it does not depend on how diversified an organization is, risk cannot be totally removed. When an organisation diversifies, the risk is traded for either a market risk or an economic risk and it depends on the organizations portfolio, it also decides on how much of equity that will be unprotected to each type of risk that may surface. Although diversification reduces the exposure of a certain risk, it also reduces......

Words: 518 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Argument Against the Legalisation of Voluntary

...Argument Against the Legalisation of Voluntary Euthanasia – Roman Catholic View Voluntary Euthanasia is against the law in the UK for a reason. It is seen as a form of murder or manslaughter, it is morally wrong and anyone can see that. Voluntary Euthanasia is murder when you commit murder you are weakening the sanctity of life. Every human being is the creation of god and that means that they are limits to the things we do in life. If you kill yourself, or get someone to do it for you are saying that God does not have a right over our lives because he created us therefore it is his right to decide the length of our lives and the way our lives end. Job 1:21 says “God gives and God takes away.” Voluntary Euthanasia should not be legalised because it is not what God would have wanted and we should obey this as we would not be here if it was not for God. Exodus 20:13 says “you shall not commit murder” It is wrong to take away the sacred gift of human life, killing is always wrong. The Roman Catholic Church believes that there are other ways of dying in peace instead of voluntary euthanasia. They understand that dying can be a frightening and a hard time for a lot of people but there are better alternatives to euthanasia; this is where the hospice movement is introduced. If the patient chooses palliative care instead of euthanasia then the hospice can provide a peaceful death for them. They will give them all the facilities and emotional facilities that are needed to......

Words: 712 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Critically Evaluate the Arguments for and Against Mining and Export of Uranium

...High Risk – Low Return: The case against uranium mining in Queensland Australian Conservation Foundation Australian Manufacturing Workers Union Electrical Trades Union Friends of the Earth North Queensland Conservation Council Queensland Conservation Council Queensland Nuclear Free Alliance The Wilderness Society Cover picture: Mine tailings dam failure at Merriespruit, South Africa gold mine. On the day of the failure 50mm of rain fell in 30 minutes, comparable to flooding rain quantities in Qld in recent summers (source: tailings.info) High Risk – Low Return: The case against uranium mining in Queensland 1. Overview 2. Overstated economic potential 3. Environmental Impacts 4. Radiation and Health 5. Uranium and Indigenous Communities 6. Inadequate Regulation 6.1 Unresolved regulatory and operational issues 7. Beyond mining 7.1 Transportation 7.2 The myth of the peaceful atom: Weapons Proliferation 7.3 The myth of clean energy from nuclear power 7.4 A positive way forward for Queensland 8. Conclusions This report was prepared under the joint auspices of the unions and environmental and social justice groups listed on the cover. March 2013. Authors: R. Taubenfeld, D. Sweeney, J. Green High Risk – Low Return: The case against uranium mining in Queensland In October 2012 the LNP government broke its clear commitment not to allow uranium mining in Queensland. This commitment was the position of the LNP at the March 2012 state election and was......

Words: 8778 - Pages: 36

Free Essay

What Is Non-Cognitivism? Critically Evaluate the “Wishful Thinking” Argument Against Non-Cognitivism

...particular view of non-cognitivism is mostly targeted by the wishful thinking argument. I will then outline the main problem brought up by the wishful thinking argument. I will then outline the expressionist’s responses to the wishful thinking argument using David Enoch and James Lenman’s solutions to the problem, and show the flaws in their arguments. Therefore I will come to the conclusion that the wishful thinking argument is a valid objection to non-cognitivism. Non-Cognitivism Non cognitivism is the objection to the claim the moral facts express belief. According to this view they are not either true or false, neither do the assert anything about the world. Seeing as moral facts cannot be seen as true and no one can have knowledge of something that is not true, non-cognitivism implies the moral knowledge is impossible. The three main forms of non-cognitivism are; prescriptivism, emotivism and expressivism. In this essay I will be addressing the problems found in the expressivism branch of non-cognitivism. Expressivism Expressivism is the view that sentences about moral facts are not to descriptive terms, and do not relate to the real world problems. They are used for expressing either positive or negative attitude towards the object of the sentence. The Wishful-thinking argument This is an argument that rejects non-cognitivism presented by Cian Dorr (2002). The outline of this argument is the fact that we can come to a conclusion about how the world is, based on......

Words: 1686 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Arguments Against Marxism

...Arguments Against Marxism Melissa Criminology Abstract The German philosopher Karl Marx provided the world with a new and different way to think about the social and economic systems. This new social philosophy was called communism and Marx’s theory on communism is referred to as Marxism. Karl Marx’s concepts of Marxism are detailed in his book “Communist Manifesto” which was published in 1848. His book discussed the issue of social structure and the problems of a capitalist society. From the time Karl Marx first presented his ideas on communism, there have been many objections from philosophers and political scientists who have argued that the idea of communism in the modern western world would not work and is not a valid social structure. Arguments Against Marxism Marxism is a sociological and economic worldview that Karl Marx and Fredric Engles developed. One aspect of Marxism is a belief that throughout human history there has always been a defined level of social class. As a consequence of this, there has always been a struggle between the different levels of social class and the exploitation of lower class people. According to Marx, the class structure has existed throughout recent human society and is continuing to prevail throughout history (Walsh 2012). A second aspect of Marxism is the belief that a capitalist system does not work in present day society. In a capitalist society, only a small percentage of the population holds means and the ownership......

Words: 1008 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

An Argument Against Abortion

...you stand for the sanctity of marriage, could be met with affirmative action from professed homosexuals. These laws are not a mere instrumental change, but a radical change that mobilizes an entire social justice, which promotes and advances a certain way of life a. We need to be aware that What is actually at stake is how our society looks upon something) and the view that we have is a part of the common good, and it involves immediate and manifold consequences. For Example, Parents who teach their children one thing about sexuality and the family will find that state-funds are used and regulations established directly in opposition to them in government schools. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation will be warned against from an early age. With this, Children who may be conceived in marital acts are understood, not as ends, which are outside the marriage but rather as gifts which supervene on acts whose central justifying point is marital unity. When we look at Children they are best understood not as property of the parent, but as persons in themselves. Our culture’s grasp of this truth is connected to a basic understanding of what is the reality of both sex and marriage. Because of the truth of these acts and their effect on each other that we have established early it is clear that Homosexual adoption reduces children to an end, a property, or object that should not be sanctioned by the state...

Words: 523 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

The Arguments for and Against the Inerrancy of the Bible

...The Arguments For And Against The Inerrancy of The Bible D’Angela Carr Liberty University Professor Long Theology 201 The Arguments For And Against The Inerrancy of The Bible The Bible is a collection of writings which consist of sixty six books. These books are divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament. Testament refers to the covenant between God and his people. 39 of the books are the Old Testament and 27 of them are the New Testament. The Bible also has multiple authors that composed their writings in different time frames. It took over 1500 hundred years to put the final writings together to compose what we know as the finished Bible. The Bible is one of the oldest religious text that date back over 3000 years ago. Around 1450 BC Moses authored the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Leviticus. These first five books are called the Torah or Pentateuch. Around 95 AD, John authored Revelation which is the last book of the Bible. Approximately 1,545 years passed between the first writings and the last. The validity or inerrancy of the Bible is expressed by its ability to withstand the test of time, hold up to extreme scrutiny and ability to predict the future. Test of time Unlike other books or authoritative texts the Bible has multiple authors that wrote in different eras but maintained a continuous theme. Moses and Isaiah both prophesied the coming of the Messiah and were both dead......

Words: 750 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Critically Evaluate the Potential Justification for Protectionism

...Critically evaluate the potential justification for protectionism Introduction A number of governments are concerned with unemployment and recessionary impact following the financial crisis. The result of this has been for many to be being placed under political pressure to implement protectionist instruments such as tariffs. quotas and subsidies (Love et al, 2014). This essay will identify the five principal instruments used by governments for protectionism and their consumer welfare implications. It will then seek to critically evaluate the justifications used for protectionism. Protectionist instruments and their welfare implications Protectionist instruments can be defined as a policy though which a government seeks to control international trade for the purpose of protecting local businesses or employment from foreign competition (Krugman et al, 2012). A Tariff is a tax which is levied on imported goods. Tariffs on goods increase their price in an economy and can be specific or ad velorum i.e. a proportion of the value of the good against which a tariff is raised. Tariffs impact on the welfare of market participants can be considered in the context of small countries (where foreign export prices cannot be affected) and large countries (where they can), the outcomes for which may be different. In small countries where tariffs are introduced, importing economies experience increases in imported goods and the price of substitutes manufactured locally, reducing......

Words: 1824 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Argument Against God

...Kenneth Ferrante Philosophy-Imparato December 11, 2013 Writing Assignment Argument Against God For the concept I chose Nagel’s argument against god. Nagel claims that because evil exists it indicates that God must not exist. Premise one states that God is all knowing, all-powerful, and all good. This portrays God as a being that could see, oppose, and destroy Evil with ease, but that isn’t the case, Evil is still in existence. Premise two expands off the claim that God is all-powerful, meaning that God could eliminate all Evil, but he hasn’t. Premise three demonstrates the claim that God is all knowing; therefore he is aware of all Evil. Premise four explains how God is all good meaning that He opposes all things Evil. Premise five claims that Evil is still found throughout God’s world. Thus supporting the conclusion that God cannot exist if Evil is still in existence, which it is. In my opinion, I find Nagel’s argument to be extremely compelling and one hundred percent possible. The idea that God is a being whole is all knowing, all-powerful, and all good suggests that he would create the best possible world. There are various examples that I found to be effective but the idea of a hole in a t-shirt, I found to be simplest and most understandable that demonstrates the inability for God to exist. Although this might be true and God may not exist I have a different outlook. If Evil did not exist what purpose would God serve? He is the protector of Evil and justifies......

Words: 803 - Pages: 4