Tabula Rasa

Mind Map by , created over 6 years ago

A Levels Philosophy (Reason and Experience) Mind Map on Tabula Rasa, created by rlshindmarsh on 05/11/2013.

Created by rlshindmarsh over 6 years ago
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Tabula Rasa
1 Locke
1.1 without the corresponding sense experiences, words are meaningless, so any idea without a direct link to any sense experience should be regarded with suspicion an not taken seriously
1.2 coined Tabula Rasa
2 Hume
2.1.1 Relations of Ideas - analytic truths(tautology)
2.1.2 Matters of Fact and Real Existence - synthetic thruths(knowledge)
2.2 Strong empiricism
2.2.1 justification - the blind man and the concept of red
2.2.2 Explanation of Ideas - The Golden Mountain
2.3 similarly to Locke, metaphysical ideas are not actually ideas merely 'sophistry and illusion'
3 Strengths
3.1 initially intuative
3.2 Without language, which we learn through sense experience in interaction with others, we have no clarity of thought and cannot relate complex ideas to one another


  • a potential counter to this is that we must have some kind of pre-existing capacity to learn language, this is resolved by Kant's theory of Conceptual Schemes
3.3 imagination initially appears to be explainable via deconstruction of concepts of previous sense impressions i.e. golden mountain.
4 Weaknessess
4.1 there is no direct experience of the world as such - only direct experience of sense data
4.1.1 therefore we cannot assume that what we are experiencing is an accurate representation of the world, of there even is a physical external world to represent in the first place.
4.1.2 Words represent ideas - ideas - sense impressions represent themselves(after scepticism) and not necessarily any external world. in other words, my words stand for my sense impressions and no one else's
4.1.3 COUNTER could lead to solipsism
4.2 we can never know if every individual truly shares the same sense impressions, as we can never experience anyone else's perception
4.3 we can conceive of a missing shade of blue but there is no sure way we can trace this back to experience
4.3.1 COUNTER Hume admits this is the exception to the rule
4.4 some metaphysical or fantastical ideas are too complex to be broken down into simpler concepts easily - a unicorn
4.5 sense impressions are not necessary for ideas
4.5.1 when exchanging ideas (which supposedly stand for sense impressions, which are exclusive) sense impressions can play no part in the concepts. our understanding of the same language, not shared sense impressions, is what allows us to communcaite effectively
4.6 the idea that sense experience stimulates ideas is not the same as ideas being copies of sense impressions
4.6.1 Liebniz's example of viened marble rather than a blank slate
4.7 Certain logical conclusions such as 'X cannot be X and not X at the same time' seem to have no basis in sense experience
4.8 Words are not just labels
4.9 nothing about experience itself teaches us how to judge it - 'this is tove'
5 Logical Positivism - the Vienna circle
5.1 The Verification Principle - a proposition is verified if it satisfies one of two criteria:
5.1.1 It is analytically true
5.1.2 A statement that can be varified by experience
5.1.3 Problem: the verification principle itself cannot be varified
6 Plato - knowledge is justified true belief
7 important distinction between IMPRESSIOnS and CONCEPTS
7.1 if I am sitting and drinking tea I can be said to have a sensory impression of it: I can smell, touch and taste it and be aware that the thing I am sensing is tea
7.2 I can be said to have a concept of tea when I can think about it whilst not actually being in its presence

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