John Locke’s Understanding of Philosophy

John Locke’s Understanding of Philosophy

June 27, 2021 Off By Felso

Locke’s major works are An Essay concerning Human Understanding and Two Treatises of Government.

Views of knowledge: John Locke, who combined the basic teachings of an empiricist theory of knowledge, that is, the principles that there is no innate thoughts in the mind and that knowledge is produced from experience, with a mechanical view of reality, primarily dealt with the subject of knowledge in his philosophy, in accordance with the attitude of modern philosophy.

In his investigation of the limits and scope of human knowledge, he explores how ideas arise in the human mind. With ideas, Locke understands the contents of perception, impressions, ideas, thoughts, in short, all the contents of consciousness, everything that man is conscious about himself. According to him, man is a being with knowledge. In other words, he takes human knowledge as an obvious fact that does not need to be explained.

Knowing is nothing but having some ideas in the mind. Locke, who opposes nativism, says that man acquires the material that is the basis of knowledge later through experience. Experience is the only window that brings light to the human mind, which is, in his words, a dark room. Locke, who is an empiricist on the source of knowledge, says that there are two kinds of experience, one is external experience and the other is inner experience. In the first of these, external experience, man experiences things in the external world through the five senses; The human mind, according to Locke, is here completely receptive and passive. In the second, reflection or introspection, the human being experiences what is going on in his own mind, in his inner world. All ideas in the human mind come from one or the other of these two sources.

According to Locke, the founder of English empiricism, all the ideas in the human mind can be grouped under two headings: simple ideas and complex ideas. This distinction is an important one, as it allows Locke to distinguish between states in which the mind is completely passive and states in which it is active. Simple ideas are those that are acquired through our senses as a result of the effects of the objects in the external world and their qualities on our sense organs. When the human mind combines these simple ideas with each other in various ways, it has complex ideas. According to Locke, after the human mind has accumulated simple ideas, it distinguishes them from each other, compares them with each other and combines them in various ways. Locke says that even if man does not have the power to invent a new idea, the human mind is fully active while generating complex ideas. According to him, simple ideas must precede complex ideas both psychologically and logically.

The human mind, according to Locke, operates in certain ways. These activities of the human mind are respectively perception, memory, discrimination and comparison, combining and abstraction. When it comes to the ability to combine, which is one of the most important of these abilities, the human mind brings together the simple ideas it has and creates complex ideas by combining these ideas. In abstraction, the human mind rises to general words that denote general concepts. Everything that exists, according to Locke, is individual. However, as the human being slowly emerges from childhood, he observes the common qualities in people and things.

Locke argues that knowledge emerges as a result of the processing of simple ideas acquired through perception by these faculties. And knowledge is nothing but the perception of the connection and agreement of ideas with each other, or their disagreement and disagreement with each other. According to Locke, there are four kinds of relations between ideas, or ideas agree with each other in four respects. 1. Identity, 2. Relationship, 3. Coexistence or necessary relation, and 4. Real existence.

When Locke speaks of identity, he understands being conscious of what an idea is and of its difference from other ideas. The knowledge involved here consists in knowing that every idea is the same as itself, that it is what it is, and that it is different from all other ideas. This is knowledge of exactly what each of our ideas (for example, tree, table, white, square, triangle, etc.) contains, and its differences (for example, white is not black, a square is not a circle). In speaking of relation, however, Locke draws attention to the fact that some of our ideas are in some ways related to other ideas. Accordingly, there is an unspoken relationship between white and red, between triangles and leaves; Again, there is a relationship that does not exist between a tree and a chair, between a line and a cloud.

When he speaks of coexistence or necessary relation, Locke draws attention to the fact that a complex idea, such as the idea of ​​a chair, is composed of many simple ideas that we think together when we think of a chair. The information in question here is a certain complex.