Philosophical approaches


Rationalism is defined as any view that appeals to intellectual and deductive reasoning as main source of knowledge as well as justification. It holds that some propositions are knowable to people through intuition alone while others are only known through deduction from valid arguments. Rationalism depends on the idea that reality is based on a rational structure owing to the fact that all its aspects can be gained through mathematical and logical principles as opposed to sensory experiences (Rauhut, 2007). Proponents of the view have adopted three main claims that include innate knowledge which stipulates that experiences may initiate processes that can bring knowledge to consciousness but they fail to provide the knowledge itself. Intuition is a claim that some propositions are only known to people by intuition or deduction. The final claim is the innate concepts that people employ as part of their innate rational nature. This epistemological theory promotes the aspect of free-will and thinking as individuals can reason and argue based on their different understanding of given phenomenon.


Empiricism is defined as a philosophical view that is based on the understanding that the knowledge of the world is due to sensory experiences. Learning is thus bases on observations and perception so knowledge can never be attained without them. It lays emphasis on the role of experiences and evidences on the creation of ideas. It argues that the only knowledge that humans can have is that which is based on experiences. Inductive reasoning or induction must be applied in order to build more complex body of knowledge from the direct observations. It can also be termed as indirect empirical knowledge. The term has a dual etymology that stems from the Greek word for experience and another word empiric which refers to physical experiences. There are basically two forms of empiricism namely classical and radical empiricism. Classical empiricism is based on the understanding that there is no innate or in-born knowledge. Radical empiricism is based on the understanding that the knowledge of the world is depends entirely on senses. This approach is a hindrance to the problem of identity due to the fact that it focuses on senses that do not vary from one person to another.


Skepticism is a defined as a philosophical position that an individual should refrain from making truthful claims as well as avoiding the postulation of final truths. This may not mean that the truth is impossible. It is used to cover for the view that there is no certainty in human knowledge. It refers to an attitude of doubt or incredulity that may be directed towards a given object or to any doubtful attitude. This is the opposite of dogmatism which is the idea that the established beliefs are not to be disputed or deviated from (Rauhut, 2007). In philosophy, the term can refer to the limitations of knowledge or methods of obtaining knowledge through application of systematic doubt. Skepticism is regarded as a method of intellectual caution as well as suspended judgment.  The approach of skepticism lays claim on the fact that logicians have not yet discovered truth and therefore remains tentative and engages in a continuous process of inquiry.





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