Empiricism and Innate Notions

J. L. Mackie

in Problems from Locke

Published in print May 1976 | ISBN: 9780198750369
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597947 | DOI:
 Empiricism and Innate Notions

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Examines the relation between empiricism and realism. Mackie criticizes Locke's arguments against innate ideas. He draws a distinction between ‘minimal’ and ‘authoritative’ senses of knowledge and claims that innate knowledge is only possible in the minimal sense. Mackie argues that there is no necessary conflict between empiricism and realism. He concludes that it is possible to endorse both an empirical basis for our actual knowledge of the world as well as to accept the importance of certain innate propensities that contribute to that knowledge.

Keywords: empiricism; innate ideas; knowledge; realism

Chapter.  8904 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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