Day 25 — Acquiring Knowledge

When investigating how we know things, there’s a number of theories that have been proposed.

For example, knowledge can be obtained through empirical observations or using the experiences of the senses — also known as a posteriori. Empiricism is a theory that draws upon such an approach, understanding ourselves and the world through using our senses.

Knowledge can also be ascertained through use of reason and using logic, and not require involvement with events or experiences. This is known as non-empirical or a priori. Rationalism proposes that a priori or innate understanding of the world is the key to knowledge.

Some famous examples of both schools include the British Empiricists in the 18th and 19th century, such as George Berkeley, John Locke and David Hume. The rationalists included philosophers such as René Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, and Gottfried Leibniz.

To sum up, here’s a great video by Jennifer Nagle, part of a series on YouTube called Wireless Philosophy: Epistemology: Introduction to Theory of Knowledge.