Philosophy Lesson Twelve: Problems With Empiricism

Let’s criticize Empiricists! (it’s not very hard to do)


- The issue of simple and complex ideas
- The issue of skepticism
- The issue of ideas coming from personal experience

Simple and Complex Ideas

Simple ideas are ideas that supposedly can’t be broken down any further… such as crunchy. Crunchy is a description which has no further way to break it down. This theory was developed by a philosopher I’ve mentioned before, named Locke. Hume, another philosopher I’ve mentioned before argues that in order for there to be any conceptual thought, we must first have the sense impression for all of the aspects of our idea.

For example...


In order to understand/think up this photo we need to have a variety of sense impressions. Such as…

1. Color - blue, white, brown, grey, pink, black, red etc.

2. Human beings - We need to know what human beings are.

3. Elderly and youth - We need the sense impression of both elderly humans, and young ones, in order to place things in perspective.

4. Expression - In order to understand the facial expressions being made, we need to understand key concepts such as happiness, sadness etc. and how they relate to our faces.

5. Dimension - In order to understand distance, and relation, we need an understanding of dimension.

6. Texture - In order to be able to understand the feeling of things, we need to understand texture, the texture of the woman’s skirt, the babes skin, the necklace, the glass behind them.


Philosophy Lesson Nine: Propositions

Analytical Propositions
Analytical propositions are ideas that are simply true, and cannot be misconstrued. Analytical ideas are the foundation of a priori ideas.

For example…

1. All red kettles are red.
2. All squares have four sides

Synthetic Propositions
A statement that isn’t necessarily always true, and is the basis of a posteriori ideas. Synthetic propositions are only contingently true.

#Empiricists choose to only accept matters of fact to be true, and thus reject all relations of ideas.

To simplify this…

- Think of a priori ideas, and Analytical propositions as the same thing.
- Think of a posteriori ideas, and Synthetic propositions as the same thing.