Discussion The Cogito Ergo Sum vs The Tabula Rasa

March 8, 2022
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Discussion The Cogito Ergo Sum vs The Tabula Rasa

Discussion The Cogito Ergo Sum vs The Tabula Rasa

This week we continue our examination of epistemology.

We look at two famous examples of foundational principles: on one hand we have Descartes (Cogito Ergo Sum), and we have Locke (Tabula Rasa). Between these two thinkers, who do you believe is right? Do you believe that Decartes is correct and that, the first thing that I know is that I am. Or do you find yourself believing Locke, and the idea that everything is known through experiences.

How does one use WRAITEC? It is rather straightforward; pick one of the letters (such as R for reasons) and focus on the reasons for Aristotle making this or that claim. Any letter can be used, but be sure to be clear which it is you are using (at least for these first couple weeks of class).

This week PDFs and audio file is in below link:


When reading about Descartes and Locke, I believe that John Locke is correct. I have always thought you learn, experience and develop things through your life experiences and Locke just backed up my reasoning. Locke believed that all the material and knowledge came from experience, “[which] all our knowledge is founded” (John Locke, Book 2, Chapter 1). Although Descartes has

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many good points in his discussion, such as thinking and doubting I didn’t personally believe him more than Locke. How are we supposed to know I am without having any experiences in life? We go to school, we play sports, we have every day experiences that shape us into who we become. As babies, we learn to walk, without experience in gaining some leg strength, grabbing objects to help balance we wouldn’t be able to learn to walk. Everything we do teaches us something new in life. I felt that Locke was trying to say, although we already know how to do simple things such a breathing, we need experiences to learn new things on a daily basis to move farther in life.


The origin of our ideas and how our knowledge constructs, were never apart of my thoughts. However, after reading Locke’s essay I suddenly find myself believing and agreeing with most of his opinions. And come to think about it we can’t know something without learning, hearing, or seeing it. And simultaneously, we can’t pass the principal of something and understand what is beyond it without knowing it’s principal. For example, can we understand how to multiply numbers before we learn the principal of numbers? Another thing, Locke proposed that our mind is like a clean sheet and we can only add characters to it is by experience. (Locke, I) and that is the point, when a child develops a knowledge of something, for instance, that fire is hot he has to touch it or taught by the example of another hot thing that he already knows because he doesn’t have an innate knowledge of what hot is. And therefore, I believe that I agree more with Locke’s ideas. (Parrot)

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