Plato's Theory Of Innate Knowledge

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Innatism refers to a philosophical belief in innate ideas and knowledge which suggests that one is born with certain ideas and knowledge. This contradicts tabula rasa, an epistemological argument that the mind is a blank state at birth. In the history of philosophy, innatism has been widely discussed between rationalists and empiricist. While rationalists assert that certain ideas and knowledge pre-exist in the mind independently of experience, empiricists claim that all knowledge is gained through one’s experience. However, Plato’s story of a slave boy in Metaphysics and Epistemology, the study of neuron system, and research of infants’ representations of events support the argument of rationalists with convincing evidences; therefore, I agree…show more content…
For example, John Locke is a main antagonist to innatism. According to Yacouba (2016), Locke criticized that Plato’s view of innate knowledge is more religious than rational because Plato asserted that knowledge is a process of remembrance which is already engraved in one’s soul; therefore, Plato’s doctrine of innatism can only be true to those who believe in reincarnation (Yacouba, 2016). This polemic does not seem convincing due to the lack of scientific evidence. On the other hand, the research of neuron system described earlier in the paper support Plato’s view of innatism with scientific evidence. Consequently, Plato’s doctrine that certain knowledge pre-exists in one’s mind at birth seems more reliable. Locke also asserted that humans are blank states at birth. According to him, “All ideas come from sensation or reflection. Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, void of all characters, without any ideas” (Locke, 1690, p. 96). However, Baillargeon’s research described earlier in the paper showed that infants possess certain knowledge from birth, such as the principle of persistence. Also, Locke’s claim fell into contradiction later in his paper. He said, “Therefore I doubt not but children, by the exercise of their senses about objects that affect them in the womb, receive some few ideas before they are born” (Locke, 1690, p. 134). He previously argued that one is born with tabula rasa mind like empty paper; however, he later acknowledged that children are born with ideas. Therefore, Locke’s claim showed contradiction. Based on the research, rationalists’ view of innatism that people are born with certain knowledge is more
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