Friday, April 20, 2007

Apologetics Part 2

Schools of epistemology listen here

What is epistemology?
the branch of philosophy that is directed toward theories of the sources, nature, and limits of knowledge.

Schools of epistemology

*Rationalism (Continental rationalism)
in philosophy, a theory that holds that reason alone, unaided by experience, can arrive at basic truth regarding the world. Associated with rationalism is the doctrine of innate ideas and the method of logically deducing truths about the world from "self-evident" premises. Rationalism is opposed to empiricism on the question of the source of knowledge and the techniques for verification of knowledge.
Baruch Spinoza monist
René Descartes dualist
G. W. von Leibniz pluralist

*Empiricism (British Empiricism)
philosophical doctrine that all knowledge is derived from experience. For most empiricists, experience includes inner experience—reflection upon the mind and its operations—as well as sense perception. This position is opposed to rationalism in that it denies the existence of innate ideas. According to the empiricist, all ideas are derived from experience. Only particular exist.
David Hume (Scottish) (no sensation of causation and substance) only habit of the mind.
John Locke (English) The mind is a tabula rasa a blank slate
George Berkeley (Irish) subjective idealism (Only sense perceptions are true, God is the all perceiver)

method of philosophy in which the truth of a proposition is measured by its correspondence with experimental results and by its practical outcome. Thought is considered as simply an instrument for supporting the life aims of the human organism and has no real metaphysical significance. Pragmatism stands opposed to doctrines that hold that truth can be reached through deductive reasoning from a priori grounds and insists on the need for inductive investigation and constant empirical verification of hypotheses.

philosophic position holding that the possibility of knowledge is limited either because of the limitations of the mind or because of the inaccessibility of its object. It is more loosely used to denote any questioning attitude. Extreme skepticism holds that no knowledge is possible, but this is logically untenable since the statement contradicts itself.

What is a transcendental argument? (Critical philosophy)

In modern philosophy, Kant gave transcendental a new, third meaning in his theory of knowledge, concerned with the conditions of possibility of knowledge itself. For him it meant knowledge about our cognitive faculty with regard to how objects are possible a priori. "I call all knowledge transcendental if it is occupied, not with objects, but with the way that we can possibly know objects even before we experience them." (Critique of Pure Reason, A12) IOW An argument that seeks to find the necessary preconditions for the intelligibility of man’s experience.

Cornelius Vantil said in defense of Christian epistemology “that we are to think God’s thoughts after Him” The infinite God is the eternal knower and we as His finite creatures can come to know facts that God already knows by way of general and special revelation.
Vantil utilized the transcendental argument of Kantian philosophy for proving the existence of the Christian God; stating that the Christian worldview is the only transcendental that can give an account for meaningfulness of man’s experience. Therefore Christian is necessarily true because of the impossibility of the contrary.

*excerpts from

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