An Essay Concerning Human Understanding is a work by John Locke concerning the foundation of human knowledge and understanding. It first appeared in although dated with the printed title An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. He describes the mind at birth as a blank slate tabula rasa , although he did not use those actual words filled later through experience. The essay was one of the principal sources of empiricism in modern philosophy, and influenced many enlightenment philosophers, such as David Hume and George Berkeley. Book I of the Essay is Locke's attempt to refute the rationalist notion of innate ideas.
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Digital Texts - John Locke: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. We are thankful for their contributions and encourage you to make your own. What are the resemblances and differences between Hume and Locks Theory of Ideas? Hume's first principle would declare that all of our perceptions depend on experience. This principle was already expressed in Locke's Essay.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
One of the key themes of this work is the defense and articulation of an empiricist theory of knowledge. Although Hobbes had previously developed something like an empiricist theory of knowledge, his theory, though brilliant, is idiosyncratic. Locke is properly seen as the father of modern empiricism, the approach to philosophy followed by Hume, Berkeley, Mill, Ayer, Quine and many other philosophers up until the present day. Indeed, some form of empiricism is the dominant approach to philosophy in the English-speaking world.