What the senses contribute to

What the senses contribute to knowledge? (Descartes, Leibniz versus Locke, Berkley)
In order to discuss what the senses contribute to knowledge one mustfirst identify the senses used and their contribution to the human learning process. The human senses sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste are all commonplace in our everyday life, one must therefore not forget their initial importance in general prior to considering their contribution toward human learning and knowledge.In assessing the importance of these senses one can make the 17th century argument of Empiricism versus Rationalism, in other words one can draw on the thoughts and theories of Locke in opposition to the beliefs of Descartes.The argument between Empiricism and Rationalism can be broken down to the simple form of Locke's Imperialism being that all knowledge derives from the senses, against Descartes' belief that information can be known in advance of experience through innate ideas.
Locke defined knowledge as “the perception of the connection and agreement, or disagreement and repugnancy, of any of our ideas”. The ideas are therefore derived from our sensors that act as receptors to a given stimulus. Locke stated that "The senses are the most important factor in the learning process and therefore contribute greatly toward knowledge," as the basis of his theory of perception. Unlike Descartes, Locke himself, and later other Cartesian philosophers such as Leibniz, claimed that innate ideas were practically non-existent. He argued that we (humans) are not constituted so that we can know all, but are born with enough basic knowledge to enable us to avoid pain and seek pleasure. Locke wrote his essay concerning human understanding in 1690 offering the renowned metaphor comparing the mind to "blank slate on which experience writes".
This statement clearly and concisely describes his belief that human understanding ultimately deriv…


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