The Political Writings of John Locke

"The Current State of John Locke's Theory on Knowledge Acquisition"

"Our knowledge in all these enquiries reaches very little farther than our experience" (Essay). Locke asserts the principle that true knowledge is learned. As humans, our knowledge about the world around us and the subjects within it come from a study of our surroundings. Locke's theory of 'tabula rasa,' or "blank slate" is inconsistent with the human mind and psyche. He asserts the premise that humans are not born with knowledge about anything and that the only way humans acquire knowledge is through their own experiences. Locke's theory of human knowledge and the acquisition of that knowledge does not allow for the probability of an individual who possesses an innate genius and natural ability toward a particular subject or talent, for example: the natural artist. This does not mean that Locke's theory fails because it does not cover all possibilities. His theory is weakened when he asserts that knowledge only comes from the five senses (Essay ch.iii). Therefore, knowledge is acquired through a human's ability to see, smell, touch, taste, and hear. Locke dismisses the innately talented and the musical and artistic genius of his day. However, Locke's theory is consistent with...

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