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Explain the difference between empiricism and rationalism.

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Explain the difference between empiricism and rationalism. Which theory most resonates with your own experiences and ideas about the nature of the self? If you find rationalism compelling, do you prefer the more spiritual approach of St. Augustine, or is the Cartesian quest for certainty through reason more appealing? If you prefer empiricism, does Locke or Hume best capture your belief that knowledge comes from experience?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Writing Homework
Expert:  SusanAthena replied 4 years ago.
Hi. Thanks for your question. How long an answer do you need, please? And when do you need it?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I need it by tonight by midnight.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
at least a paragraph or two
Expert:  SusanAthena replied 4 years ago.
OK, no worries! I'll have it by then.

Kind regards,
Susan
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks!
Expert:  SusanAthena replied 4 years ago.
Hi. Thanks for requesting me!

Your custom-written answer is below.

Kind regards,
Susan

Empiricism and rationalism are two types of epistomological beliefs. Rationalism believes that we can determine what is real or meaningful by using logic and reasoning or other modes of human thought to determine reality. Empiricism, on the other hand, says that what is real can only be determined by what can be directly observed or experienced. For myself, I've always believed in empiricism. I think rationalism is often easier and can sometimes be right. However, it can also be influenced by bias and prejudgement and what we want to believe. Rationalism can be "trumped" by empiricism: that is, we might believe something or even work it out logically, but once we can empirically see that it's not true, we're forced to come up with another explanation. For myself, I believe more in the empiricism of Hume, who I think was able to resolve many of the problems with Lockian empiricism. For one thing, Hume separated problem solving into inductive and deductive reasoning. Induction is one important way of understanding the world, and where Locke might say that induction doesn't give definitive evidence, Hume is more likely to weight it properly, and recognize that it is an important part of our understanding of the world that patterns tend to continue. An empiricist mindset allows me to identify patterns that I can rely on (the sun will come up tomorrow; if I stay up late, I'll feel tired tomorrow; if I buy a lottery ticket, I will not win a million dollars) and those that are truly only "probable" (the stock market will keep going up; if I go to a party, I'll have a good time; etc)
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