Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 27 (1):151-192 (2006)

Arbogast Schmitt
Freie Universität Berlin
From the time of John Locke’s critique of Descartes’ ideae innatae, empiricism and rationalism have been seen as diametrically opposed to each other and have, therefore, been placed on opposite ends of the Western philosophical spectrum. Since that time, many have also seen in the irreconcilability of these positions the gap that separates the Anglo-American and the continental philosophical traditions. Plato, often held to be the main representative of a particularly uncompromising rationalism, is considered by many to be the founder of most forms of rationalism. The general idea behind this interpretation is that Plato believed human thought to have its true foundation in a transcendent world of purely intelligible entities. On this view, Plato, the rationalist, seeks knowledge in a domain that transcends all experience and can only be comprehended through intellectual intuition. While Aristotle, the empiricist, limits himself to the objects accessible to his senses and recognizes only that which is able to be verified or falsified through observation or reduced to such a verification or falsification.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0093-4240
DOI 10.5840/gfpj200627120
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