Memory and how it Works

Overall chapter five was all about knowledge. To understand memories we have to understand how knowledge works. The two views regarding knowledge are rationalism and empiricism. Finally, memories do not give new knowledge instead they it takes care of the knowledge that we acquire. Rene Descartes was an important philosopher who was a rationalist. He believed that reason was the source of knowledge, as well as the presence of God and that knowledge is innate, and he believed that it could be proved through reason. Plato believed that we have the innate knowledge of geometry. The other view which is empiricism is the view that believes that knowledge comes from sensory perception and is a posteriori. John Locke believed that we have knowledge of the primary qualities of things which is the size, shape, and weight.

The secondary qualities do not really exist in external objects which do not really exist and those are colors, smells, and sounds. George Berkeley has a subjective theory of knowledge, in which we only know our own ideas and we have no knowledge of external material objects. David Hume pushed Locke’s and Berkeley’s empiricism and he argues that all knowledge depends on. Our sense impressions and that we cannot claim something exists unless we perceive it through some sense impression. He believed that the past experiences of causes provide us knowledge of future causes. The problem with induction is that because we see or observe some features from an object in the past that does not mean that we will see those same features in the future. There is an alternative to empiricism and rationalism from Immanuel Kant’s transcendental idealism which distinguishes between things as we experience them and things as they are in themselves.

The mind is what unifies it’s many sensations by connecting them with casual relationships and other kinds of relationships. Inductionism is the view that all science is based on the process of sensory observation, generalization, and repeated confirmation. It is used to establish scientific laws. The hypothetical method view says that science is also based on the creative formulation of hypotheses whose predictions are then tested and used to guide research. Thomas Kuhn argues that scientific theories are those that are widely accepted by a community of scientists. Scientific theories must be accurate, consistent with other widely accepted theories, capable, of explaining phenomena other than those they were developed to explain, capable of organizing phenomena that were previously thought to be unrelated.

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