Innate Ideas - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences

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The theory of "innate ideas," in any of its philosophically significant forms, claims that all morally right judgment or all science, or both, rest upon or consist in a knowledge a priori either of (a) universal principles governing reality or (b) objects transcending sensory experience. Representative of such universal principles are "From nothing, nothing comes" (Ex nihilo, nihil fit); "Equals added to equals give equals"; "It is wrong to murder." Illustrations of transcendent objects are Platonic Forms and God. Concomitantly, the theory attempts to explain the genesis and epistemological status of the conception of such principles and objects. For this purpose it introduces the notion of innate ideas.

Proponents of the theory of innate ideas (henceforth "innatists") would typically agree with empiricists that sensory experience consists of particulars. They would claim, however, that scientific knowledge is knowledge that holds good everywhere and at every time, that...

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This section contains 2,730 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Innate Ideas Encyclopedia Article
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Innate Ideas from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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