British Empiricism

  • Empiricism is the view that:
    • Important truths about the world can only be established by a posteriori reasoning, on the basis of experience.
  • The British Empiricists, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume, began their inquiries by introspection, formulating principles governing the mind’s operation.
  • But they ended up with very different views:
    • Locke: Modified Common Sense, the modification opening the door for the more radical views of Berkeley, Hume, and Kant
    • Berkeley: Idealism, that only minds and ideas exist
    • Hume: Skepticism, that no rational basis exists for believing there are physical objects.