Leibniz does notsee eye to eye with Lock on many point, even when he does he often does so withaddendum. With this in mind, this paperwill examine the views of Locke and Leibniz in regard to their views on variouskinds of knowledge and on the degrees and extent of certainty, as well as the role of axioms in human knowledge.views on various kinds of knowledge and on the degrees and extent ofcertainty.Lockeand Leibiniz are among the oldest philosophies in the world of knowledge, witha number of works published by them.
Theyboth establish that three kinds ok knowledge exists; intuitive knowledge,sensitive and demonstrative knowledge. Fromthe innate side of it, it has been established that every person has someinnate knowledge. They however differ abit in terms of the degrees and certainty of truth. This portion paper seeks to discuss theirdifferences and similarities on their views on knowledge.Locke’s viewLockeviews knowledge as a mere perception that is wholly concerned with ideas. The definition is however objected byLeibiniz, arguing that the definition does not explain the differences between thewise philosophers and the insane.
Lockeseems to have two slightly deviating views on knowledge. He argues that the general knowledge isgenerally the aspect of our ideas. Inparticulars kinds of knowledge, he states that knowledge goes a little furtherthan mere imagination. He explainshabitual knowledge as that type of knowledge that is developed for learningpurposes.
General truths in the case ofhabitual knowledge relies on the memories that we have mastered sometime in thepast. An example of the habitualknowledge application is the multiplication tables. Lockeargues that knowledge is never innate. Hesaid that the universal consent does not exist. He further argued that if there were universalconsent, there should be universal possessions. That if login truths were universal, is musthave been known by all human beings and they must have been universallyaccepted. That if innate existed, thechildren and the insane should have been the most reliable guides to logicaltruth. The fact that they are not theguides to logical truth, it means that innatism does not exist.
Lockehowever agreed with innatists on the basis of there is a difference between thetruth we accept immediately upon receiving it, and that which we require asignificant consideration before accepting it. He however argues that the fundamentaldifferences between the two kinds of knowledge do not agree with the innatisttruth ideologies. A careful study onknowledge and truth requires an acquisition of ideas in a particular case understudy.Onachieving certainty, Locke argues that one must have requisite ideas andconnection between ideas. Genuineknowledge can only be assured by these two aspects, failure to which makes theknowledge uncertain. Lastly, he makes adistinction between the four types of knowledge.
He believes that the knowledge of identity anddiversity depends on a person’s recognition of the differences between ideas. For instance, the knowledge of real existenceacknowledges that an idea has some connection with a real-life experience. Intuitive knowledge on the other hand isexplains our foundation on which all truths are formulated. Demonstrative knowledge treats truth at eachstep of the human process and discovers ideas through reasoning and connectingideas. Lastly, the sensitive knowledgeaccording to Locke, provides a concrete evidence of some existence of generaltruths especially on particular objects outside our lives.Leibiniz view.
Leibinizbelives strongly in the idea of innate knowledge. He uses this knowledge to distinguish betweencontigent and necessary types of truths. He argues that basically or most of thenecessary truths are innate, if not all of them. He differs from Locke by arguing thatexperience has no ability of delivering the knowledge of necessary truth tohumans.
He gives various reasons for his argument. The first one is the distinction aspect. Leibiniz says that a proposition can only benecessary if it is associated to some high degree of truth. A preposition is also necessary if it isfalse. For example, mathematicalpropositions such as 1 + 1=2 is necessary, because 1+1 cannot equal to anyother number but 2. A proposition thatis contingent must be strongly false r true.
The world is however different. Leibinizestablishes that the experience of human sense is only helpful in specificinstances. An example he provides isthat these two oranges plus another two oranges makes four oranges. Most instances however confirm a general truthaccording to him. Even though theyconfirm general truth, the truth is not enough to establish the universalnecessity.
The role of axioms in human knowledge.Accordingto Locke, knowledge is the agreement or disagreement of ideas. This is thedefinition that he uses to guide his opinions and ideas when talking of theissue of knowledge. On the other hand, Leibniz actually disagrees with thisdefinition on the basis that it is actually subjective in that it is based onthe whole idea of perception.
He argues that surely when this approach is used;it may lead to refuting of the genuine knowledge just because it is about adisagreement. Even though the basis of Locke’s argument is that all knowledgehas its own origin Leibniz’s reasoning is actually based on the fact thatknowledge is certainly not subjective instead it is able to stand on its withits own origin but rather there is no knowledge that opposes each other.Lockealso described it as not being peculiar to the received axiom. On this verypoint he goes on to state that there are several propositions and diversity ofeach of them is also self-relevant.
This is evident when he actually terms therole of perception in the maxim of knowledge. He goes on to explain thatAccording to him man was actually living in line with the laws guiding thecommunity were the very same laws that were to be used in guiding the people.He went on to state that the best right was the right to piety. This meansaccording to thing the strongest and the best thing for a man was actually toseek true happiness by bettering himself thereby making seek the perfecthimself in line with the perception of the creator. It is at this very pointthat he brings in the point of existence.
He also goes on to state thataccording to him he is just aware that God has given him existence enough ofthings without him. In that he does not have to receive something for it to bethere. Even though he cannot be able to perceive something in the background,it does not mean that whatever he did not perceive does not exist. This meansthere he is able to perceive things or not they actually exist without him. While not supportingaxioms, he does take the time review if they hold any value, if they are innateor how they contribute to knowledge in general, however does not drawdistinction from maxims. Meanwhile,Locke’s opponent on the matter, Leibniz, is a supporter of axioms and advisesLocke that axioms where defined and given meaning by those who coined the term,axiom and are distinct from maxims. Thisvary processes deems them to valid in these regards, once we comprehend theirmeaning.
Leibniz displays his knowledgeof such cases where ancient geometers made attempts to prove some axioms, whilehe, himself had made effort toward signifying secondary axioms, by use ofprimary axioms, as in the case of identity (Leibniz, 1996, 407). Axioms at this point are broken down intofive groups, those of Identity and Diversity, Coexistence and Connexion, ofrelation, Real Existence, and Instances. Continuing along this order we see that regarding identity anddiversity, Locke contemplated the self-evident nature of ideas based on instantperception, stating that not all obvious truth is deemed maxims, yet they arestill truths. For example, red and blueare not the same. Here Leibniz pointsout that identifying two different things as different is not more thanidentifying them alone, however, if comparing things with similarities thematter gets confused, such as his example of a triangle and a trilateral.
Leibniz continues that a triangle does notcarry the same meaning as trilateral geometrically as proportion is a factor(Leibniz, 1996, 408). On the matter ofrelation, Locke point to mathematics and principle of equals subtracted fromequals tallying equals, while one and one are equal, additionally he followsthis up with a display on one’s fingers. Leibniz counters, that one and oneproviding the sum of two is not an axiom, but the definition of the numbertwo. Likewise, using one’s fingers is ademonstration of equals from equals providing equals. Liebniz protests that axioms are alwaysreduced to the simplest truth formulation and examples are merely an symbolicaid (Leibniz, 1996, 409-410).
Moving forward Lockequestions coexistence and connexion. Here he views there are few self-evident propositions, such as twobodies not occupying the same place. Yetagain Leibniz takes the contrary pointing out Christian beliefs and Aristotle’sbelief in interpenetration regarding the density of matter. All-be-it, defining ‘body’ as being solid andimpenetrable disallows for the later. Equally it could be argued that God couldmake body that is not impenetrable, however, as this is not the case it failsto be an axiom (Leibniz, 1996, 409). After looking atcoexistence and connexion, Locke moves look to real existence. Here his stance is that there are no axiomsof real existence, while Leibniz protests that the simplicity of the statement”I think, therefore I am” is the more than adequate proof to the contrary.
However, he continues that one may avoidgiving this axiom status since we do not need to provide that example. Leibniz believes that the matter is above usas God holds all truths which are necessary. He continues that God is the only one who can see that I and exist haveconnection. Although, if one generalizesaxioms, basic or unproved truths then the use of the words “I think, thereforeI am” provide sufficient grounds to be proclaimed an axiom.
Clearly, here we can see Leibniz’sconsideration for the metaphysical tendencies in his thought.