Epistemology: Realism vs. Idealism


Topic : Epistemology:  Realism vs. Idealism; a priori knowledge vs. a posteriori knowledge; whether deduction/reasoning from ideas (Descartes) is superior/inferior to induction/reasoning from actual existence (Aquinas/Pieper)

  Paper should be typed, double-spaced, and follow standard paragraph formatting (MLA or APA)

  Block quotes more than two lines should be indented and single-spaced

  All direct quotations and ideas which are not your own should be clearly and accurately cited

To complete this paper you will need to address the following points:

  1. The general issue 
    1. State the issue you will be writing about 
    2. State the main responses to the issue 
  2. Response to the issue
    1. State the response you believe that is the best position on this particular issue 
    2. Explain the argument that can be offered to support the position you are holding 
  3. Criticism/Response
    1. State and explain a critique of your response.
    2. State and explain the response you would make to the critique 
  4. Implication
    1. State and explain the implications of the response 

n  The first page should include a strong thesis statement and an informal outline that logically justifies the position taken in the thesis statement

n  The body of the paper should follow the plan proposed in the informal outline

n  The conclusion should summarize the points made in the body of the paper, and then make some final remarks


                                           Realism vs. Idealism

There are various schools of thought when it comes to epistemology, the philosophy of knowledge. In studying how people know things, this paper will consider realism vs. idealism. People can know things either through realism which entails the idea that in an observable object, there are observable characteristics independent of the observer, or idealism, which entails the idea that in an observer’s mind, there are characteristics independent of the observed object. Thus realism leads to posteriori knowledge, which depends on empirical evidence such as many fields of science, while idealism leads to priori knowledge which is independent of experience and examples include tautologies and mathematics (Gut & Arkadiusz 10). The two concepts of epistemology are considered different in perspectives because while realism emphasizes “what actually is,” idealism emphasizes “what could be” (Kenny 50). The main issue is determining which concept is the more superior source of knowledge. Among the main responses of realism vs. idealism include Thomas Aquinas’s and Descartes’s views of epistemology. Aquinas views support realism, and they are built upon the work of Aristotle. He argues that knowledge is acquired when ideas from an image obtained from the senses are abstracted by the active intellect. On the other hand, Descartes’s view of epistemology favors idealism and argues that knowledge does not require experience or senses to be considered as true and that people obtain priori knowledge through deduction and initiating. Using Aquinas’s philosophy of knowledge, this paper will show that induction/reasoning from actual existence is superior to deduction/reasoning from ideas……………for help with this assignment contact us via email Address: consulttutor10@gmail.com

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