Question

Respond to the following prompt:

Are you more inclined towards rationalism or empiricism?
Defend your position to best of your ability using your knowledge of argument.

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In the brief essay that follows, I focus on a particular element of the epistemological debate between rationalism and empiricism, namely the special status accorded to a priori knowledge by Cartesian ‘certainty’; also considered is the seeming innateness of some of our concepts, a tenet of rationalism that is, I think, inextricably linked to the Cartesian notion of certainty. As shall be seen, my stance is guardedly sympathetic to the arguments made in favor of an empiricist understanding and accounting of the nature of knowledge. However, I characterize my preference for empiricism as guarded because of the extent to which the two camps seemingly have radically differing conceptions of knowledge – which, I feel, complicates evaluation of the positions. As for how my discussion will progress...

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