Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.
Grant and Nathan Tarcov (Hackett, 1996)
At the beginning of An Essay Concerning Human UnderstandingLocke says that since his purpose is “to enquire into theOriginal, Certainty and Extant of human knowledge, together with thegrounds and degrees of Belief, Opinion and Assent” he is goingto begin with ideas—the materials out of which knowledge isconstructed. His first task is to “enquire into the Original ofthese Ideas…and the ways whereby the Understanding comes to befurnished with them” (I. 1. 3. p. 44). The role of Book I of theEssay is to make the case that being innate is not a way inwhich the understanding is furnished with principles and ideas. Locketreats innateness as an empirical hypothesis and argues that there isno good evidence to support it.
by Peter Laslett (Cambridge, 1988)Secondary sources:
(d) The fourth and final step is the testing of a theory by theempirical application of the conclusions derived from it. If suchconclusions are shown to be true, the theory is corroborated (butnever verified). If the conclusion is shown to be false, then this istaken as a signal that the theory cannot be completely correct(logically the theory is falsified), and the scientist begins hisquest for a better theory. He does not, however, abandon thepresent theory until such time as he has a better one to substitutefor it. More precisely, the method of theory-testing is as follows:certain singular propositions are deduced from the newtheory—these are predictions, and of special interest are thosepredictions which are ‘risky’ (in the sense of beingintuitively implausible or of being startlingly novel) andexperimentally testable. From amongst the latter the scientist nextselects those which are not derivable from the current or existingtheory—of particular importance are those which contradict thecurrent or existing theory. He then seeks a decision as regards theseand other derived statements by comparing them with the results ofpractical applications and experimentation. If the new predictions areborne out, then the new theory is corroborated (and the oldone falsified), and is adopted as a working hypothesis. If thepredictions are not borne out, then they falsify the theory from whichthey are derived. Thus Popper retains an element of empiricism: forhim scientific method does involve making an appeal to experience. Butunlike traditional empiricists, Popper holds that experience cannotdetermine theory (i.e., we do not argue or infer fromobservation to theory), it rather delimits it: it shows whichtheories are false, not which theories are true. Moreover, Popper alsorejects the empiricist doctrine that empirical observations are, orcan be, infallible, in view of the fact that they are themselvestheory-laden.