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Locke’s View of Philosophy, Essay Example

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I believe the questions about ethics, knowledge, and reality mattered to Locke and Socrates. In Locke’s opinion man is a free agent, even before God, thus, questions of ethics isn’t something that falls in a spectrum of religion but rather a societal one. Therefore the ideas of man having rights presents to Locke the idea of crime when a man takes another man’s freedom away (something that is innate). These questions (of man’s freedom, man’s knowledge about himself and his surrounding society) mattered to Locke because they set the tone for a functioning society and a more knowledgeable man (previous to this way of thinking man thought less about society and more about himself). In Socrates’ case he was an advocate of knowledge (the Socratic method in which a series of questions are asked of a person in order to garner their personal philosophy) and to use of that knowledge to better humanity. The insights that Socrates tried to dig for from his students was the truth. He wanted their personal truth as an element acquired through self-reflection. Socrates wanted to find out why a person believed the things they believed and the reasons behind their impetus, therefore, knowledge was a personal thing that lead to ethical decisions.

In order for a life to be lived it must be experienced before anything can be reflected upon; therefore, it’s more important to “do” first and then reflect upon the action than to reflect first. I understand the implications of this philosophy: of the problems that exist with stasis and the problems that exist for people who don’t think before they act; but philosophers ultimately believed that life was intended to be lived experientially, therefore, any means that garner such experience present the correct path to follow.

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