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Introduction to the Study of the History of Epistemology



The text is structured in chronological and ideological order and presents nine basic types of the classical perception of the problem of knowledge through an analysis of the atomistic theory of perception, Platonism, Aristotle’s doctrine, scepticism, rationalism, sensualism, Kant’s theory, phenomenological-existential, pragmatic, and (post) analytical perceptions. The proposed work aspires to be an introduction (not a complete presentation, neither in the number of types, nor in a full interpretation) and a basis for the reader’s interpretations which is reflected in the structure of the text.


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Aristotelian-Thomistic Realistic Theory of Knowledge


51 Aristotelian-Thomistic Realistic Theory of Knowledge   Keywords: sense, empiria, reason, truth, correspondence   The Aristotelian-Thomistic realistic theory of know- ledge is a  historical and theoretical opponent of ideal- ism. Aristotle believed that knowledge of reality is based in sensory experience and its conception by intellect. Contrary to Plato, he did not believe in the existence of ideas and an inborn knowledge. According to Aristo- tle, knowledge begins through sensory experience (the senses would be useless if they were not necessary). In a similar fashion to Democritus, Aristotle assumed that we perceive objects thanks to their eff ect on our receptors. Contrary to Democritus, Aristotle did not believe that we perceive material things directly. He believed that thanks to direct contact with the envi- ronment (he does not believe in a  void), our receptors receive only the forms of objects. To demonstrate his 52 point, he used an example of imprints which are made by the eff ect of a sealing ring on wax. The wax does not receive the materiality (gold or bronze) of the model, only its form. This can only happen if there is some sort of similarity. In this case, it is the material similarity of solid metal and solid wax. If the wax was not at least par- tially solid it would not be able to receive the imprint. This means that in the receptor there must be some- thing similar to the form of the object which it receives (the eye has to contain some form...

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