Aristotelian-Thomistic Realistic Theory of Knowledge
Keywords: sense, empiria, reason, truth, correspondence
The Aristotelian-Thomistic realistic theory of knowledge is a historical and theoretical opponent of idealism.
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 Aristotle, 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 effect 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 environment (he does not believe in a void), our receptors receive only the forms of objects. To demonstrate his ← 51 | 52 → point, he used an example of imprints which are made by the effect 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 partially solid it would not be able to receive the imprint. This means that in the receptor there must be something similar to the form of the object which it receives (the eye has to contain some form of colour in order to...
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