Thoughts About Epistemology

Awareness is first of all the immediate intuition of perceptions and conceptions. Perceptions are sensory impressions and conceptions are rational impressions. Examples of sensory impressions are my awareness of the chair I am sitting on, and the computer I am writing on.

Examples of rational impressions are logic, mathematics, and language. Reflection upon these impressions validates and strengthens them. This happens when a posteriori experience is used to reflect upon my conceptions and a priori conceptions are used to reflect upon my perceptions.

Conceptions and perceptions are thus on equal footing instead of in competition for epistemic status, and reflection upon them serves to validate and strengthen them, instead of imposing artificial categories upon them.

Upon reflection, I realize that sensory perceptions are of temporal objects, while rational conceptions are seemingly eternal or unchangeable. Further refection leads to the realization that temporal objects are dependent upon something eternal, while rational conceptions are not.

I am aware of having conceptions of my perceptions, as when I consider that individually perceived chairs participate in the concept of “chairness”, e.g., having four legs and a platform to sit upon, etc.

And, I am aware of having conceptions of conceptions, e.g., when my concept of the number 1 is added to my concept of the number 2 to get my concept of the number 3, or when my concepts of cold and wet are conceived in the concept of snow.

Sooner or later, I may reflect upon my own temporal existence long enough to realize that I am dependent upon something eternal, perhaps something that is not discontinuous with my rational conceptions of logic, mathematics, language, and the like.

Posted in apologetics, philosophy
2 comments on “Thoughts About Epistemology
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