chapter  3
13 Pages

Empiricists and Rationalists

Thomas Hobbes (1561-1626), who is usually remembered for describing Man’s existence as solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short;

John Locke (1632-1704), whose best-known work is entitled An Essay Concerning Human Knowledge but who also wrote influentially on government and rights;

George Berkeley (1685-1753), whose views changed considerably during his lifetime, but who ended up believing that the only realities were God, the soul, and ideas in the human mind;

David Hume (1711-76), who wrote the Treatise of Human Nature explaining that all ideas are derived from sense impression, which he called the phenomena or appearances of things reflected in the senses;

8. Of these and many others, perhaps the three most influential were Hobbes, Locke and Hume, an interesting comparison being that whilst the three rationalists dealt with in section 3.2 influenced English jurisprudence, those English philosophers in turn heavily influenced Europe and America.