Sr Phi 1. State your initial point of view.
My initial point of view is that rationalism is the surest source of knowledge. This is based on the
rationalist view as presented by Plato and Descartes.
2. Define your point of view more clearly.
The rationalist view believes that human beings have innate ideas that they are born with, which
are activated by a situation or remembering. This view, therefore, means that knowledge is not
gained from experiences but rather that there are truths that the mind can grasp directly. In
addition, the rationalist view also explains that reality has a specific structure that was created
before. People are born with the knowledge that is essentially stored in a part of the brain and
activated due to a situation. This is based on rationalist principles, for example, mathematical
principles that people apply even without being taught. This view, therefore, means that the
human mind is structured in a way that, when prompted by specific senses, brings out specific
3. Give an example of your point of view.
One of the examples that can clearly explain rationalism is when a child, by instinct or by the
innate ideas that they have in their mind, understands that they cannot sit on the lap of both
parents at the same time. Mathematically, they know that they have to choose one. Another
example is that even without being taught, a person understands that slavery and oppression
are wrong. This is an innate idea and, therefore, a rational belief.
4. Explore the origin of your point of view.
Philosophers and thinkers like Plato advanced the rationalist view. Plato believed that genuine
knowledge could only be achieved through reasoning abilities. He also thought that every soul
existed in a perfect world before being born into the world and that the soul was able to get
these innate ideas in that ideal world. The French philosopher René Descartes is also
accredited with rationalist thinking. He believed that knowledge could be realized through
reasoning based on a particular situation. The situation brings out the truths.
5. Identify your assumptions.
My assumption is that this view assumes that everyone believes and understands that there is a
creator (God). This creator created and creates all human beings. Another assumption is that
people will always use innate ideas to bring out the best results in their situation.
6. Offer the reasons, evidence, and arguments that support your point of view.
One of the pieces of evidence that supports rationalist thinking is given by Plato when he used a
dramatic example when Socrates discussed his belief in the immortality of his soul with a friend,
Meno. In the example, Socrates gives a mathematical challenge to an uneducated boy.
Socrates draws a square on the ground that is four feet squared in size and then challenges the
boy to draw another square double the square that he had drawn. The boy attempts to double
the sides of the square but realizes that he has made a mistake and he is wrong in his
approach. Socrates then explains to the boy how to double the square systematically, but the
uneducated boy seems to know the answers in the process. However, he had never been
7. Consider other points of view.
Empiricism is another view that is presented as being the source of knowledge. Empiricism
argues that human beings learn from the experiences that they go through. It believes that there
are no innate ideas and that a person’s experiences allow them to learn and, therefore, can
handle such situations in the future. This view was taken by Aristotle, who believed that people
gain knowledge through sense experience. Knowledge is therefore based on experimental
science and sensory experiences that people get.
8. Arrive at a conclusion, decision, solution, or prediction.
Comparing both views and the evidence, I conclude that rationalism is the right source of
knowledge, mainly because of the evidence presented. Human beings seem to have specific
knowledge that is in them even without being taught. Empiricism tries to argue that people first
need to experience something to learn, but this is not true mainly because people tend to agree
on specific things, including ethics and logic, whether they are literate or illiterate, and whether
they have experienced something or not.
9. Consider the consequences.
The consequence of taking this point of view is that there will be a lot of debate between
rationalism and empiricism. Different arguments are going to come up because people will
naturally take different opinions based on their thinking. However, I firmly believe that
rationalism is the primary source of knowledge.