N. The Knowledge Situation
The Knowledge Situation concerns the question of the relation of the knower (self), sense data (experience), and things known (world). Theories of knowledge may be clearly delineated with regard to the manner in which the knowledge situation is described. Theories of knowledge may be identified as skepticism, subjectivism, objectivism, critical or representative realism, intuitionism, pragmatism, phenomenological existentialism, and recent analytical theories, which are usually varieties of phenomenalism or realism.
Ideas are either:
1. always produced (caused) by God directly and are things -- epistemological idealism (Berkeley)
2. always produced (caused) by God directly to represent things by a preestablished harmony; i.e., we get the right ideas in perfect harmony or correspondence with things as they occur or as we experience them -- occasionalism (Malebranche)
3. always produced (caused) by things themselves -- causal theory of perception -- ideas represent things that cause them -- sensationalism, representative realism (Galileo, Locke)
4. Sometimes produced (caused) by things which they represent (Descartes' adventitious ideas, but are also innate)
5. Never produced by anything; i.e., they occur from an inner necessity or predisposition to understand things in a certain way, are always innate (Leibniz's windowless monads)
6. in things themselves, i.e. in re as their form from which the mind (intellect) abstracts them in getting to know things -- classical realism (Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas)
7. Not in things but the universal possibilities of thought, i.e., universal concepts in terms of which anything is what it is (ante re), i.e., conceived by a mind or soul to be what it is (Plato)
8. Not in things but requiring divine illumination to grasp since the finite and spatial-temporal mind cannot per se grasp the infinite or eternal (St. Augustine, St. Bonaventure)
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