It was statesman-philosopher Francis Bacon who, early in the
seventeenth century, first strongly established the claims of
Empiricism - the reliance on the experience of the senses - over
those speculation or deduction in the pursuit of knowledge.
John Locke in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding
restated the importance of the experience of the senses over
speculation and sets out the case that the human mind at birth is
a complete, but receptive, blank slate ( scraped tablet or tabula rasa ) upon which experience imprints
Locke argued that people acquire knowledge
from the information about the objects in the world that our senses bring. People begin with
simple ideas and then combine them into more complex ones.
Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper void of all characters, without
any ideas. How comes it to be furnished? Whence comes it by that vast store which the busy and boundless
fancy of man has painted on it with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of reason and knowledge?
To this I answer, in one word, from EXPERIENCE.
Essay Concerning Human Understanding : Hernnstein & Murray, 1994, p.311
Locke definitely did not believe in powers of
intuition or that the human mind is invested with innate
In his Some Thoughts Concerning Education
(1697), Locke recommended practical learning to prepare people to manage their social, economic,
and political affairs efficiently. He believed that a sound education began in early childhood and
insisted that the teaching of reading, writing, and arithmetic be gradual and cumulative.
In our own times the social and psychological sciences tend to take the view that Human Beings
are 'formed' socially and psychologically by nature as well as by nurture and that there are inherited traits
that society can build on and to some extent modify.
Explore Inner Space!!!
A "Human Tripartism"
Several, authoritative key insights, (from the Great Faiths, Plato, Socrates,
Pythagoras, and Shakespeare!!!), are available on this site that give convincing support to such a "Tripartite" view of Human Nature!!!
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that:-
"...man is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots,
whose flower and fruitage is the world..."
~ Should this be true it would follow that Human Societies often tend to arise out of the Human Condition as directly influenced by Human Nature!
A Societal "Human Tripartism"
This view suggests that "Non-Doctrinaire" Societies themselves!!!
often have a Tripartite character.
According to the seriously influential philosopher Immanuel Kant, in his brief work entitled "Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View" :-
"Whatever concept one may hold, from a metaphysical point of view, concerning the freedom of the will, certainly its appearances,
which are human actions, like every other natural event, are determined by universal laws. However obscure their causes, history,
which is concerned with narrating these appearances, permits us to hope that if we attend to the play of freedom of the human will
in the large, we may be able to discern a regular movement in it, and that what seems complex and chaotic in the single individual
may be seen from the standpoint of the human race as a whole to be a steady and progressive though slow evolution of its original endowment."
"In old Rome the public roads beginning at the Forum
proceeded north, south, east, west, to the centre of every
province of the empire, making each market-town of Persia, Spain,
and Britain pervious to the soldiers of the capital: so out of
the human heart go, as it were, highways to the heart of every
object in nature, to reduce it under the dominion of man. A man
is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots, whose flower and
fruitage is the world. His faculties refer to natures out of him,
and predict the world he is to inhabit, as the fins of the fish
foreshow that water exists, or the wings of an eagle in the egg
presuppose air. He cannot live without a world."
This passage is also to be found in Ralph Waldo Emerson's Essay ~ History:-
"There is one mind common to all individual men....
....Of the works of this mind history is the record. Man is explicable by nothing
less than all his history. All the facts of history pre-exist as laws. Each
law in turn is made by circumstances predominant. The creation of
a thousand forests is in one acorn, and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain,
America, lie folded already in the first man. Epoch after epoch, camp, kingdom,
empire, republic, democracy, are merely the application of this manifold spirit
to the manifold world."