In this essay I evaluate the
philosophical puzzle: “If a tree falls in the forest and there's no one
around to hear it, does it make a sound?” In my evaluation I explain that
this question raises the epistemological problem of how a subjective
experience, such as sound, relates to what can be known of reality. I
demonstrate that this question is a puzzle because it exposes the limits of
what we can claim to know based on sensory experience. Lastly, I will explain
how the empiricist, John Locke, would evaluate and answer the puzzle.
Encyclopedia or similar comprehensive works:
Kemerling, Garth. “John Locke: The Origin of
Ideas.” Philosophy Pages. Britannica
Internet.2001. Web. 1 Mar. 2009.
This source is a quick introduction to Locke and
his philosophical perspective and introduces the main themes in his work, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.
It will also help me understand the more complicated aspects of Locke’s
epistemology that I’ll be reading to write my essay.
Uzgalis, William. “John Locke: The Limits of Human
Understanding.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2007. Web. 1 Mar. 2009.
This source presents a much more detailed analysis
of Locke’s epistemology from his work, An
Essay Concerning Human Understanding.
E.J. Lowe. Routledge Philosophy Guide Book on
Locke: On Human Understanding. New
York, NY : Routledge, 1995. NetLibrary. 2002. 1 Mar. 2009
This source provides me with a comprehensive
discussion of John Locke, the person, and the arguments he puts forth in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.
It will also help me understand the book as it relates to historical events
and ideas. Additionally, it identifies arguments from the work’s supporters
An Essay Concerning Human
Understanding. Kitchener, Ont.: Batoche, 2001. Ebrary. 2005. 4 Oct. 2010.
This is Locke’s own writing which allows me to
read how Lock perceived the problem of knowledge, experience and sensation in
his own words.
Journal article database:
EBSCO’s Academic Search Elite
This is a searchable database of scholarly
articles from many academic disciplines, including philosophy. I can use it
to find contemporary scholarly articles pertaining to epistemology, perception,
and Locke. It also contains the full
text of many of the articles.