more from Lucretius

Single Idea 5729

[catalogued under 12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 4. Pro-Empiricism]

Full Idea

The structure of your reasoning must be rickety and defective, if the senses on which it rests are themselves deceptive.

Gist of Idea

If the senses are deceptive, reason, which rests on them, is even worse


Lucretius (On the Nature of the Universe [c.60 BCE], IV.518)

Book Reference

Lucretius: 'On the Nature of the Universe', ed/tr. Latham,Ronald [Penguin 1951], p.146

A Reaction

This strikes me as one of the most basic tenets of empiricism. It denies the existence of 'pure' reason, and instead asserts that it is built out of complex and abstracted sense experience, which makes it ultimately a second-class citizen.