Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding Outline

Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding Outline-69
Given the significance of Locke's theory of ideas and mental representation in the , one might have expected Lennon's essay to appear first or at least first in the series of essays on Book II.

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Moreover, it is in this context that Locke lays the foundation of his empiricist epistemology and completes his attack on nativism by providing an empiricist story of the origin of all ideas.

" (61) In cases like this, in my view, Locke blatantly begs the question against dispositional nativists like Descartes (at least in the case of some ideas).

I also concur with Rickless that Locke's "argument from lack of innate ideas" (roughly the argument that there are no innate principles because their constitutive ideas are not innate) rests on the questionable premise that the ideas, for example, of identity and substance are unclear and hence not innate.

The essays in this volume share two common features. In "The Intellectual Setting and Aims of the As Rickless notes, "a proper understanding of Locke's polemic serves to deepen one's understanding of the whole book" (66) since, for example, the anti-nativist arguments of Book I lead to the detailed discussion of the origin of every idea in Book II.

First, most (with some variation in emphasis) start with an explanation of the topics at hand, offer a survey of the various exegetical and theoretical problems raised by these topics, present various solutions from the literature and propose their own conclusions on how to solve or dissolve these problems. Rickless begins by identifying the type of nativism (dispositional nativism) that Locke's polemic is directed against and its supporters.


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