Locke Essay Book 2

We can find no such knowledge and, hence, there is no reason to believe in innate ideas.Having dealt with innate ideas and the origins of ideas, Locke turns in Book II to a detailed analysis of the content of knowledge, ideas.It is persons can think of themselves as persisting over time that they can, and do, plan ahead, with an eye toward the punishment or reward that may follow.

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Locke additionally asserts that persons are agents.

For Locke “person” is a Persons are therefore not just thinking intelligent beings that can reason and reflect, and consider themselves as the same thinking things in different times and places, but also entities that can be held accountable for their actions.

Book III deals with the signs that we use to communicate ideas to ourselves and to others, words.

Book III follows roughly the same form as Book II, explaining how the different kinds of ideas can be communicated as different kinds of words.

Locke also gives a unique empiricist proof of the existence for God and a strong attack on the possibility of faith and revelation.

Finally Locke concludes by laying out a program for the future development of science along Lockean, empiricist lines.Towards the end of the Book, Locke discusses the importance of words to philosophy and to truth in general.Book IV concerns knowledge generally and Locke spends the section explaining how our ideas, derived from experience and our words can account for our knowledge of various things.Locke begins “Of Identity and Diversity” by first getting clear on the principle of individuation, and by setting out what some have called the place-time-kind principle—which stipulates that no two things of the same kind can be in the same place at the same time, and no individual can be in two different places at the same time (L-N 2.27.1).With some of the basics of identity in place, Locke posits that before we can determine the persistence conditions for atoms, masses of matter, plants, animals, men, or persons, we must first know what we mean by these terms.This entry aims to first get clear on the basics of Locke’s position, when it comes to persons and personal identity, before turning to areas of the text that continue to be debated by historians of philosophy working to make sense of Locke’s picture of persons today.It then canvases how Locke’s discussion of persons was received by his contemporaries, and concludes by briefly addressing how those working in metaphysics in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have responded to Locke’s view—giving the reader a glimpse of Locke’s lasting impact and influence on the debate over personal identity. The discussion of persons and their persistence conditions also features prominently in Locke’s lengthy exchange with Edward Stillingfleet, Bishop of Worcester (1697–1699).Many attempt to follow his trail, including David Hume and many modern philosophers.Though this work is idiosyncratic, it is hard to overemphasize its influence on philosophy and the development of thought over the last several hundred years.Locke begins his work in Book I by explaining the origin of the content of understanding, ideas.Ideas originate only from experience, claims Locke.


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