John Locke (1632-1704) was one of the towering philosophers of the Enlightenment and arguably the greatest English philosopher. Many assumptions we now take for granted, about liberty, knowledge and government, come from Locke and his most influential works, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and Two Treatises of Government.
In this superb introduction to Locke's thought, E.J. Lowe covers all the major aspects of his philosophy. Whilst sensitive to the seventeenth-century background to Locke's thought, he concentrates on introducing and assessing Locke in a contemporary philosophical setting, explaining why he is so important today.
Beginning with a helpful overview of Locke's life and times, he explains how Locke challenged the idea that the human mind and knowledge of the external world rested on innate principles, laying the philosophical foundations of empiricism later taken up by Berkeley and Hume.
Subsequent chapters introduce and critically assess topics fundamental to understanding Locke: his theories of substance and identity, language and meaning, philosophy of action and free will, and political freedom and toleration. In doing so, he explains some of the more complex yet pivotal aspects of Locke's thought, such as his theory that language rests on ideas and how Locke's theory of personal identity paved the way for modern empirical psychology. A final chapter assesses Locke's legacy, and the book includes a helpful chronology of Locke's life and glossary of unfamiliar terms.
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Life and Work
Lockes Life and Times
The Contemporary Impact of Lockes Work
Knowledge and Experience
Lockes Rejection of Innate Ideas
A Lockean Response to the Prejudices of Literacy
Locke and the Problem of Privacy
The Essential Role of Ideas in Thinking
A Response to Some Objections
Agency and Will
Locke on Free Action and Freedom of the Will
Lockes Version of Empiricism
Lockes Theory of Sense Perception
Was Locke an Indirect Realist?
Lockes Distinction between Primary and Secondary Qualities
Lockes Account of Knowledge
Substance and Identity
Substance and Mode in Lockes Essay
Lockes Correspondence with Stillingfleet
Further Difficulties for Lockes Account of Substance
Martins Interpretation of Lockean Substratum
Substance and Real Essence
Locke on the Ideas of Number and Unity
Locke on Identity and Personal Identity
Language and Meaning
Ideationism and Lockes Account of Language
Locke on Causation Volition and Voluntary Action
Locke and the Problem of Deviant Causal Chains
Involuntariness and the Sufficiency Claim
Personhood Personal Identity and Free Agency
Liberty and Toleration
The State of Nature and the Nature of Man
Social Contract and Government by Consent
Lockes Theory of Property and Property Rights
Rights of Resistance and the Limits of Political Obligation
Legacy and Influence
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