Locke Essay Book 2

Locke Essay Book 2-50
Although ostensibly an investigation into the nature of knowledge and understanding (epistemology) this work ranges farther afield than one might expect.

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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.

There is also an analysis of good and evil into pleasure and pain.

Finally, Locke tries to account for false and fantastical ideas.

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.

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.

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.


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