Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding Citation

Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding Citation-45
Association has remained a central topic of inquiry in psychology ever since.

Association has remained a central topic of inquiry in psychology ever since.

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Investigations into the associations that people make between ideas can reveal much about how human beings think.

Through his influence on researchers such as the English physician David Hartley (1705–57), Locke contributed significantly to the development of the theory of associationism, or associationist psychology, in the 18th century.

His discussion is the first sustained philosophical inquiry in modern times into the notion of linguistic meaning.

As elsewhere, he begins with rather simple and obvious claims but quickly proceeds to complex and contentious ones.

Whereas complex ideas can be analyzed, or broken down, into the simple or complex ideas of which they are composed, simple ideas cannot be.

The complex idea of a snowball, for example, can be analyzed into the simple ideas of whiteness, roundness, and solidity (among possibly others), but none of the latter ideas can be analyzed into anything simpler.Locke discussed another problem that had not before received sustained attention: that of personal identity.Assuming one is the same person as the person who existed last week or the person who was born many years ago, what fact makes this so?Locke’s account of personal identity became a standard (and highly contested) position in subsequent discussions.A further influential section of Book II is Locke’s treatment of the association of ideas.But human infants have no conception of God or of moral, logical, or mathematical truths, and to suppose that they do, despite obvious evidence to the contrary, is merely an unwarranted assumption to save a position.Furthermore, travelers to distant lands have reported encounters with people who have no conception of God and who think it morally justified to eat their enemies.In the course of his account, Locke raises a host of related issues, many of which have since been the source of much debate.One of them is his illuminating distinction between the “primary” and “secondary” qualities of physical objects.Such diversity of religious and moral opinion cannot not be explained by the doctrine of innate ideas but can be explained, Locke held, on his own account of the origins of ideas. He begins by claiming that the sources of all knowledge are, first, sense experience (the red colour of a rose, the ringing sound of a bell, the taste of salt, and so on) and, second, “reflection” (one’s awareness that one is thinking, that one is happy or sad, that one is having a certain sensation, and so on).These are not themselves, however, instances of knowledge in the strict sense, but they provide the mind with the materials of knowledge.


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