Locke's Influence
Aarsleff (Hans)
Source: Chappell - The Cambridge Companion to Locke
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

  1. This essay gives the main thrust of Locke's influence to his radical arguments in favor of the autonomy of thought of each individual and its ability to gain understanding in religion, politics, and the knowledge of nature, thus setting us free from the burden of authority and tradition.
  2. The eighteenth century gets the most space, with attention to personal identity, thinking matter, Molyneux's problem, and to Condillac's powerful argument that the Cartesian and Lockean ideal of the wordless discourse of the mind is a chimera: instead language is seen as being constitutive of thought as understood within a global theory of human expression that embraces both aesthetics and epistemology, art and science, poetry and prose.
  3. The essay has citations and an extensive bibliography.

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