The writings of the late 17th-century empiricist John Locke on philosophy, government, and education were especially influential during the Enlightenment. It was to this already famous institution that Locke went inat age Although the school had been taken over by the new republican government, its headmaster, Richard Busby himself a distinguished scholarwas a royalist. In Januaryjust half a mile away from Westminster School, Charles was beheaded on the order of Cromwell.
The Essay wrestles with fundamental questions about how we think and perceive, and it even touches on how we express ourselves through language, logic, and religious practices. In the introduction, entitled The Epistle to the Reader, Locke describes how he became involved in his current mode of philosophical thinking.
He relates an anecdote about a conversation with friends that made him realize that men often suffer in their pursuit of knowledge because they fail to determine the limits of their understanding.
Locke attacks previous schools of philosophy, such as those of Plato and Descartes, that maintain a belief in a priori, or innate, knowledge. Locke contends that, on the contrary, no principle is actually accepted by every human being. Furthermore, if universal agreement did exist about something, this agreement might have come about in a way other than through innate knowledge.
Locke offers another argument against innate knowledge, asserting that human beings cannot have ideas in their minds of which they are not aware, so that people cannot be said to possess even the most basic principles until they are taught them or think them through for themselves.
Still another argument is that because human beings differ greatly in their moral ideas, moral knowledge must not be innate.
Finally, Locke confronts the theory of innate ideas along the lines of the Platonic Theory of Forms and argues that ideas often cited as innate are so complex and confusing that much schooling and thought are required to grasp their meaning.
Against the claim that God is an innate idea, Locke counters that God is not a universally accepted idea and that his existence cannot therefore be innate human knowledge. He proposes that knowledge is built up from ideas, either simple or complex.
Simple ideas combine in various ways to form complex ideas. Therefore, the most basic units of knowledge are simple ideas, which come exclusively through experience.
There are two types of experience that allow a simple idea to form in the human mind: Locke divides simple ideas into four categories: Locke goes on to explain the difference between primary and secondary qualities. Ideas of primary qualities—such as texture, number, size, shape, and motion—resemble their causes.
Ideas of secondary qualities do not resemble their causes, as is the case with color, sound, taste, and odor.
In other words, primary qualities cannot be separated from the matter, whereas secondary qualities are only the power of an object to produce the idea of that quality in our minds. Locke devotes much of book II to exploring various things that our minds are capable of, including making judgments about our own perceptions to refine our ideas, remembering ideas, discerning between ideas, comparing ideas to one another, composing a complex idea from two or more simple ideas, enlarging a simple idea into a complex idea by repetition, and abstracting certain simple ideas from an already complex ideas.
Locke also discusses complex ideas, breaking them down into four basic types: Complex ideas are created through three methods: We form abstract general ideas for three reasons:Essay Concerning Human Understanding [John Locke] on monstermanfilm.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers/5(43).
David Hume (—) “Hume is our Politics, Hume is our Trade, Hume is our Philosophy, Hume is our Religion.” This statement by nineteenth century philosopher James Hutchison Stirling reflects the unique position in intellectual thought held by Scottish philosopher David Hume. Part of Hume’s fame and importance owes to his boldly skeptical approach to a range of philosophical subjects.
Essay II John Locke i: Ideas and their origin Chapter i: Ideas in general, and their origin 1. Everyone is conscious to himself that he thinks; and. A summary of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding in 's John Locke (–). Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of John Locke (–) and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Chapter XXVII Of Identity and Diversity 1. Wherein identity consists. Another occasion the mind often takes of comparing, is the very being of things, when, considering anything as existing at any determined time and place, we compare it with itself existing at another time, and thereon form the ideas of .
Locke's Essay is a massive, scarcely organized work that is easy for students to get lost in and difficult for teachers to lend coherence to. But Winkler's abridgment succeeds remarkably at bringing out the underlying structure of Locke's masterpiece without sacrificing any of the long and important passages that put the meat on that structure.