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Locke's Philosophy of Language

Cambridge University Press (2003)

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  1. Locke on Knowing Our Own Ideas.Shelley Weinberg - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (3):347-370.
    Locke defines knowledge as the perception of the agreement or disagreement of ideas. Nevertheless, he claims that we know particular things: the identity of our ideas, our own existence, and the existence of external objects. Although much has been done to reconcile the definition of knowledge with our knowledge of external objects, there is virtually nothing in the scholarship when it comes to knowing ideas or our own existence. I fill in this gap by arguing that perceptions of ideas are (...)
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  • Two Kinds of Intentionality in Locke.Lionel Shapiro - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (4):554-586.
    Ideas play at least two roles in Locke's theory of the understanding. They are constituents of ‘propositions,’ and some of them ‘represent’ the qualities and sorts of surrounding bodies. I argue that each role involves a distinct kind of intentional directedness. The same idea will in general be an ‘idea of’ two different objects, in different senses of the expression. Identifying Locke's scheme of twofold ‘ofness’ reveals a common structure to his accounts of simple ideas and complex ideas of substances. (...)
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  • Locke on Real Essences, Intelligibility, and Natural Kinds.Jan-Erik Jones - 2010 - Journal of Philosophical Research 35:147-172.
    In this paper I criticize the interpretations of John Locke on natural kinds offered by Matthew Stuart and Pauline Phemister who argue that Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding allows for natural kinds based on similar real essences. By contrast, I argue for a conventionalist reading of Locke by reinterpreting his account of the status of real essences within the Essay and arguing that Locke denies that the new science of mechanism can justify the claim that similarities in corpuscular structure imply (...)
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  • Locke on Sensitive Knowledge as Knowledge.Scott Stapleford - 2009 - Theoria 75 (3):206-231.
    This article is an extended analysis of the most recent scholarly work on Locke's account of sensitive knowledge. Lex Newman's "dual cognitive relations" model of sensitive knowledge is examined in detail. The author argues that the dual cognitive relations model needs to be revised on both philosophical and historical grounds. While no attempt is made to defend Locke's position, the aim is to show that it is at least consistent, contrary to the received view. The final section provides textual support (...)
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  • Locke on Language.Walter Ott - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (2):291–300.
    This article canvases the main areas of controversy: the nature of Lockean signification and his position on propositions and particles.
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  • Is Locke’s Answer to Molyneux’s Question Inconsistent? Cross-Modal Recognition and the Sight–Recognition Error.Anna Vaughn - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (5):670-688.
    Molyneux’s question asks whether someone born blind, who could distinguish cubes from spheres using his tactile sensation, could recognize those objects if he received his sight. Locke says no: the newly sighted person would fail to point to the cube and call it a cube. Locke never provided a complete explanation for his negative response, and there are concerns of inconsistency with other important aspects of his theory of ideas. These charges of inconsistency rest upon an unrecognized and unfounded assumption (...)
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  • The Absence of Reference in Hobbes’ Philosophy of Language.Arash Abizadeh - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    Against the dominant view in contemporary Hobbes scholarship, I argue that Hobbes’ philosophy of language implicitly denies that linguistic expressions refer to anything. I defend this thesis both textually, in light of what Hobbes actually said, and contextually, in light of Hobbes’ desertion of the vocabulary of suppositio, which was prevalent in semantics leading up to Hobbes. Hobbes explained away the apparent fact of linguistic reference via a reductive analysis: the relation between words and things wholly reduces to a composite (...)
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  • Toward 'Perfect Collections of Properties': Locke on the Constitution of Substantial Sorts.Lionel Shapiro - 1999 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):551-593.
    Locke's claims about the "inadequacy" of substance-ideas can only be understood once it is recognized that the "sort" represented by such an idea is not wholly determined by the idea's descriptive content. The key to his compromise between classificatory conventionalism and essentialism is his injunction to "perfect" the abstract ideas that serve as "nominal essences." This injunction promotes the pursuit of collections of perceptible qualities that approach ever closer to singling out things that possess some shared explanatory-level constitution. It is (...)
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  • Locke, Hume, and Reid on the Objects of Belief.Lewis Powell - 2018 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 35 (1):21-38.
    The goal of this paper is show how an initially appealing objection to David Hume's account of judgment can only be put forward by philosophers who accept an account of judgment that has its own sizable share of problems. To demonstrate this, I situate the views of John Locke, David Hume, and Thomas Reid with respect to each other, so as to illustrate how the appealing objection is linked to unappealing features of Locke's account of judgment.
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  • Locke on Real Essences, Intelligibility, and Natural Kinds.Jan-Erik Jones - 2010 - Journal of Philosophical Research 35:147-172.
    In this paper I criticize arguments by Pauline Phemister and Matthew Stuart that John Locke's position in his An Essay Concerning Human Understanding allows for natural kinds based on similarities among real essences. On my reading of Locke, not only are similarities among real essences irrelevant to species, but natural kind theories based on them are unintelligible.
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  • Locke and the Primary Signification of Words: An Approach to Word Meaning.Timothy Pritchard - 2013 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (3):486-506.
    Locke’s claim that the primary signification of (most) words is an idea, or complex of ideas, has received different interpretations. I support the majority view that Locke’s notion of primary signification can be construed in terms of linguistic meaning. But this reading has been seen as making Locke’s account vulnerable to various criticisms, of which I consider two. First, it appears to make the account vulnerable to the charge that an idea cannot play the role that a word meaning should (...)
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  • What is Locke's Theory of Representation?Walter Ott - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (6):1077-1095.
    On a currently popular reading of Locke, an idea represents its cause, or what God intended to be its cause. Against Martha Bolton and my former self (among others), I argue that Locke cannot hold such a view, since it sins against his epistemology and theory of abstraction. I argue that Locke is committed to a resemblance theory of representation, with the result that ideas of secondary qualities are not representations.
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  • Locke and Arnauld on Judgment and Proposition.Maria van der Schaar - 2008 - History and Philosophy of Logic 29 (4):327-341.
    To understand pre-Fregean theories of judgment and proposition, such as those found in Locke and the Port-Royal logic, it is important to distinguish between propositions in the modern sense and propositions in the pre-Fregean sense. By making this distinction it becomes clear that these pre-Fregean theories cannot be meant to solve the propositional attitude problem. Notwithstanding this fact, Locke and Arnauld are able to make a distinction between asserted and unasserted propositions (in their sense). The way Locke makes this distinction (...)
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  • Christian Foundations; or Some Loose Stones? Toleration and the Philosophy of Locke’s Politics.Timothy Stanton - 2011 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (3):323-347.
    This essay disputes one of the central claims in Jeremy Waldron?s God, Locke, and Equality (2002), that being the claim that Locke?s arguments about species in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding undercut his assertions about the equality of the human species as a matter of natural law in Two Treatises of Government. It argues, firstly, and pace Waldron, that Locke?s view of natural law is foundational to his view of man, not vice versa, and, secondly, that Two Treatises is written (...)
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  • Inferentialism and the Transcendental Deduction.David Landy - 2009 - Kantian Review 14 (1):1-30.
    One recent trend in Kant scholarship has been to read Kant as undertaking a project in philosophical semantics, as opposed to, say, epistemology, or transcendental metaphysics. This trend has evolved almost concurrently with a debate in contemporary philosophy of mind about the nature of concepts and their content. Inferentialism is the view that the content of our concepts is essentially inferentially articulated, that is, that the content of a concept consists entirely, or in essential part, in the role that that (...)
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