Locke's relations and God's good pleasure

Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100 (1):75–91 (2000)
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Abstract

Did God give things 'accidental powers not rooted in their natures', powers not rooted in intrinsic properties? For Leibniz, no. For Locke, the answer is disputed. On a voluntarist reading, yes, secondary and tertiary qualities are superadded (Margaret Wilson). On a mechanist reading, no, as for Leibniz (Michael Ayers). Since Locke viewed these qualities as relational, his view of relations ought to bear on the dispute. Locke said relation is 'not contained in the real existence of things'. Bennett says Locke means relations are reducible (as Leibniz thought), which supports the mechanist reading. Bennett is mistaken: Locke means relations are irreducible, in harmony with his voluntarism

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Rae Langton
Cambridge University

Citations of this work

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References found in this work

Intrinsic/extrinsic.I. L. Humberstone - 1996 - Synthese 108 (2):205-267.
Superadded Properties: The Limits of Mechanism in Locke.Margaret D. Wilson - 1979 - American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (2):143 - 150.
Substance, reality, and primary qualities.Jonathan Bennett - 1965 - American Philosophical Quarterly 2 (1):1-17.

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