Locke and the Real Problem of Causation

Locke Studies 15:53-77 (2015)
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Abstract

Discussions of John Locke’s theory of causation tend, understandably, to focus on the related notion of power and in particular the dialectic with David Hume. But Locke faces a very different threat, one that is internal to his view. For he argues both that causation is a relation and that relations are not real. The obvious conclusion is intolerable. And yet the premises, I argue, are unassailable. Building on an interpretation of Locke’s treatment of relations I have developed elsewhere, I show how Locke can at once speak meaningfully of causation and deny its mind-independent existence.

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Walter Ott
University of Virginia

Citations of this work

Locke on Persons and Personal Identity.Ruth Boeker - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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References found in this work

The Universe as We Find It.John Heil - 2012 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Metaphysical Themes 1274–1671.Robert Pasnau - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Locke, Berkeley, Hume; Central Themes.Jonathan Bennett - 1971 - Oxford,: Oxford University Press UK.
Locke: Ontology.Michael Ayers - 1991 - New York: Routledge.

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