14 found
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  1. Lockean Essentialism and the Possibility of Miracles.Nathan Rockwood - 2018 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (2):293-310.
    If the laws of nature are metaphysically necessary, then it appears that miracles are metaphysically impossible. Yet Locke accepts both Essentialism, which takes the laws to be metaphysically necessary, and the possibility of miracles. I argue that the apparent conflict here can be resolved if the laws are by themselves insufficient for guaranteeing the outcome of a particular event. This suggests that, on Locke’s view, the laws of nature entail how an object would behave absent divine intervention. While other views (...)
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  2. Hume on Laws and Miracles.Nathan Rockwood - 2018 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 92 (4).
    Hume famously argues that the laws of nature provide us with decisive reason to believe that any testimony of a miracle is false. In this paper, I argue that the laws of nature, as such, give us no reason at all to believe that the testimony of a miracle is false. I first argue that Hume’s proof is unsuccessful if we assume the Humean view of laws, and then I argue that Hume’s proof is unsuccessful even if we assume the (...)
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  3.  96
    Two (Failed) Versions of Hume's Argument Against Miracles.Nathan Rockwood - forthcoming - Faith and Philosophy.
    Hume’s argument against believing the testimony of miracles is the most influential treatment of the topic, but there is not yet a consensus on how to interpret his argument. Two arguments are attributed to him. First, Hume seems to start with the infrequency of miracles and uses this to infer that the testimony of a miracle is exceedingly unlikely, and this then creates strong but defeasible evidence against the testimony of any miracle. Second, perhaps Hume takes the constancy of our (...)
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  4. Descartes on Necessity and the Laws of Nature.Nathan Rockwood - 2022 - Journal of Analytic Theology 10:277-292.
    This paper is on Descartes’ account of modality and, in particular, his account of the necessity of the laws of nature. He famously argues that the necessity of the “eternal truths” of logic and mathematics depends on God’s will. Here I suggest he has the same view about the necessity of the laws of nature. Further, I argue, this is a plausible theory of laws. For philosophers often talk about something being nomologically or physically necessary because of the laws of (...)
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  5. Locke on Reason, Revelation, and Miracles.Nathan Rockwood - 2021 - In Jessica Gordon-Roth & Shelley Weinberg (eds.), The Lockean Mind. New York, NY: Routledge.
    The aim of this chapter is to explain why Locke thinks religious belief requires evidence and, on his view, what evidence there is for religious belief. I will explain and defend Locke’s view that revelation can provide evidence for religious beliefs so long as there is evidence that God revealed it. Further, I will show how he takes the historical evidence of the miracles of Jesus as justification for belief in Christianity.
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  6. Is Sensitive Knowledge 'Knowledge'?Nathan Rockwood - 2013 - Locke Studies 13:15-30.
    In this paper I argue that Locke takes sensitive knowledge (i.e. knowledge from sensation) to be genuine knowledge that material objects exist. Samuel Rickless has recently argued that, for Locke, sensitive knowledge is merely an “assurance”, or a highly probable judgment that falls short of certainty. In reply, I show that Locke sometimes uses “assurance” to describe certain knowledge, and so the use of the term “assurance” to describe sensitive knowledge does not entail that it is less than certain. Further, (...)
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  7. Locke on Knowledge of Existence.Nathan Rockwood - 2016 - Locke Studies 16:41-68.
    The standard objection to Locke’s epistemology is that his conception of knowledge inevitably leads to skepticism about external objects. One reason for this complaint is that Locke defines knowledge as the perception of a relation between ideas, but perceiving relations between ideas does not seem like the kind of thing that can give us knowledge that tables and chairs exist. Thus Locke’s general definition of knowledge seems to be woefully inadequate for explaining knowledge of external objects. However, this interpretation and (...)
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  8. Locke on Empirical Knowledge.Nathan Rockwood - 2018 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 35 (4).
    This paper explores two related issues concerning Locke’s account of epistemic justification for empirical knowledge. One issue concerns the degree of justification needed for empirical knowledge. Commentators almost universally take Locke to hold a fallibilist account of justification, whereas I argue that Locke accepts infallibilism. A second issue concerns the nature of justification. Many (though not all) commentators take Locke to have a thoroughly internalist conception of justification for empirical knowledge, whereas I argue that he has a (partly) externalist conception (...)
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  9.  21
    Internalism and Externalism in Early Modern Epistemology.Nathan Rockwood - 2023 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 10.
    Do Descartes, Locke, and Hume have an internalist or externalist view of epistemic justification? Internalism is, roughly, the view that a belief that p is justified by a mental state, such as the awareness of evidence. By contrast, externalism is, roughly, the view that a belief that p is justified by facts about the belief-forming process, such as the reliability of the belief-forming process. I argue that they all think that the awareness of evidence is required for justification, but none (...)
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  10. Secondary Qualities as Dispositions.Nathan Rockwood - 2020 - Locke Studies 20.
    In this paper I will defend the view that, according to Locke, secondary qualities are dispositions to produce sensations in us. Although this view is widely attributed to Locke, this interpretation needs defending for two reasons. First, commentators often assume that secondary qualities are dispositional properties because Locke calls them “powers” to produce sensations. However, primary qualities are also powers, so the powers locution is insufficient grounds for justifying the dispositionalist interpretation. Second, if secondary qualities are dispositional properties then objects (...)
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  11. Foreknowledge Without Determinism.Nathan Rockwood - 2019 - Sophia 58 (2):103-113.
    A number of philosophers and theologians have argued that if God has knowledge of future human actions then human agents cannot be free. This argument rests on the assumption that, since God is essentially omniscient, God cannot be wrong about what human agents will do. It is this assumption that I challenge in this paper. My aim is to develop an interpretation of God’s essential omniscience according to which God can be wrong even though God never is wrong. If this (...)
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  12.  72
    Locke and Hume on Competing Miracles.Nathan Rockwood - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-15.
    Christian apologists argue that the testimony of the miracles of Jesus provide evidence for Christianity. Hume tries to undermine this argument by pointing out that miracles are said to occur in other religious traditions and so miracles do not give us reason to believe in Christianity over the alternatives. Thus, competing miracles act as an undercutting defeater for the argument from miracles for Christianity. Yet, before Hume, Locke responds to this kind of objection, and in this paper I explain and (...)
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  13. Review of Jacovides's Image of the World.Nathan Rockwood - 2018 - Locke Studies 18.
    The overarching theme of Locke’s Image of the World, by Michael Jacovides, is that Locke’s belief in the best science of his day shapes his philosophy in important ways. Jacovides contends that “by understanding the scientific background to Locke’s thoughts, we can better understand his work” (1), including both his positions and his arguments for those positions. To a lesser extent, Jacovides’s book also treats Locke as a case study in thinking about how much scientific theory should influence philosophy. While (...)
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  14.  41
    Locke: Epistemology.Nathan Rockwood - 2021 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Locke: Epistemology John Locke, one of the founders of British Empiricism, is famous for insisting that all our ideas come from experience and for emphasizing the need for empirical evidence. He develops his empiricist epistemology in An Essay Concerning Human understanding, which greatly influenced later empiricists such as George Berkeley and David Hume. In … Continue reading Locke: Epistemology →.
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