|174||Locke||Shapiro||MFW 1-2||110 Wheeler|
In this course, we will undertake a close study of Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding, with attention to philosophical and scientific context (Scholastic and Cartesian views of reality and our capacity for knowledge, Boyle’s corpuscularianism). Among the topics to be considered: the nature of Lockean ideas, Locke’s distinction between primary and secondary qualities, his position on substance, the role of mechanism in his philosophy, his account of kinds and their essences, his view of the functioning of language, and his account of personal identity. Throughout, we will keep in mind the Essay’s central aim of delimiting the extent of human knowledge.
Reading: John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, ed. P. Nidditch (Oxford University Press, 1979), as well as selections in a course reader.