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  1. Ideas and Explanation in Early Modern Philosophy.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2021 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 103 (2):252-280.
    Malebranche argues that ideas are representative beings existing in God. He defends this thesis by an inference to the best explanation of human perception. It is well known that Malebranche’s theory of vision in God was forcefully rejected by philosophers such as Arnauld, Locke, and Berkeley. However, the notion that ideas exist in God was not the only controversial aspect of Malebranche’s approach. Another controversy centered around Malebranche’s view that ideas are to be understood as posits in an explanatory theory. (...)
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  • Locke’s Knowledge of Ideas: Propositional or By Acquaintance?Shelley Weinberg - 2021 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 3 (1):4.
    Locke seems to have conflicting commitments: we know individual ideas and all knowledge is propositional. This paper shows the conflict to be only apparent. Looking at Locke’s philosophy of language in relation to the Port Royal logic, I argue, first, that Locke allows that we have non-ideational mental content that is signified only at the linguistic level. Second, I argue that this non-ideational content plays a role in what we know when we know an idea. As a result, we can (...)
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  • Locke, Arnauld, and Abstract Ideas.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2019 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 27 (1):75-94.
    A great deal of the criticism directed at Locke's theory of abstract ideas assumes that a Lockean abstract idea is a special kind of idea which by its very nature either represents many diverse particulars or represents separately things that cannot exist in separation. This interpretation of Locke has been challenged by scholars such as Kenneth Winkler and Michael Ayers who regard it as uncharitable in light of the obvious problems faced by this theory of abstraction. Winkler and Ayers argue (...)
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