Locke, Language, and Early-Modern Philosophy

Cambridge University Press (2007)
In a powerful and original contribution to the history of ideas, Hannah Dawson explores the intense preoccupation with language in early-modern philosophy, and presents a groundbreaking analysis of John Locke's critique of words. By examining a broad sweep of pedagogical and philosophical material from antiquity to the late seventeenth century, Dr Dawson explains why language caused anxiety in writers such as Montaigne, Bacon, Descartes, Hobbes, Gassendi, Nicole, Pufendorf, Boyle, Malebranche and Locke. Locke, Language and Early-Modern Philosophy demonstrates that new developments in philosophy, in conjunction with weaknesses in linguistic theory, resulted in serious concerns about the capacity of words to refer to the world, the stability of meaning, and the duplicitous power of words themselves. Dr Dawson shows that language so fixated all manner of early-modern authors because it was seen as an obstacle to both knowledge and society. She thereby uncovers a novel story about the problem of language in philosophy, and in the process reshapes our understanding of early-modern epistemology, morality and politics
Keywords Language and languages History
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Call number B1297.D39 2007
ISBN(s) 9780521852715   0521852714
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Locke on Language.Walter Ott - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (2):291–300.
Locke and the Primary Signification of Words: An Approach to Word Meaning.Timothy Pritchard - 2013 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (3):486-506.

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Locke on Private Language.Hannah Dawson - 2003 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 11 (4):609 – 637.
Locke, Language, and Early-Modern Philosophy (Review).Benjamin Hill - 2009 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (1):pp. 143-145.
What Does History Matter to the History of Philosophy?Stephen Gaukroger - 2011 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (3):406-424.

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