Locke and his Critics on the Possibility of Material Minds

Abstract

Draft for Wolfe and Symons (ed.), History and Philosophy of Materialism. This chapter looks at the discussion of materialism in John Locke’s Essay concerning Human Understanding, and then at parts of the Anglophone reaction to those discussions. It considers the early criticisms of Locke by Edward Stillingfleet and the anonymous author of three sets of Remarks on Locke’s Essay. It then looks at some other ways in which readers reacted to Locke’s discussions: the views of Anthony Collins and John Toland, which one might be tempted to think of as Lockean materialism; William Carroll’s reading of Locke as a Spinozistic materialist; and the dualistic Lockeanism of William Duncan’s Lockean logic textbook.

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Stewart Duncan
University at Buffalo

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