Locke, God, and Materialism

Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 10:101-31 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This paper investigates Locke’s views about materialism, by looking at the discussion in Essay IV.x. There Locke---after giving a cosmological argument for the existence of God---argues that God could not be material, and that matter alone could never produce thought. In discussing the chapter, I pay particular attention to some comparisons between Locke’s position and those of two other seventeenth-century philosophers, René Descartes and Ralph Cudworth. Making use of those comparisons, I argue for two main claims. The first is that the important argument of Essay IV.x.10 is fundamentally an argument about the causation of perfections. Indeed, Locke gives multiple such arguments in the chapter. My second main claim is that my proposed reading of IV.x is not merely consistent with what Locke says elsewhere about superaddition, but also provides reasons to favor a particular understanding of what superaddition is.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Thinking Matter in Locke's Proof of God's Existence.Patrick J. Connolly - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 9:105-130.
Toland, Leibniz, and Active Matter.Stewart Duncan - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 6:249-78.
Peach trees, gravity and God: Mechanism in Locke.Marleen Rozemond & Gideon Yaffe - 2004 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 12 (3):387 – 412.
Locke's Exclusion Argument.Walter Ott - 2010 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (2):181-196.
Materialism from Hobbes to Locke.Stewart Duncan - 2022 - Oxford University Press.
Locke on Thinking Matter.Martha Brandt Bolton - 2015 - In Matthew Stuart (ed.), A Companion to Locke. Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley. pp. 334–353.

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-07-05

Downloads
1,174 (#11,096)

6 months
439 (#3,831)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Stewart Duncan
University at Buffalo

Citations of this work

The Contours of Locke’s General Substance Dualism.Graham Clay - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):1-20.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 1904 - Harmondsworth,: Penguin Books. Edited by C. B. Macpherson.
The philosophical writings of Descartes.René Descartes - 1984 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Metaphysical Themes 1274–1671.Robert Pasnau - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
A Study of Spinoza's Ethics.Jonathan Bennett - 1984 - Cambridge University Press.
A Study of Spinoza's Ethics.Jonathan Bennett - 1984 - Critica 16 (48):110-112.

View all 44 references / Add more references