In Jessica Gordon-Roth & Shelley Weinberg (eds.), The Lockean Mind. pp. 277-89 (2021)

Huaping Lu-Adler
Georgetown University
This chapter brings some much-needed conceptual clarity to the debate about Locke’s scientific methodology. Instead of having to choose between the method of hypothesis and that of natural history (as most interpreters have thought), he would resist prescribing a single method for natural sciences in general. Following Francis Bacon and Robert Boyle, Locke separates medicine and natural philosophy (physics), so that they call for completely different methods. While a natural philosopher relies on “speculative” (causal-theoretical) hypotheses together with natural-history making to explicate phenomena, a medical practitioner must prioritize collecting data about what remedies tend to cure what diseases over hypothesizing about the causes of the latter.
Keywords John Locke  scientific methodology  hypothesis  natural history  natural philosophy  medicine  Francis Bacon  Robert Boyle  Rene Descarte
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John Locke and Natural Philosophy.Peter R. Anstey - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
The Works of John Locke.John Locke - 1727 - Printed for T. Tegg, W. Sharpe and Son [Etc.].
Peach Trees, Gravity and God: Mechanism in Locke.Marleen Rozemond & Gideon Yaffe - 2004 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 12 (3):387 – 412.
The Way of Hypothesis: Locke on Method.James Farr - 1987 - Journal of the History of Ideas 48 (1):51.

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