Idealistic Studies 40 (1-2):147-162 (2010)

Authors
Jennifer Mensch
Western Sydney University
Abstract
This paper examines one of the central complaints regarding Locke’s Essay, namely, its supposed incoherence. The question is whether Locke can successfully maintain a materialistic conception of matter, while advancing a theory of knowledge that will constrain the possibilities for a cognitive accessto matter from the start. In approaching this question I concentrate on Locke’s account of unity. While material unity can be described in relation to Locke’s account of substance, real essence, and nominal essence, a separate discussion will be called for altogether in the case of organic unity. In closing, I turn to Kant as a model for locating Locke’s purported incoherence, suggesting that his “skeptical idealism” yields the same epistemic advantages as those won by Kant’s “empirical realism.”
Keywords Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0046-8541
DOI 10.5840/idstudies2010401/210
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