Authors
Walter Ott
University of Virginia
Abstract
This paper addresses the following questions: (a) what did Locke mean when he said that ‘words signify ideas’? and (b) what is Locke’s argument for this thesis, and how successful is it? The paper argues that the two most prominent interpretations, those of Norman Kretzmann and E. J. Ashworth, attribute to Locke an argument for his semantic thesis that is fallacious, and that neither can make good sense of two key passages in book 3 of the Essay concerning Human Understanding. An alternative understanding of signification, drawn from the works of Hobbes and the Port-Royal logicians, is explored and shown to provide both a satisfactory interpretation of these two passages and an understanding of Locke’s argument for the thesis that absolves him of fallacy
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 1053-8364
DOI 10.5840/jpr_2002_11
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,337
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Locke on Human Understanding: Selected Essays.I. C. Tipton (ed.) - 1977 - Oxford University Press.
Teaching & Learning Guide For: Locke on Language.Walter Ott - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (5):877-879.
Primary and Secondary Qualities.Robert A. Wilson - 2016 - In Matthew Stuart (ed.), A Companion to Locke. Blackwell. pp. 193-211.
Makers' Rights.A. John Simmons - 1998 - The Journal of Ethics 2 (3):197-218.
Boyle, Classification and the Workmanship of the Understanding Thesis.Jan-Erik Jones - 2005 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 43 (2):171-183.
Locke's Exclusion Argument.Walter Ott - 2010 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (2):181-196.
Locke on the Freedom of the Will.Vere Chappell - 1994 - In G. A. J. Rogers (ed.), Locke's Philosophy: Content and Context. Oxford University Press. pp. 101--21.
Locke on Meaning and Signification.Michael Losonsky - 1994 - In G. A. J. Rogers (ed.), Locke's Philosophy: Content and Context. Oxford University Press.
Reconciling Locke’s Definition of Knowledge with Knowing Reality.Benjamin Hill - 2006 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (1):91-105.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-12-02

Total views
67 ( #171,351 of 2,507,897 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,715 of 2,507,897 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes