Locke and the Real Problem of Causation

Locke Studies 15:53-77 (2015)

Authors
Walter Ott
University of Virginia
Abstract
Discussions of John Locke’s theory of causation tend, understandably, to focus on the related notion of power and in particular the dialectic with David Hume. But Locke faces a very different threat, one that is internal to his view. For he argues both that causation is a relation and that relations are not real. The obvious conclusion is intolerable. And yet the premises, I argue, are unassailable. Building on an interpretation of Locke’s treatment of relations I have developed elsewhere, I show how Locke can at once speak meaningfully of causation and deny its mind-independent existence.
Keywords Locke  Causation  Relations
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References found in this work BETA

The Universe as We Find It.John Heil - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
Metaphysical Themes, 1274–1671.Robert Pasnau - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Locke, Berkeley, Hume: Central Themes.Charles E. Marks - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (1):126.

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