Locke Studies 13:15-30 (2013)

Nathan Rockwood
Brigham Young University
In this paper I argue that Locke takes sensitive knowledge (i.e. knowledge from sensation) to be genuine knowledge that material objects exist. Samuel Rickless has recently argued that, for Locke, sensitive knowledge is merely an “assurance”, or a highly probable judgment that falls short of certainty. In reply, I show that Locke sometimes uses “assurance” to describe certain knowledge, and so the use of the term “assurance” to describe sensitive knowledge does not entail that it is less than certain. Further, I show that sensitive knowledge includes the perception of a relation between ideas, and thus it satisfies Locke’s definition of knowledge. He also repeatedly claims that sensitive knowledge is certain. So, despite recent challenges to this interpretation raised in the secondary literature, Locke really does take sensitive knowledge to be certain knowledge.
Keywords Locke  knowledge  sensation  epistemology  idea  certainty
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References found in this work BETA

Locke and Sensitive Knowledge.Keith Allen - 2013 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 51 (2):249-266.
Locke on the Epistemological Status of Scientific Laws.Silvio Seno Chibeni - 2005 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 9 (1-2):19-41.

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Citations of this work BETA

Locke on Knowledge of Existence.Nathan Rockwood - 2016 - Locke Studies 16:41-68.
Locke, Hume, and Reid on the Objects of Belief.Lewis Powell - 2018 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 35 (1):21-38.
Wiele twarzy konceptualizmu.Piotr Kozak - 2018 - Diametros 57:88-100.

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