This is a new revised version of Dr. Laslett's standard edition of Two Treatises. First published in 1960, and based on an analysis of the whole body of Locke's publications, writings, and papers. The Introduction and text have been revised to incorporate references to recent scholarship since the second edition and the bibliography has been updated.
It has long been claimed that Homo sapiens is the only species that has language, but only recently has it been recognized that humans also have an unusual pattern of growth and development. Social mammals have two stages of pre-adult development: infancy and juvenility. Humans have two additional prolonged and pronounced life history stages: childhood, an interval of four years extending between infancy and the juvenile period that follows, and adolescence, a stage of about eight years that stretches from juvenility (...) to adulthood. We begin by reviewing the primary biological and linguistic changes occurring in each of the four pre-adult ontogenetic stages in human life history. Then we attempt to trace the evolution of childhood and juvenility in our hominin ancestors. We propose that several different forms of selection applied in infancy and childhood; and that, in adolescence, elaborated vocal behaviors played a role in courtship and intrasexual competition, enhancing fitness and ultimately integrating performative and pragmatic skills with linguistic knowledge in a broad faculty of language. A theoretical consequence of our proposal is that fossil evidence of the uniquely human stages may be used, with other findings, to date the emergence of language. If important aspects of language cannot appear until sexual maturity, as we propose, then a second consequence is that the development of language requires the whole of modern human ontogeny. Our life history model thus offers new ways of investigating, and thinking about, the evolution, development, and ultimately the nature of human language. (shrink)
Locke argued that religious belief ought to be compatible with reason, that no king, prince or magistrate rules legitimately without the consent of the people, and that government has no right to impose religious beliefs or styles of worship on the public. Locke's defense of religious tolerance and freedom of thought was revolutionary in its time. Even today, his letter poses a challenge to religious intolerance, whether state-sponsored or originating from religious dogmatists. -/- Based on both Locke's original Latin and (...) the seventeenth-century English translation of William Popple, this edition offers a reader-friendly version that remains loyal to the original text. In addition to a forty-page Introduction that situates the Letter in its historical and philosophical contexts, this edition includes excerpts from writings on religious toleration by William Penn, Baruch Spinoza, Pierre Bayle, and Samuel von Pufendorf, as well as generous selections from the famous Locke-Proast debates on religious toleration. (shrink)
'To think often, and never to retain it so much as one moment, is a very useless sort of thinking' In An Essay concerning Human Understanding, John Locke sets out his theory of knowledge and how we acquire it. Eschewing doctrines of innate principles and ideas, Locke shows how all our ideas, even the most abstract and complex, are grounded in human experience and attained by sensation of external things or reflection upon our own mental activities. A thorough examination of (...) the communication of ideas through language and the conventions of taking words as signs of ideas paves the way for his penetrating critique of the limitations of ideas and the extent of our knowledge of ourselves, the world, God, and morals. Locke's masterpiece laid the foundation of British empiricism and is of enduring interest to anyone exploring the development of philosophical thought. This sensitive abridgement uses P. H. Nidditch's authoritative text, and together with an illuminating introduction and other features, makes Locke's arguments more accessible. (shrink)
This volume is the first of three which will contain all of Locke's extant writings on philosophy which relate to An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, other than those contained in volumes of the Clarendon Edition of John Locke such as the Correspondence. The book contains the two earliest known drafts of the Essay, both written in 1671, and provides for the first time an accurate version of Locke's text together with a record of virtually all his changes, in notes at (...) the foot of each page. (shrink)
Although all natural languages are spoken, there is no accepted account of the evolution of a skill prerequisite to language—control of the movements of speech. If selection applied at sexual maturity, individuals achieving some command of articulate vocal behavior in previous stages would have enjoyed unusual advantages in adulthood. I offer a parental selection hypothesis, according to which hominin parents apportioned care, in part, on the basis of their infants’ vocal behavior. Specifically, it is suggested that persistent or noxious crying (...) reduced care to individuals who would have had difficulty learning complex behaviors, and that cooing and babbling increased social interaction and care as well as control over complex oralmotor activity of the sort required by spoken language. Several different tests of the hypothesis are suggested. (shrink)
Le succès des Essais de John Locke sur l’origine, les modalités et le but de l’entendement humain fut similaire au triomphe de Newton en physique. Cet ouvrage initie tout le courant empiriste qui le suit, ainsi que la psychologie comme science. Il reste, à ce jour, la plus étudiée des oeuvres de Locke. Les livres I et II, ici édités dans une traduction nouvelle, présentent l’acte fondateur de la thèse sensualiste : la critique de l’innéisme et la source empirique de (...) toute idée. Cette nouvelle traduction offre au lecteur un texte issu d’une lecture enrichie par trois siècles d’exégèse. (shrink)
Falk claims that human language took a step forward when infants lost their ability to cling and were placed on the ground, increasing their fears, which mothers assuaged prosodically. This claim, which is unsupported by anthropological and psychological evidence, would have done little for the syllabic and segmental structure of language, and ignores infants' own contribution to the process.
« Locke est le père de toute l’école sensualiste du XVIIIe siècle. Il est incontestablement, en date comme en génie, le premier métaphysicien de cette école. Et la morale, l’esthétique, la politique, ne sont que des applications de la métaphysique, applications qui sont elles-mêmes les bases de l’histoire de la philosophie. De plus, Locke n’est pas seulement un métaphysicien; il a transporté lui-même sa métaphysique dans la science du gouvernement, dans la religion, dans l’économie politique : ses ouvrages en ce (...) genre ont servi de fondement aux ouvrages analogues de l’école sensualiste. »Victor Cousin, Cours sur l’histoire de la philosophie moderne, Leçon XV, Didier-Ladrange 1847, p. 41. (shrink)