This book is a general introduction to the philosophy of John Locke, one of the most influential thinkers in modern times. Nicholas Jolley aims to show the fundamental unity of Locke's thought in his masterpiece, the Essay Concerning Human Understanding. In this work Locke advances a coherent theory of knowledge; as against Descartes he argues that knowledge is possible to the extent that it concerns essences which are constructions of the human mind.
The concept of an "idea" played a central role in 17th-century theories of mind and knowledge, but philosophers were divided over the nature of ideas. This book examines an important, but little-known, debate on this question in the work of Leibniz, Malebranche, and Descartes. Looking closely at the issues involved, as well as the particular context in which the debate took place, Jolley demonstrates that the debate has serious implications for a number of major topics in 17th-century philosophy.
This paper seeks to reconstruct an important controversy between leibniz and malebranche over innate ideas. It is argued that this controversy is in some ways more illuminating than the better-Known debate between leibniz and locke, For malebranche's objections to innate ideas raise fundamental questions concerning the status of dispositions and the relationship between logic and psychology. The paper shows that in order to meet malebranche's objections, Leibniz adopts a strategy which is doubly reductionist: ideas are reduced to dispositions to think (...) in certain ways, And these dispositions are in turn reduced to unconscious perceptions. It is suggested that malebranche's platonist commitment to the existence of abstract entities forces leibniz to reveal the extent of his nominalism. (shrink)
One of the hallmarks of Descartes' philosophy is the doctrine that the human mind has a faculty of pure intellect. This doctrine is so central to Descartes' teaching that it is difficult to believe that any of his disciplines would abandon it. Yet this is what happened in the case of Malebranche. This paper argues that in his later philosophy Malebranche adopted a theory of divine illumination which leaves no room for a Cartesian doctrine of pure intellect. It is further (...) argued that Malebranche's abandonment of the Cartesian doctrine left a void in his philosophy which he filled with the theory of efficacious ideas. (shrink)
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was hailed by Bertrand Russell as "one of the supreme intellects of all time." A towering figure in Seventeenth century philosophy, his complex thought has been championed and satirized in equal measure, most famously in Voltaire's Candide. In this outstanding introduction to his philosophy, Nicholas Jolley introduces and assesses the whole of Leibniz's philosophy. Beginning with an introduction to Leibniz's life and work, he carefully introduces the core elements of Leibniz's metaphysics: his theories of substance, identity (...) and individuation; monads and space and time; and his important debate over the nature of space and time with Newton's champion, Samuel Clarke. He then introduces Leibniz's theories of mind, knowledge, and innate ideas, showing how Lenin anticipated the distinction between conscious and unconscious states, before examining his theory of free will and the problem of evil. An important feature of the book is its introduction to Leibniz'smoral and political philosophy, an overlooked aspect of his work. The final chapter assesses legacy and the impact of his philosophy on philosophy as a whole, particularly on the work of Immanuel Kant. Throughout, Nicholas Jolley places Lenin in relation to some of the other great philosophers, such as Descartes, Spinoza and Locke, and discusses Leibniz's key works, such as the Monadology and Discourse on Metaphysics. (shrink)
Berkeley, Malebranche, and Vision in God NICHOLAS JOLLEY IN THE SECOND of the Three Dialogues Hylas, the materialist, asks Philonous: "But what say you, are not you too of opinion that we see all things in God? If I mistake not, what you advance comes near it."' In the first edition of the Dialogues Philonous's response was a temperate one; he expressed his agree- ment with Malebranche's emphasis on the Scriptural text that in God we live, move, and have our (...) being, and confined his disagreement with Malebranche to pointing out that, for him, the things we perceive are our own ideas. In the third edition, by contrast, Berkeley inserted a lengthy and rather ill-tempered expression of his differences from Malebranche: Few men think, yet all will have opinions. Hence men's opinions are superficial and confused. It is nothing strange that tenets, which in themselves are ever so different, should nevertheless be confounded with each other by those who do not consider them attentively. I shall not therefore be surprised, if some men imagine that I run into the enthusiasm of Malebranche, though in truth I am very remote from it. He builds on the most abstract general ideas, which I entirely disclaim. He asserts an absolute exter- nal world, which I deny. He maintains that we are deceived by our senses, and know not the real natures or the true forms and figures of extended beings; of all which I hold the direct contrary. So that upon the whole there are no. (shrink)
Gottfried Leibniz was a remarkable thinker who made fundamental contributions not only to philosophy, but also to the development of modern mathematics and science. At the centre of Leibniz's philosophy stands his metaphysics, an ambitious attempt to discover the nature of reality through the use of unaided reason. This volume provides a systematic and comprehensive account of the full range of Leibniz's thought, exploring the metaphysics in detail and showing its subtle and complex relationship to his views on logic, language, (...) physics, and theology. Other chapters examine the intellectual context of his thought and its reception in the eighteenth century. New readers and nonspecialists will find this the most accessible and comprehensive guide to Leibniz currently available. Advanced students and specialists will find a conspectus of recent developments in the interpretation of Leibniz. (shrink)
It is an old charge against Locke that his commitment to a common substratum for the observable qualities of particular objects and his empiricist theory about the origin of ideas are inconsistent with one another. How could we have an idea of something in which observable qualities inhere if all our ideas are constructed from ideas of observable qualities? In this paper, I propose an interpretation of the crucial passages in Locke, according to which the idea of substratum is formed (...) through an elaborate mental process which he calls “supposition.” It is the same process we use when we form the idea of infinity − another problematic idea for an empiricist. In the end, Locke was more liberal than most empiricists in subscribing to the existence of ideas far removed from experience, because he accepted supposition as a legitimate way of constructing new ideas. (shrink)
Leibniz est-il devenu phénoménaliste pendant ses années dernières ? Contre Furth et Loeb, ce travail rend une réponse négative à cette question. Quoique Leibniz a caressé les idées phénoménalistes, il ne les a jamais vraiment acceptées ; au contraire, il soutient une autre thèse réductioniste, c'est-à-dire que les corps sont des agrégats des monades. Cependant, cette conclusion entraîne ses propres difficultés, car à certains égards, la doctrine phénoménaliste paraît plus satisfaisante que l'option concurrante. On soutient que la répugnance leibnizienne à (...) accepter le phénoménalisme doit s'expliquer par son dessein de concilier la monadologie et la physique. (shrink)
In diesem Aufsatz versuche ich, die innere Kohärenz der Cartesischen Lehre von der Wechselwirkung zwischen Leib und Seele nachzuweisen. Ich versichte jedoch darauf, das Prinzip, daß die Ursache ebenso viel Realität enthalten muß wie die Wirkung, selbst und erst recht Descartes' Anwendung derselben auf die Ideen zu verteidigen. Mein Bemühen um die innere Kohärenz der Cartesischen Position erklärt die ausschließliche Blickrichtung auf nur eine Richtung der Wechselwirkung. Unter der Voraussetzung der Cartesischen Prinzipien kann sich durch die Annahme von durch Wollen (...) verursachter physischer Veränderung kein Problem ergeben; denn hier kommt das Augustinische Prinzip Descartes zur Hilfe. Nach Augustins Prinzip ist nämlich das Geistige vollkommener und daher realer als das Physische. Heutige Philosophen mögen Descartes' Auffassung der willentlichen Bewegungen geheimnisvoll finden, doch geschieht das aus Gründen, die außerhalb des Cartesischen Systems liegen. (shrink)
Diese Arbeit legt den Text einer bisher nicht publizierten Abhandlung aus Leibniz' Spätzeit (Ad Christophori Stegmanni Metaphysicam Unitariorum) zusammen mit einer einfiihrenden Erörterung vor. Diese „unbekannte" Schrift enthält wichtige und überraschende Sätze liber die Grundprinzipien der Leibnizschen Metaphysik: Über das Prinzip des zureichenden Grundes wird behauptet, es folge aus dem Prinzip des Widerspruchs, und die Existenz dieser Welt wird nur erklart mit den Begriffen der „praevalentia" der Essenzen. Diese ÄuBerungen zielen auf Notwendigkeit ab und stehen damit im Konflikt mit Leibniz' (...) ausgesprochenem Ziel, Gottes Weisheit und Gerechtigkeit gegen die materialistische Metaphysik des Sozinianers Christoph Stegmann zu verteidigen. (shrink)
In general, seventeenth‐century philosophers seem to have assumed that intentionality is an essential characteristic of our mental life. Malebranche is perhaps the only philosopher in the period who stands out clearly against the prevailing orthodoxy; he is committed to the thesis that there is a large class of mental items ‐ sensations ‐ which have no representational content. In this paper I argue that due attention to this fact makes it possible to mount at least a partial defence of his (...) notorious doctrine of ‘the rainbow‐coloured soul’; Malebranche's doctrine is a striking anticipation of modern adverbial theories of sensation. I then argue that failure to appreciate the non‐intentional character of sensations for Malebranche vitiates one recent attempt to explain why he accepted the Cartesian doctrine of the beastmachine; in contrast to the Radners, I suggest that Malebranche has the philosophical resources to offer an interesting theory of animal consciousness, and that his failure to develop such a theory rests largely on his acceptance of certain theological arguments. The paper ends by speculating about how Malebranche's theological commitments may have encouraged him to adopt the philosophically important thesis that intentionality is not the mark of the mental. (shrink)