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Patrick J. Connolly
Lehigh University
Patrick Joseph Connolly
University of Sheffield
  1.  65
    The Idea of Power and Locke's Taxonomy of Ideas.Patrick J. Connolly - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):1-16.
    Locke's account of the idea of power is thought to be seriously problematic. Commentators allege that the idea of power causes problems for Locke's taxonomy of ideas, that it is defined circularly, and that, contrary to Locke's claims, it cannot be acquired in experience. This paper defends Locke's account. Previous commentators have assumed that there is only one idea of power. But close attention to Locke's text, combined with background features of his theory of ideas, supports the drawing of a (...)
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  2. Metaphysics in Richard Bentley's Boyle Lectures.Patrick J. Connolly - 2017 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 34 (2):155-74.
    This paper explores the metaphysical system developed in Richard Bentley’s 1692 Boyle Lectures. The lectures are notable for their attempt to argue that developments in natural philosophy, including Newton’s Principia, could bolster natural theology. The paper explores Bentley’s matter theory focusing on his commitment to a particular form of mechanism and his rejection of occult qualities. It then examines his views on the nature of divine omnipotence. Finally, it turns to his understanding of gravitational attraction. While some recent commentators have (...)
     
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  3.  27
    Susanna Newcome's Cosmological Argument.Patrick J. Connolly - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 27 (4):842-859.
    ABSTRACTDespite its philosophical interest, Susanna Newcome's Enquiry into the Evidence of the Christian Religion has received little attention from commentators. This paper seeks to redress this oversight by offering a reconstruction of Newcome's innovative argument for God's existence. Newcome employs a cosmological argument that differs from Thomist and kalām version of the argument. Specifically, Newcome challenges the idea that the causal chains observed in nature can exist independently. She does this through an appeal to findings from Newtonian natural philosophy that (...)
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  4.  46
    Lockean Superaddition and Lockean Humility.Patrick J. Connolly - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 51:53-61.
    This paper offers a new approach to an old debate about superaddition in Locke. Did Locke claim that some objects have powers that are unrelated to their natures or real essences? The question has split commentators. Some (Wilson, Stuart, Langton) claim the answer is yes and others (Ayers, Downing, Ott) claim the answer is no. This paper argues that both of these positions may be mistaken. I show that Locke embraced a robust epistemic humility. This epistemic humility includes ignorance of (...)
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  5.  22
    Locke's Theory of Demonstration and Demonstrative Morality.Patrick J. Connolly - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (2):435-451.
    Locke famously claimed that morality was capable of demonstration. But he also refused to provide a system of demonstrative morality. This paper addresses the mismatch between Locke’s stated views and his actual philosophical practice. While Locke’s claims about demonstrative morality have received a lot of attention it is rare to see them discussed in the context of his general theory of demonstration and his specific discussions of particular demonstrations. This paper explores Locke’s general remarks about demonstration as well as his (...)
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  6.  6
    John Locke: The Philosopher as Christian Virtuoso. [REVIEW]Patrick J. Connolly - 2019 - Locke Studies 19.
  7. Travel Literature, the New World, and Locke on Species.Patrick J. Connolly - 2013 - Society and Politics 7 (1):103-116.
    This paper examines the way in which Locke's deep and longstanding interest in the non-European world contributed to his views on species and their classification. The evidence for Locke's curiosity about the non-European world, especially his fascination with seventeenth-century travel literature, is presented and evaluated. I claim that this personal interest of Locke's almost certainly influenced the metaphysical and epistemological positions he develops in the Essay. I look to Locke's theory of species taxonomy for proof of this. I argue that (...)
     
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  8.  14
    Locke and the Methodology of Newton’s Principia.Patrick J. Connolly - 2018 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 100 (3):311-335.
    A number of commentators have recently suggested that there is a puzzle surrounding Locke’s acceptance of Newton’s Principia. On their view, Locke understood natural history as the primary methodology for natural philosophy and this commitment was at odds with an embrace of mathematical physics. This article considers various attempts to address this puzzle and finds them wanting. It then proposes a more synoptic view of Locke’s attitude towards natural philosophy. Features of Locke’s biography show that he was deeply interested in (...)
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  9.  4
    Richard Baxter and the Mechanical Philosophers. [REVIEW]Patrick J. Connolly - 2019 - Locke Studies 19.
  10. A Puzzle in the Print History of Locke's Essay.Patrick J. Connolly - 2017 - Locke Studies 17:49-60.
    This short essay analyzes an unusual typographical feature in the Epistle to the Reader that precedes Locke’s Essay. Specifically, it asks why there is a line prior to Christiaan Huygens’ name in the famous Underlaborer Passage. The paper provides a thorough look at the line’s longevity through early editions of the Essay and considers a number of possible explanations for the line’s presence. It is argued that the line may well have held some meaning for early readers; contemporary scholars should (...)
     
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  11.  5
    Thomas White on the Metaphysics of Transubstantiation.Patrick J. Connolly - 2018 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (4):516-540.
    This article explores a previously neglected manuscript essay in which Thomas White offers an account of the metaphysics underpinning transubstantiation. White’s views are of particular interest because his explanation employs a broadly mechanist framework, rather than the hylomorphism traditionally associated with Roman Catholic discussions of the Eucharist. The manuscript helps to shed light on a number of topics of importance to early modern philosophy including the reception of Descartes’ views, the relationship between theology and natural philosophy, and mechanist accounts of (...)
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  12.  51
    Henry of Ghent’s Argument for Divine Illumination Reconsidered.Patrick J. Connolly - 2015 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):47-68.
    In this paper I offer a new approach to Henry of Ghent's argument for divine illumination. Normally, Henry is criticized for adhering to a theory of divine illumination and failing to accept rediscovered Aristotelian approaches to cognition and epistemology. I argue that these critiques are mistaken. On my view, Henry was a proponent of Aristotelianism. But Henry discovered a tension between Aristotle's views on teleology and the nature of knowledge, on the one hand, and various components of the Christian worldview, (...)
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  13.  54
    Space Before God? A Problem in Newton's Metaphysics.Patrick J. Connolly - 2015 - Philosophy 90 (1):83-106.
    My goal in this paper is to elucidate a problematic feature of Newton's metaphysics of absolute space. Specifically, I argue that Newton's theory has the untenable consequence that God depends on space for His existence and is therefore not an independent entity. I argue for this conclusion in stages. First, I show that Newton believed that space was an entity and that God and space were ontologically distinct entities. Part of this involves arguing that Newton denies that space is a (...)
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  14.  42
    Newton and God's Sensorium.Patrick J. Connolly - 2014 - Intellectual History Review 24 (2):185-201.
    In the Queries to the Latin version of the Opticks Newton claims that space is God’s sensorium. Although these passages are well-known, few commentators have offered interpretations of what Newton might have meant by these cryptic remarks. As is well known, Leibniz was quick to pounce on these passages as evidence that Newton held untenable or nonsensical views in metaphysics and theology. Subsequent commentators have largely agreed. This paper has two goals. The first is to offer a clear interpretation of (...)
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  15.  42
    Locke and the Laws of Nature.Patrick J. Connolly - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2551-2564.
    Many commentators have argued that Locke understood laws of nature as causally efficacious. On this view the laws are causally responsible for the production of natural phenomena. This paper argues that this interpretation faces serious difficulties. First, I argue that it will be very difficult to specify the ontological status of these laws. Proponents of the view suggest that these laws are divine volitions. But I argue that this will be difficult or impossible to square with Locke’s nominalism. Second, I (...)
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  16. Locke, John.Patrick J. Connolly - 2014 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This article aims to give a broad and accessible overview of all significant aspects of the thought of John Locke, one of the most important philosophers of the 17th century.
     
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  17.  26
    Maclaurin on Occasionalism: A Reply to Ablondi.Patrick J. Connolly - 2016 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 14 (1):125-135.
    In a recent article Fred Ablondi compares the different approaches to occasionalism put forward by two eighteenth-century Newtonians, Colin Maclaurin and Andrew Baxter. The goal of this short essay is to respond to Ablondi by clarifying some key features of Maclaurin's views on occasionalism and the cause of gravitational attraction. In particular, I explore Maclaurin's matter theory, his views on the explanatory limits of mechanism, and his appeals to the authority of Newton. This leads to a clearer picture of the (...)
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  18.  25
    Newton and Empiricism (Eds. Biener and Schliesser). [REVIEW]Patrick J. Connolly - 2015 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 53 (2):334-336.
  19. Locke and Wilkins on Inner Sense and Volition.Patrick J. Connolly - 2014 - Locke Studies 14:239-259.
    The purpose of this paper is to elucidate two interesting parallels between views discussed in John Wilkins’ Of the Principles and Duties of Natural Religion and positions developed by John Locke in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding. The first parallel pertains to a faculty of inner sense. Both authors carve out a central role for this introspective perceptual modality. The second parallel pertains to volition and free will. Both authors employ an investigative methodology which privileges first-personal experiences of choosing and (...)
     
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  20. Thinking Matter in Locke's Proof of God's Existence.Patrick J. Connolly - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy.
    Commentators almost universally agree that Locke denies the possibility of thinking matter in Book IV Chapter 10 of the Essay. Further, they argue that Locke must do this in order for his proof of God’s existence in the chapter to be successful. This paper disputes these claims and develops an interpretation according to which Locke allows for the possibility that a system of matter could think (even prior to any act of superaddition on God’s part). In addition, the paper argues (...)
     
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