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Presentation final


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  • Title, basically shows that what something is is not soley controlled by it’s material state, a table is considered a table even when it’s material state is altered hugely.
  • Transcript

    • 1. JOHN LOCKE
    • 2. John Locke
      • 1632-1704
      • His main areas of influence were epistemology and political philosophy
      • Main works: Two Treatises on Government, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, A Letter ????, A Letter Concerning Toleration
    • 3. Two Treatises on Government
      • Locke’s most influential political work
      • First treatise is refutation of Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha , where Locke rejects the idea of a king’s divine right to rule over people and land
      • The second treatise is Locke’s main theory on civil government based on people’s natural rights. Foundation for modern forms of democracy and the constitution of the USA.
    • 4. Second Treatise
      • Begins by exploring human nature and what rights people naturally have
      • The main reason to create a civil government is property
      • Cultivating land makes the world a better place and money provides a constant measurement of worth in a trading system
      • Rest of the treatise makes further criticisms of government and suggest three elements needed for a civil society:
      • 1. A common established law.
      • 2. A known and impartial body to give judgment.
      • 3. Power to support such judgements
      • Finally Locke suggests that the people can form a new government if the current does not function the people.
    • 5. The State of Nature
      • Locke believed that any state without government (state of nature) would be bound by what he calls the laws of nature, and that they stop people fighting, harming each other.
      • These laws are god given and discoverable by humans through reflection.
      • Locke believed that these laws can be enforced by anyone, for example if someone harms another without reason.
      • Of course there is a potential for bias in how laws might be upheld, which is why a government that included a independent judiciary would be more ideal ultimately
    • 6.
      • Because of Locke’s beliefs about the state of nature he had a relatively positive view on human nature.
      • Locke believes that people are politically equal and so argued strongly for laws by consent of the people.
      • Unlike Hobbes Locke believed that in a state of nature ie a state without government, some would be willing to work together for mutual support.
      • He also believed government should implement the law instead of having absolute power as he believe no man is so superior that he should be master of any others.
    • 7. These sensations created by Secondary Qualities produce an idea. This is done by impulse into our minds through our senses. The Primary Qualities are the crucial and inseparable qualities of a body. These qualities are found in the body until it becomes insensible and include its solidity, extension, figure and mobility. Powers that produce sensations such as colour in our mind are what Locke calls the Secondary Qualities. Simple Ideas and the role of Primary and Secondary Qualities “ An Essay Concerning Human Understanding”, first published in 1690. The argument;
    • 8. How does this relate to the real world? Example ; the rose, by impulse of its solidity, extension, figure and mobility affect our senses and cause ideas . This produces sensations which we receive from the colour and smell of the rose. This causes the idea of pink and a sweet scent of the flower to be produced in our minds.
    • 9. The power to produce ideas by our senses are looked upon as real qualities in the things affecting us. But Locke argues that this belief is wrong by explaining that the effects of the sun on wax, which we see produces softness in the wax, not as a quality of the sun, but an effect produced by powers in it. They are all equally powers in the sun (body), which depend on its Primary Qualities. Example ; We believe that the idea of light which we receive by our eyes from the sun to be a quality existing in the sun (body). Are we mistaken in our beliefs?
    • 10. Language and Words
      • John Locke saw language as encoded thought.
      • Words, to him, signified ideas which, in turn, we derive from personal experiences.
      • While we may speak in the same language, Locke argues that we do not attach the same ideas to the same words.
      • Words are “private and idiosyncratic” to the individual, who is likely to attach his/her own set of personal, subjective associations to each word, which might often relate back to a particular place or time.
    • 11.
      • Because different words may represent different ideas to different people, Locke argues it is likely for there to be a degree of confusion or misunderstanding at times.
      • John Dunn argues that confusion of the meaning of words can interpose itself between our understanding and the truth.
      • To this end, Locke urges us to adopt stable terminology fit for “common use”; however, he concedes this constrains words’ meanings.
      • As a solution, Locke argues that we should adopt general terms by abstracting from particular instances of a given word’s usage.
    • 12. Personal Identity
      • What is a table if it has an inch sawn off both sides?
      • Locke believed there were three different substances in the world, God, Material substances and finite, intelligent substances.
      • God is infinite and unchanging
      • Materials also have this element, especially when we take them down to their smallest part, the atom.
      • He compares a human to an animal, saying that they are just animals is a man – shape.
      • But, it is our capacity to have reason, rational thought and reflection that sets us apart as “persons”
    • 13.
      • The main concept in personal identity for Locke was the memory.
      • He believed that consciousness of past experiences was core to the identity of a person.
      • So, if someone cannot remember their past experiences, then, Locke would conclude that they are not the same person.
      • In the same way, if two person’s were to have the same memories, then they would be the same person.
      • A little far fetched? – What about memory loss? Locke says here, a man has the capacity to be two persons, as a person whose memory has been lost starts afresh, as a new person.
    • 14. Locke on Religion
      • The Existence of God – a version of the cosmological argument
      • We are thinking things, and as nothing can be created by anything less than it, we must have been created by something that thinks
      • Mere matter could never cause thought
      • No eternal matter – God is immaterial
    • 15. Locke on Religion
      • There are things we cannot demonstrate, but we can still believe them based on ‘faith in revelation’
      • However we can’t be as sure of this as other knowledge and it should be rationally evaluated
    • 16. Which argument we are going to focus on next presentation
    • 17. Five sources/ further recommendations
      • Locke An Introduction - John W. Yolton
      • Locke’s Two Treatises of Government – Richard Ashcraft
      • Routledge Encyclopaedia of Philosophy