John Locke (1632-1704) was one of the towering philosophers of the
Enlightenment and arguably the greatest English philosopher. Many
assumptions we now take for granted, about liberty, knowledge and
government, come from Locke and his most influential works, An
Essay Concerning Human Understanding and Two Treatises of
Government. In this superb introduction to Locke's thought, E.J.
Lowe covers all the major aspects of his philosophy. Whilst
sensitive to the seventeenth-century background to Locke's thought,
he concentrates on introducing and assessing Locke in a
contemporary philosophical setting, explaining why he is so
important today.Beginning with a helpful overview of Locke's life
and times, he explains how Locke challenged the idea that the human
mind and knowledge of the external world rested on innate
principles, laying the philosophical foundations of empiricism
later taken up by Berkeley and Hume. Subsequent chapters introduce
and critically assess topics fundamental to understanding Locke:
his theories of substance and identity, language and meaning,
philosophy of action and free will, and political freedom and
toleration. In doing so, he explains some of the more complex yet
pivotal aspects of Locke's thought, such as his theory that
language rests on ideas and how Locke's theory of personal identity
paved the way for modern empirical psychology. A final chapter
assesses Locke's legacy, and the book includes a helpful chronology
of Locke's life and glossary of unfamiliar terms.
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||The Routledge Philosophers
||Electronic book text
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