Locke's naturalized epistemology Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Priselac, Matthew Dominic
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy
  • Few philosophers in the history of philosophy are thought to have offered as bad an account of our knowledge of the external world as John Locke. My dissertation redresses this nearly universal opinion. I argue that Locke's Essay is best understood as a piece of naturalized epistemology that locates knowledge within a theory of mind modeled on the corpuscularian natural science of his day. The rich structure of Locke's Essay that I draw on to support these claims is almost universally neglected in Locke scholarship. In Locke's naturalized epistemology, knowledge of the external world is accounted for by his theory of mind as it applies to our ideas of substance. Locke's theory explains how our sensory experience of objects as objects is constructed from simple materials of sensation. Locke emerges from my dissertation as a strict empiricist whose comparatively richer theoretical resources afford him anticipations of Kant's dissatisfaction with Hume's more limited empiricist accounts of our cognition of space, self, causation, and the external world.
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  • ... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy.
  • Nelson, Alan Jean

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