It matters now that Mens Fancies are, 'tis the Knowledge of Things that is only to be priz'd; 'tis this alone gives a Value to our Reasonings, and Preference to one Man's Knowledge over another's, that is of Things as they really are, and of Dreams and Fancies." In the last chapter of the book, Locke introduces the major classification of sciences into physics, semiotics, and ethics.
It matters now that Mens Fancies are, 'tis the Knowledge of Things that is only to be priz'd; 'tis this alone gives a Value to our Reasonings, and Preference to one Man's Knowledge over another's, that is of Things as they really are, and of Dreams and Fancies." In the last chapter of the book, Locke introduces the major classification of sciences into physics, semiotics, and ethics.Many of Locke's views were sharply criticized by rationalists and empiricists alike.Locke allowed that some ideas are in the mind from an early age, but argued that such ideas are furnished by the senses starting in the womb: for instance, differences between colours or tastes.
Book III is concerned with language, and Book IV with knowledge, including intuition, mathematics, moral philosophy, natural philosophy ("science"), faith, and opinion.
Book I of the Essay is devoted to an attack on nativism or the doctrine of innate ideas; Locke indeed sought to rebut a prevalent view, of innate ideas, that was vehemently held by philosophers of his time.
Substances are “nothing but the assumption of an unknown support for a group of qualities that produce simple ideas in us”.
Despite his explanation, the existence of substances is still questionable as they cannot necessarily be “perceived” by themselves and can only be sensed through the qualities.
Locke also distinguishes between the truly existing primary qualities of bodies, like shape, motion and the arrangement of minute particles, and the secondary qualities that are "powers to produce various sensations in us" such as "red" and "sweet." These secondary qualities, Locke claims, are dependent on the primary qualities.
Outline For Narrative Essay - Essay Concerning Human Understanding John Locke Full Text
He also offers a theory of personal identity, offering a largely psychological criterion.Book I of the Essay is Locke's attempt to refute the rationalist notion of innate ideas.Book II sets out Locke's theory of ideas, including his distinction between passively acquired simple ideas, such as "red," "sweet," "round," etc., and actively built complex ideas, such as numbers, causes and effects, abstract ideas, ideas of substances, identity, and diversity.Substance is what holds qualities together while qualities themselves allow us to perceive and identify objects.A substance consists of ‘bare particulars’ and does not have properties in themselves except the ability to support qualities.Leibniz thought that Locke's commitment to ideas of reflection in the Essay ultimately made him incapable of escaping the nativist position or being consistent in his empiricist doctrines of the mind's passivity.The empiricist George Berkeley was equally critical of Locke's views in the Essay.Locke followed the Port-Royal Logique (1662) in numbering among the abuses of language those that he calls "affected obscurity" in chapter 10.Locke complains that such obscurity is caused by, for example, philosophers who, to confuse their readers, invoke old terms and give them unexpected meanings or who construct new terms without clearly defining their intent.Locke discusses the limit of human knowledge, and whether knowledge can be said to be accurate or truthful.Thus there is a distinction between what an individual might claim to "know", as part of a system of knowledge, and whether or not that claimed knowledge is actual.