1 The Empiricists: Locke, Introduction and the Criticism of Innate Ideas Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana

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  • 1 The Empiricists: Locke, Introduction and the Criticism of Innate Ideas Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana
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  • 2Outline 1. Introduction 2. Against Innate Ideas 3. Conclusion on Book I
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  • 3Introduction Locke: Life and Work Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana Life: - Familial background - Historical background - Education - Intellectual life - Political life Works: - Essay - Two Treatises of Government - Letter on Toleration
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  • 4Introduction Lockes Essay: Topic, Method, Horizon Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana The Essay s topic: the limits of human understanding Method: - Empiricism - Naturalism methodological vs ontological - Historical Method descriptive account of ideas and understanding Horizon: practice and morals
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  • 5Introduction Lockes Essay: Organization Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana Locke announced plan: 1.Origin of ideas 2.Kinds of knowledge 3.Nature and grounds of faith and opinion In fact: Book I: against innate ideas Book II: origin of ideas Book III: analysis of language Book IV: faith and opinion
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  • 6Outline Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana 1. Introduction 2. Against Innate Ideas 3. Conclusion on Book I
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  • 7 Against Innate Ideas Introduction Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana Why does Locke need to criticize the opposite view? biased readers expected The question of Lockes target: - Descartes? - Broad range of English philosophers
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  • 8 Against Innate Ideas Innate ideas = Universal Assent Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana The argument from universal assent: P1 There exists propositions which are the object of universal consent P2 Universal consent Innateness CC: there exists innate propositions Lockes criticism - Against P1 the child and the idiot - Against P2 well-watered grass is green
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  • 9 Against Innate Ideas I.I. = Unconscious but Self-Evident Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana A weaker take on P1: actual vs dispositional innate ideas The argument: P1 There exists propositions in our understanding of which we are not conscious of P2 Such propositions universally appear as self-evident to the attentive human mind P3 Universal self-evidence is a sufficient mark of innateness CC: there exists dormant but innate propositions in our minds
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  • 10 Against Innate Ideas I.I. = Unconscious but Self-Evident Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana Lockes criticism - Against P1: either false or trivial Core thesis: all thoughts are conscious - Against P3: infinite number of such propositions - Note that Locke accepts P2: There exists propositions which universally appear self-evident to the attentive human mind
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  • 11 Against Innate Ideas The Moral Viewpoint Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana Reminder: Lockes target Innate Ideas and Morality: the common view Innate principles against moral relativism Innate Ideas and Morality: Lockes view Authority, ignorance, laziness and servitude vs Critical use of reason
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  • 12Outline Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana 1. Introduction 2. Against Innate Ideas 3. Conclusion on Book I
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  • 13Conclusion Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana Locke: a man engaged in modern times Lockes aim: naturalistic and empiricist description of the mechanisms by which our understanding constructs and use ideas Preliminary duty: Against innate ideas Locke does not deny that universally self-evident propositions exists. He denies that this proves them innate. Our duty: In all domains, our duty is to use our reason for critical thinking.