By J. L. Mackie
This booklet offers with difficulties raised in Locke's Essay bearing on Human realizing that stay of curiosity to modern philosophers. the most subject matters mentioned are basic and secondary features, consultant theories of conception, substance, genuine and nominal essence, abstraction and universals, id and variety, own id, and innate rules and empiricism.
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Additional info for Problems from Locke
If you will trust your senses, is it not plain all sensible qualities co-exist, or to them appear as being in the same place? ' The answer is, of course that they do not, but that it is an ignoratio elenchito appeal to 'the senses' and ho w they 'represent' things, that is, to what we find in the content of sensory or perceptual experience, against a theory whose whole point is that things are in many respects not as they are sensorily perceived. A third argument takes this issue further: 'it is impossible even for the mind to disunite the ideas of extension and motion from all other sensible qualities'—that is, we cannot even conceive an extended moving thing without giving it some colour or some other secondary quality.
The issues would be discriminated if we were to ask two separate questions: first, whether Molyneux's 27 21 A Near Theory of Vision, §§ 47-9, 96-105, no-n, 132-6, etc. Op. , § 109, ARISTOTLE AND MOLYNEUX 31 man would be able to say which was which of two flat plates, one square and one circular, placed with their flat surfaces at right angles to his line of sight, and secondly, whether he would be able to say which was which of a flat circular plate (still so placed) and a sphere. Berkeley would, of course, answer 'No' to both questions.
Similarly Locke says: . . the having the idea of anything in our mind no more proves the existence of that thing, than the picture of a man evidences his being in the world . . It is ... the actual receiving of ideas from without that gives us notice of the existence of other things and makes us know that something doth exist at that time without us which causes that idea in us . 8 Here Locke himself compares 'the having the idea' with a picture and openly admits holding a view for which the problem arises whether there is something external answering to our ideas, as it would not have arisen if he had been a direct realist (or even if he had held what Jackson calls a 'mixed view', and had been a direct realist about primary qualities only).