Esser, Frederick: John Locke‘s Investigation into our Knowledge of Bodies
John Locke‘s Investigation into
our Knowledge of Bodies
Dissertation

zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades Doktor der Philosophie (Dr. phil.)

Institut für Philosophie

Philosophische Fakultät I

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


Dekan: Prof. Dr. W. Nippel

Vorgelegt am 14.03.2000

von Frederick Esser

Disputation am 06.06.2000

Gutachter:
Prof. Dr. Rolf-Peter Horstmann (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Carl (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)


2

Abstract

Since John Locke repeatedly insists that his theory of bodies, endorsed in the Essay concerning Human Understanding (1690), is a genuinely philosophical assessment of bodies, the topic of his account adds up to a philosophical reflection on the so-called scientific revolution in the seventeenth century. In this work, I will develop a line of interpretation that undertakes to settle the issue what the genuinely philosophical issue of Locke‘s analysis of bodies consists in. This leads to a thorough re-examination of Locke‘s account, since the differences to other interpretations concern most prominent issues on bodies and, correspondingly, many of their crucial concepts: the substratum of bodies, primary and secondary qualities, resemblance, the role of corpuscularian theory, archetypes, real and nominal essences, the argument on species and classification, the significance of the analysis of language, the concept of knowledge, the ideal of scientific understanding, and the account of the scope of contemporary knowledge. As will be argued, Locke consciously assesses contemporary knowledge in the perspective of an ideal scientific grasp of bodies and thus unfolds a philosophical framework for natural science which: (1) specifies what a science of bodies ideally consists in, (2) assesses contemporary knowledge in this perspective, (3) advances an own conception of a contemporary science of bodies that proposes means to enhance contemporary knowledge, and (4) refutes alternative ideas of a science of bodies.

Keywords:
John Locke, substances, ideal of science, scope of knowledge


3

Abstract

Da John Locke wiederholt betont, dass seine Theorie von materiellen Körpern, vorgebracht im Essay concerning Human Understanding (1690), eine genuin philosophische Darstellung von Körpern sei, summiert sich das Thema seiner Ausführungen zu einer philosophischen Reflektion der sogenannten wissenschaftlichen Revolution im siebzehnten Jahrhundert auf. In dieser Arbeit werde ich eine Interpretationslinie entwickeln, welche zu bestimmen versucht, worin das genuin philosophische Anliegen von Lockes Analyse von Körpern besteht. Sie führt zu einer umfassenden Neubetrachtung von Lockes Ausführungen, da Unterschiede zu anderen Interpretationen gerade bei den zentralen Fragestellungen und der ihnen entsprechenden Begriffen bestehen, namentlich von: dem Substratum von Körpern, primären und sekundären Qualitäten, Ähnlichkeit, der Rolle der Korpuskulartheorie, Archetypen, realen und nominalen Essenzen, dem Argument zu Spezien und Klassifikation, die Bedeutung von Lockes Sprachanalyse, dem Wissensbegriff, dem Ideal wissenschaftlichem Verstehens und der Bestimmung der Reichweite zeitgenössischen Wissens. Es wird argumentiert, dass er bewusst zeitgenössisches Wissen von Körpern in der Perspektive eines idealen, wissenschaftlichen Verstehens von ihnen bestimmt und dass er so einen philosophischen Rahmen für die Naturwissenschaften entwirft, der: (1) spezifiziert, worin eine Wissenschaft von Körpern idealerweise besteht, (2) zeitgenössisches Wissen in dieser Perspektive bestimmt, (3) eine eigene Konzeption für eine zeitgenössische Wissenschaft beinhaltet, welche Mittel zur Verfügung stellt, dieses Wissen zu erweitern und (4) alternative Ideen von einer Wissenschaft von Körpern zurückweist.

Schlagwörter:
John Locke, Substanzen, Ideal der Wissenschaft, Reichweite von Wissen


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Inhaltsverzeichnis

TitelseiteJohn Locke‘s Investigation into our Knowledge of Bodies
Widmung
Danksagung
Einleitung General Introduction
A Note on Locke‘s Works on Bodies
A Note on Terminology
siehe PART I IDEAS: THEIR CONTENT AND ARCHETYPES
siehe Introduction
siehe 1. Ideas and Archetypes
a. The Notion of Idea
b. Ideas of Bodies and their Archetypes
siehe 2. The Substratum of Bodies
a. The Notion of the Substratum of Bodies
b. The Confused Idea of Substratum
c. Locke‘s Argument
d. Conclusion
siehe 3. Lockean Resemblance
a. The Relata of the Resemblance Relationship
b. Lockean Resemblance
c. The Perception-neutral Viewpoint
siehe 4. The Reality of Primary and Secondary Qualities
a. The Reality of Qualities and the Resemblance of Ideas
b. The Reality Doctrine in the Light of Boyle‘s Criticism of Real Qualities
c. Objections against Alleged Textual Evidence for Alternative Readings
siehe 5. Locke‘s Theory of Qualities
a. Locke‘s Definition of Primary and Secondary Qualities
b. The Argument
siehe Introduction
siehe PART II NAMES, SPECIES, AND ESSENCES
siehe 6. Species and Essences
a. Locke‘s General Semantic Views
b. The First Argument
c. The Second Argument
d. The Overarching Issue
siehe 7. Real Essences
7.1 The Real Essences of Bodies
a. ’Real Essence‘ and the Depend-on Relationship
b. ’Real Essence‘ in the Light of Locke‘s Major Arguments
c. A Third Model for the Real Essences of Bodies
7.2 Further Textual Evidence
d. The Experience of Chemists
e. Human-like Creatures
f. Alleged Textual Evidence for the Two Prevailing Models
siehe 8. Imperfection and Abuses
8.1 Imperfection and Abuses
a. What the Imperfection and Abuses of Names of Bodies Consist in
b. The Obstructions of Knowledge and Locke‘s Remedies
8.2 The Fifth Abuse in Detail
c. Contexts in which the Fifth Abuse Occurs
d. The Roots of the Fifth Abuse
siehe Introduction
siehe PART III KNOWLEDGE OF BODIES
siehe 9. Knowledge and its Degrees
a. Locke‘s Definition of Knowledge and the Orthodox View
b. Knowledge and Truth
c. Rival Interpretations
d. The Three Degrees of Knowledge
e. Knowledge and its Degrees
siehe 10. Scope and Advancement of Knowledge
a. The Extent of Human Knowledge of Bodies
b. Real, Instructive Knowledge
c. The Axiomatic Character of an Ideal Science of Bodies
d. Remedies to Advance Contemporary Knowledge of Bodies
e. Prospects of Advancing Knowledge
Bibliographie Bibliography
Selbständigkeitserklärung

[Titelseite] [Widmung] [Danksagung] [Einleitung] [1-1] [1-2] [1-3] [1-4] [1-5] [1-6] [2-1] [2-2] [2-3] [2-4] [3-1] [3-2] [3-3] [Zusammenfassung] [Bibliographie] [Selbständigkeitserklärung]

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