Corpuscular pessimism

Peter R. Anstey

in John Locke and Natural Philosophy

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199589777
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725487 | DOI:
Corpuscular pessimism

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This chapter argues that it is Locke's view that it is unlikely in the extreme that we shall ever come to know the determinate qualities of the corpuscles that make up material bodies. It is shown that Locke held this view in the early drafts of the Essay of 1671, and that this problem shaped many of his views on the correct method of natural philosophy.

Keywords: Anatomia; corpuscles; De arte medica; drafts of the Essay; scepticism

Chapter.  7721 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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