Chapter

The Lockean Theory

Christopher Gauker

in Words and Images

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599462
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729225 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599462.003.0002
The Lockean Theory

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The 17th century philosopher John Locke had three different, seemingly incompatible theories of ideas, here dubbed the composition theory, the abstraction-as-subtraction theory and the abstraction-as-representation theory. In each of them general ideas are constructed or extracted from the inputs of the senses. This chapter argues that none of these theories is successful. One of the main problems is that Locke cannot explain how ideas go together to form judgments. The chapter also reviews recent versions of these theories in the works of living psychologists and philosophers.

Keywords: Locke; simple ideas; abstraction; Rosch; Mandler; Prinz

Chapter.  16616 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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