Antonia LoLordo

in Locke's Moral Man

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199652778
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745478 | DOI:

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  • History of Western Philosophy


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This chapter examines Locke's views on the cognitive capacities of animals and humans. Special attention is paid to the three components of rationality that are unique to us: abstraction, reflection, and suspension. The chapter explains Locke's notions of reason, reasonableness, and rationality; the relationship between reflection and consciousness; why abstraction, reflection, and suspension are components of moral agency; the normative sense of rationality; and what proper use of our cognitive capacities involves. It concludes by showing, contra Jeremy Waldron, that Locke has both religious and secular grounds for his conception of moral agency.

Keywords: abstraction; animals; consciousness; rationality; reason; reasonableness; reflection; suspension; Waldron

Chapter.  12456 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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