Locke's Theory of Knowledge and Its Historical Relations

Locke's Theory of Knowledge and Its Historical Relations

Locke's Theory of Knowledge and Its Historical Relations

Locke's Theory of Knowledge and Its Historical Relations

Excerpt

This study of Locke Theory of Knowledge was begun as an introduction to an edition of the Essay upon which I have been engaged for some years, but in view of the proportions to which it has grown it has seemed better that it should appear independently. Notwithstanding the labours of Campbell Fraser and the admirable little volume by Professor Alexander, the Essay still suffers from the twin assumptions, that it can be understood without being studied and that its full significance can be summed up in a small number of simple propositions. In truth, few philosophical classics lend themselves less readily to such summary treatment than do its carefully guarded statements, and its complex, unstable thought positions. In the exposition of Locke's doctrine, which occupies the first half of this book, I have, accordingly, sought to indicate the grounds of my interpretation by frequent references and quotations. The relation of Locke's thought to that of his predecessors and contemporaries has hitherto received but little consideration, and that little not from his countrymen. To throw some further light upon the influences which affected his work has, consequently, been one of my chief aims. On the other hand, I have omitted all reference to the movement which culminated in Hume, to have dealt with which with the necessary fullness would too greatly have extended the length of the present work. Concerning it I can only . . .

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