This book is a general introduction to the philosophy of John Locke, one of the most influential thinkers in modern times. Nicholas Jolley aims to show the fundamental unity of Locke's thought in his masterpiece, the Essay Concerning Human Understanding. In this work Locke advances a largely coherent and consistent theory of knowledge; as against Descartes he argues that knowledge is possible to the extent that it concerns essences which are constructions of the human mind. Locke's famous discussions of individual topics, such as substance, personal identity, and free will, are all designed to contribute to the goal of analysing the nature and limits of knowledge. The book ends with a chapter on Locke's political philosophy which underlines the interest in promoting a more tolerant society that is common to both the Essay and the Two Treatises of Government.
is Jolley's illuminating treatment of the relationships between Locke's thought and the views of other early modern philosophers, especially Hobbes, Descartes, and Leibniz...Jolley writes extremely clearly...provides a solid basis for further study./E.J.Lowe The Locke Newsletter.
'...fascinating and insightful discussions of issues such as, among others, personal identity and the mind-body problem. ... Clearly written ... undoubtedly accessible to the philosophy undergraduate, while also containing sufficient substance to make it essential reading for all serious scholars of Locke as well.' International Philosophical Quarterly
2: The Project of the Essay
3: The Origin and Nature of Ideas
4: The Philosophy of Matter
5: The Mind-Body Problem
6: Personal Identity
7: Freedom and Volition
8: Classification and Language
9: Knowledge and Faith
10: The Evils of Absolutism