John Locke (1632-1704), Psychology, Modern philosophy, Language and languages -- Philosophy -- History


John Locke has been famously credited with resurrecting the distinction between common and proper sensibles, better known in the Essay as primary and secondary qualities. Although some argue that Locke’s adherence to the doctrine of the common sensibles is in conflict with his empiricist sensibilities, I will show this is not likely to be the case. In order to achieve this I will argue that Locke held there to be cross-modal connections in the mind for the representational content of ideas of primary quality, through the relation of resemblance, but that these representations need to be empirically verified to be veridical. Consequently, I believe this interpretation points in a useful direction for making an epistemic distinction between objects encountered between the phenomenal and sub-phenomenal domains.



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