John Locke's Philosophy of Language by Simon Oswitch

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John Locke's Philosophy of Language
by Simon Oswitch

I must confess, then, that, when I first began this Discourse of the Understanding, and a good while after, I had not the least thought that any consideration of words was at all necessary to it. But when, having passed over the original and composition of our ideas, I began to examine the extent and certainty of our knowledge, I found it had so near a connexion with words, that, unless their force and manner of signification were first well observed, there could be very little said clearly and pertinently concerning knowledge: which being conversant about truth, had constantly to do with propositions.
-John Locke

That Locke placed great philosophical emphasis on the function of language is clear from Book III of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. As he reiterates, without language, the communication of ideas would not be possible; a detailed examination of the medium was thus found necessary. In John Locke's Philosophy of Language: A Guide to Chapters One through Six of Book III of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Simon P. Oswitch offers a concise overview of key chapters of Book III, showing the vital role of language in Locke's basic epistemological theory. There is special emphasis on the chapter, "Of General Terms," which is critical to understanding Locke's overall view. Also offered, is a critique of Locke's contention that the terms for "simple ideas" must remain without definition. For Oswitch, the hope is that this "study clarifies not only Locke's general view of language but aids in understanding his basic empiricist position."

ISBN-10: 1-934849-21-9
ISBN-13: 978-1-934849-21-7


This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 13 October, 2010.

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