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Why is Locke concerned with the question whether our terms for substances are terms for items with a real essence - Essay Example

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Author : ejacobson

Summary

The fundamental principles of Locke's philosophy are presented in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), the result of two decades of contemplation upon human issues and the origin of thought. He was a hardcore empiricist; the notion that human behavior could spring from anything other than innate experiences was the pride of his concept…

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Why is Locke concerned with the question whether our terms for substances are terms for items with a real essence

Subsequently, he pragmatically thought over the concept of knowledge and language formulation, the core of which shall be discussed hereunder.
According to Locke, what we know is always properly understood as the relation between ideas (the learned concepts of experienced reality), and in the said essay, he explained at length the stance that all of our ideation is a consequence of experience. The outcome of this objective method is that the human mind seems to get somewhat undermined in its abilities. While describing the domains of human capabilities in terms of knowledge, ideas and the like, he endeavors to challenge certain basic and traditional norms of communication, language and interaction constructs. Here, the issue of contention is the fact as to how Locke tackles the term of 'substance'.
Locke describes or rather differentiates the qualities of substances into two divisions: primary and secondary. The primary attributes deal with those traits of an entity, which forms its existence - the integral constituents of the object. However, the secondary attributes are those, which are qualified by our perceptual reality and which may be taken in a relative term depending upon the observer. ...
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