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By Paul Lodge, Tom Stoneham

Locke and Leibniz on Substance gathers jointly papers through a world crew of educational specialists, reading the metaphysical proposal of substance within the writings of those towering philosophers of the early glossy interval. each one of those newly-commissioned essays considers vital interpretative matters about the function that the idea of substance performs within the paintings of Locke and Leibniz, and its intersection with different key concerns, corresponding to own identification. participants additionally contemplate the connection among the 2 philosophers and contemporaries reminiscent of Descartes and Hume.

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Despite the consequent prominence of these sceptical themes, however, Locke’s overall position is very far from negative, and his account of ‘our complex ideas of substances’ sets the scene for an ingenious and subtle epistemology of physical science, whose power has too often been underestimated through failure to appreciate the virtues of his unjustly derided theory of substance. 24 Peter Millican NOTES For helpful comments and discussion on earlier versions of this chapter, which have enabled me substantially to improve it, I am especially grateful to Michael Ayers and Amyas Merivale.

In the Essay Concerning Human Understanding (ECHU). 2). Most significant in this definition are the dual qualifiers that Locke uses: ‘supposed’ and ‘unknown’. This chapter examines this two-qualifier definition, illuminating the historical and philosophical significance it may have. On Locke’s substratum, there have been two rival readings. The first takes it to be a bare substratum (Bennett 1971, 1987); and the second identifies it with what Locke terms as ‘real essence’—that is, ‘a real Constitution of the insensible Parts’—throughout the Essay (Ayers 1975, 1991).

2). 24 Locke’s theory of substance has often been treated with derision, especially by those who have taken it to be concerned with some pseudo-problem about property instantiation. His actual theory is far more reasonable, that when we perceive consistent ‘object-like’ patterns of behaviour in the world—or are conscious of events in our minds—we presume that there is something real and ‘substantial’ lying behind those observed phenomena. Locke has little sympathy for external world scepticism, and his initial focus on sensory ‘Ideas [that] go constantly together’ is best explained in terms of his interest in ‘complex ideas of substances’, rather than any would-be Locke on Substance and Our Ideas of Substances 23 anti-sceptical inference.

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