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Locke and Cartesian Philosophy$
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Philippe Hamou and Martine Pécharman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198815037

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198815037.001.0001

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Locke and Descartes

Locke and Descartes

The Initial Exposure, 1658–1671

Chapter:
(p.15) 1 Locke and Descartes
Source:
Locke and Cartesian Philosophy
Author(s):

J. R. Milton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198815037.003.0002

This chapter is a biographical account of Locke’s first encounter with Descartes’s works. It looks at Locke’s manuscript commonplace books with the aim of determining in as much detail as is now possible what books by Descartes Locke read in the period before he started work on the drafts of the Essay, what he found of interest in them, and what conclusions might be drawn from this data about his philosophical development. It shows that there is evidence of a considerable and sustained interest in Descartes’s mechanical physics but hardly any visible interest in his metaphysics or epistemology—and considers the possible reasons for this state of affairs.

Keywords:   commonplace books, Descartes, mechanical physics, metaphysics, epistemology, Locke’s philosophical development

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