Locke and Analogy

A quick summary of my upcoming Locke paper:

1) Analogous naming requires one word to have several meanings which are in an order.
2) Locke's theory of knowledge requires that any idea which can be the subject of a science falls under the power of our own arbitrary making.
3) Different meanings of the same word cannot be in an order if each meaning is equally the product of our arbitrary making.
4) Therefore, Locke cannot account for analogy. The most he can hope to do is come to an agreement at the beginning of a discussion about which precise meaning of a word is intended in the present context.

This is one more example of Locke's typical emasculating liberalism, where man's activities - whether intellectual or political - are limited to rather modest goals. It also agrees with his disdain for received opinions: the multiple ways in which a word has been used only serve to confuse thought, not lead to an enriched understanding. Thoughts?


Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home