Locke's Essay and the Rhetoric of Science

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Bucknell University Press, 2003 - Počet stran: 199
This book shows how, in his enormously influential 'Essay concerning Human Understanding' (1689), John Locke embraces the new rhetoric of seventeenth-century natrual philosophy, adopting the strategies of his scientific contemporaries to create a highly original natural history of the human mind. With the help of Locke's notebooks, letters and journals, Peter Walmsley reconstructs Locke's scientific career, including his early work with the chemist Robert Boyle and the physician Thomas Sydenham. He also shows how the 'Essay' embodies in its form and language many of the preoccupations of the science of its day, from the emerging discourses of experimentation and empirical taxonomy to developments in embryology and the history of trades. The result is a new reading of Locke, one that shows both his brilliance as a writer and his originality in turning to science to effect a radical reinvention of the study of the mind.

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Writing a Natural History of Mind
Embryology and the Progress of the Understanding
Experimental Essays
Wit and Hypothesis
Dispute and Conversation
Civil and Philosophic Discourse
Locke and Science
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Strana 27 - But yet if we would speak of things as they are, we must allow that all the art of rhetorick, besides order and clearness, all the artificial and figurative application of words eloquence hath invented, are for nothing else but to insinuate wrong ideas, move the passions, and thereby mislead the judgment, and so indeed are perfect cheats...
Strana 49 - That there should be more species of intelligent creatures above us, than there are of sensible and material below us, is probable to me from hence; that in all the visible corporeal world, we see no chasms or gaps. All quite down from us the descent is by easy steps, and a continued series of things, that in each remove differ very little one from the other.
Strana 81 - ... take a grain of wheat, divide it into two parts, each part has still solidity, extension, figure, and mobility ; divide it again, and it retains still the same qualities, and so divide it on till the parts become insensible, they must retain still each of them all those qualities...
Strana 96 - ... or hailstones. Let us suppose at present that the different motions and figures, bulk, and number of such particles, affecting the several organs of our senses, produce in us those different sensations which we have from the colours and smells of bodies...
Strana 114 - Eloquence, like the fair sex, has too prevailing beauties in it to suffer itself ever to be spoken against. And it is in vain to find fault with those arts of deceiving wherein men find pleasure to be deceived.
Strana 79 - The simple ideas we have, are such as experience teaches them us ; but if, beyond that, we endeavour by words to make them clearer in the mind, we shall succeed no better than if we went about to clear up the darkness of a blind man's mind by talking, and to discourse into him the ideas of light and colours.
Strana 79 - If any one asks me what this solidity is? I send him to his senses to inform him : let him put a flint or a foot-ball between his hands, and then endeavour to join them, and he will know.
Strana 147 - And as the science of man is the only solid foundation for the other sciences, so the only solid foundation we can give to this science itself must be laid on experience and observation.

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O autorovi (2003)

Peter Walmsley is an Associate Professor of English at McMaster University.

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