July, 2018
Philippe Hamou ; Martine Pecharman

Locke and Cartesian Philosophy

Philippe Hamou

This volume presents twelve original essays, by an international team of scholars, on the relation of John Locke's thought to Descartes and to Cartesian philosophers such as Malebranche, Clauberg, and the Port-Royal authors. The essays, preceded by a substantial introduction, cover a large variety of topics from natural philosophy to religion, philosophy of mind and body, metaphysics and epistemology. The volume shows that in Locke's complex relationship to Descartes and Cartesianism, stark opposition and subtle 'family resemblances' are tightly intertwined. Since the turn of the twentieth century, the theory of knowledge has been the main comparative focus. According to an influential historiographical conception, Descartes and Locke form together the spearhead in the 'epistemological turn' of early modern philosophy. In bringing together the contributions to this volume, the editors advocate for a shift of emphasis. A full comparison of Locke's and Descartes's positions should cover not only their theories of knowledge, but also their views on natural philosophy, metaphysics, and religion. Their conflicting claims on issues such as cosmic organization, the qualities and nature of bodies, the substance of the soul, and God's government of the world, are of interest not only in their own right, to take the full measure of Locke's complex relation to Descartes, but also as they allow a better understanding of the continuing epistemological debate between the philosophical heirs of these thinkers.

Table of content

Introduction, Philippe Hamou & Martine Pécharman
1: Locke and Descartes: The Initial Exposure 1660-1670, J. R. Milton
2: Locke and Cartesian Cosmology, 1. Locke and Cartesian Cosmology
3: Are Body and Extension the Same Thing? Locke vs Descartes (vs More), Lisa Downing
4: The Cartesian Element in Locke's Anti-Cartesian Conception of Body, James Hill
5: Modes and Composite Material Things According to Descartes and Locke, Martha Brandt Bolton
6: Virtual Existence of Ideas and Real Existence. Locke's Anti-Cartesian Ontology, Matthieu Haumesser
7: Locke and Descartes on Selves and Thinking Things, Philippe Hamou
8: Locke and Descartes on Free Will, Denis Kambouchner
9: Essential Religiosity in Descartes and Locke, Catherine Wilson
10: Locke and Port Royal on Affirmation, Negation, and Other 'Postures of the Mind', Laurent Jaffro
11: Cartesian Logic and Locke's Critique of Maxims, Andreas Blank
12: Locke and Malebranche. Intelligibility and Empiricism, Nicholas Jolley