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date: 23 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The anti-Cartesian agenda of the Essay Concerning Human Understanding is better understood when Locke’s intellectual debt to Descartes is fully recognized. Many theoretical options of the Essay, including the most explicitly anti-Cartesian ones, would not have been possible without Descartes, and without the tacit adoption of a number of Cartesian premises, freely incorporated into Locke’s philosophical insight. This subtle intertwining of Cartesian and anti-Cartesian elements is illustrated here on two topical metaphysical issues: the distinction between space and body, and the question of whether we have access to the essence of the soul through “self-consciousness”.

Keywords: John Locke, body, soul, cogito, consciousness, dualism, extension, hardness

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