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Locke's Metaphysics$
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Matthew Stuart

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199645114

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199645114.001.0001

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Mind and Matter

Mind and Matter

(p.245) 6 Mind and Matter
Locke's Metaphysics

Matthew Stuart

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes Locke's conception of immaterial substance, and his arguments against materialism. Though Locke is committed to the view that there are immaterial substances, he allows that we might be wholly material. He holds that for all we can tell God might add powers of thought to material substances, just as He gives bodies other powers that we cannot understand as arising from the nature of matter, including powers to produce to ideas in us and powers of mutual attraction. Locke also explains cohesion and the laws of motion as due to God's arbitrary will. This does not commit him to occasionalism, but does show that he is not committed to mechanism.

Keywords:   mind, matter, materialism, thought, gravitation, cohesion, mechanism

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