Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Locke and Cartesian Philosophy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Philippe Hamou and Martine Pécharman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198815037

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198815037.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 October 2021

The Cartesian Element in Locke’s Anti-Cartesian Conception of Body

The Cartesian Element in Locke’s Anti-Cartesian Conception of Body

(p.49) 3 The Cartesian Element in Locke’s Anti-Cartesian Conception of Body
Locke and Cartesian Philosophy

James Hill

Oxford University Press

Locke’s conception of body evolves in the Drafts of the Essay in visible engagement with the Cartesian view. The chapter makes the case that Locke’s agnosticism on the essence of matter is paradoxically derived from the most Cartesian elements in his theory of bodies. The sharp differences between the two thinkers are made possible by background agreement. Locke’s distinction between hardness and impenetrability parallels that of Descartes. The parallel is to be found not only in the relativity to sensation characteristic of hardness, but also in the conceptual or demonstrative status of the assertion that all bodies are impenetrable. This makes it impossible to ascribe to Locke a strict adherence to the atomistic view, which considers that the indivisibility of the ultimate particles results from their perfect hardness.

Keywords:   Locke, Descartes, body, hardness, impenetrability, atomism, agnosticism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .