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The empiricists
Laurence Carlin

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The empiricists
a guide for the perplexed
Laurence Carlin.

Published 2009 by Continuum in London, New York .
Written in English.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The empiricists and their context
Empiricism and the empiricists
The intellectual background to the early modern empiricists
Martin Luther and the Reformation
Aristotelian cosmology and the scientific revolution
Aristotelian/scholastic hylomorphism and the rise of mechanism
The Royal Society of London
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
The natural realm : the idols of the mind
Idols of the tribe
Idols of the cave
Idols of the marketplace
Idols of the theatre
Knowledge and experience : induction introduced
Aristotelian/scholastic syllogisms : deductions dismissed
Baconian empiricism : induction introduced
Conclusion: Bacon the empiricist
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
The natural realm : Hobbes's materialistic mechanism
The importance of motion
Sensation and the mind
Knowledge and experience : definitions and the euclidean method
Two kinds of knowledge and proper ratiocination
The method of analysis and the method of synthesis
Conclusion: Hobbes, the empiricist
Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655)
The natural realm : Gassendi's atomism
The basic principles of Gassendi's atomism
Atomistic sensation
Knowledge and experience : the middle way to knowledge
The sceptics are partly correct
Knowledge regained?
Conclusion: Gassendi. the empiricist
Robert Boyle (1627-1691)
The natural realm : Boyle's mechanism (corpuscularianism)
The basic principles of Boyle's mechanism (or corpscularianism)
Sensation and the mind
Knowledge and experience : mechanism and the cautious experimenter
The excellency of mechanism
Experimentation and the status of mechanism
Conclusion: Boyle, the empiricist
John Locke (1632-1704)
The natural realm : Locke's mechanism
Against innatism
Ideas and the tabula rasa
Primary and secondary qualities, and our confused idea of substance
Locke on power
Knowledge and experience : Locke's epistemology
Indirect realism, or the representational theory of perception
The certainty of knowledge
The origin of knowledge
The extent of knowledge
Conclusion: Locke, the empiricist
Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
The natural realm : Newton's principia
A world of forces : universal gravitation
What kind of quality is gravity?
Mechanism and action at a distance
Knowledge and experience : rules for the study of natural philosophy
The four rules
Whither natural philosophy
Conclusion: Newton, the empiricist
George Berkeley (1685-1753)
The natural realm : Berkeley's idealism
The world contains only souls and ideas
Esse est percipi : two arguments for idealism/immaterialism
Against the primary/secondary quality distinction
Knowledge and experience : Berkeley's common sense epistemology
Against the representational theory of perception
Defeating the skeptic, and returning to common sense
Mechanism, newtonianism, and instrumentalism : Berkeley on the new science
Responses to popular objections
Conclusion: Berkeley, the empiricist
David Hume (1711-1776)
The natural realm : Hume's psychological approach
Ideas and impressions
The principles of association
Knowledge and experience : Hume's semi-scepticism
Relations of ideas vs. matters of fact
From matters of fact to cause and effect : Hume's first question
Knowledge of cause and effect : Hume's second question
The problem of induction : Hume's third question
Hume's positive account of causation : induction regained
Conclusion: Hume, the empiricist
Empiricism and the empiricists : summary and conclusion.

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references.


Dewey Decimal Class
Library of Congress
B816 .C37 2009

The Physical Object

p. cm.

ID Numbers

Open Library
Internet Archive
1847061990, 1847062008
9781847061997, 9781847062000
LC Control Number


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January 29, 2010 Edited by WorkBot add more information to works
December 11, 2009 Created by WorkBot add works page