Download a PDF to print or study offline. Perhaps most provocatively, at II.xxiii.2 he compares the idea of a substratum to the explanatory tool of an Indian philosopher who, "saying that the world was supported by a great elephant, was asked what the elephant rested on, to which his answer was a great tortoise. Not everyone in the history of philosophy felt this way. At II.xxiii.18 he calls it a "promiscuous use of a doubtful term." - on the contrary. The substratum itself is unobservable (and, hence, because of Locke's empiricism, unknowable) because it cannot itself have observable qualities; it is the thing in which observable qualities inhere. It is not entirely clear, though, how the substratum is supposed to do this. Locke's discussion of substratum is probably one of the most confusing sections of the Essay, in large part because he himself is so obviously torn on the topic. The substratum persists through any change. 26 Nov. 2020. Essay II John Locke i: Ideas and their origin Chapter i: Ideas in general, and their origin 1. Particles connect parts, or whole sentences together. In his 2013 book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg tells the story of one such person, an elderly man known in the medical literature as "E.P." This "law" varies greatly from place to place but is usually respected, because people cannot bear to be shunned or hated by the others in their community. When we say a thing that "is..." we do not really mean there is a thing that has these qualities, but simply that these qualities are the identity of the substance in question. Thus, "a weak man" is weak relative to other men. Course Hero. Locke next considers "relations of time," returning to his contention that "seemingly absolute terms" can have a relative meaning. Since "self depends on consciousness," if someone were to lose their memory entirely, they would in effect become a different person. We see that wood always becomes ashes when exposed to fire, and we infer that the fire causes wood to change into ashes. a�cݴ�LӦ�oi��m&�P r��6B�dY�z��cw��0k �7������� ��A��|( A man, for example, is called young at twenty, but a horse of the same age is old. Since it is the understanding that sets man above all other animals and enables him to use and dominate them, it is cer-tainly worth our while to enquire into it. %���� /Length 1105 Web. Book II, chapter XXIII: Ideas of Substances, Book II, chapters xii-xxi: Complex Ideas of Modes, Book II, chapters xxiv-xxvi: Ideas of Relation, Book II, chapter viii: Primary and Secondary Qualities, Book II, chapters ix-xi: Faculties of the Mind, Book II, chapters xxix-xxxii: Other Ways to Classify Ideas, Book III, chapter iii, sections 1-9: General Terms, Book III, Chapters vii-xi: More on Language, Book IV, Chapters i and ii: What Knowledge Is, Book IV, Chapter iii-viii: Knowledge of the Nature of Things, Book IV, Chapter ix-xi: Knowledge of the Existence of Things, Book IV, Chapters xii-xxi: Judgment or Opinion. Locke's discussion of personal identity in Chapter 27 is one of the highlights of the Essay. endobj Thus, it seems the old man both is and is not the same person as his boyhood self. "EE* Locke is very eager to point out that the case is equally bleak for both mental and physical substances. "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Study Guide." Morality, Locke maintains, is "the relation of actions to these rules,"—the tendency to pursue what is considered good or evil, legal or illegal, virtuous or vicious. Although this fact does not invalidate Locke's definition, it shows how problematic memory can be as a criterion for personal identity. It is able to address medical phenomena, such as amnesia, just as easily as it addresses spiritual beliefs like reincarnation. How can we make sense of the way we speak about them? Course Hero. They would not, however, be different "persons," which for Locke is a different term with a different meaning. 173 0 obj << Retrieved November 26, 2020, from The substratum, Locke claims at II.xxiii.1 and 37, helps elucidate this unity. Chapters 10–13, - It is helpful to think of a substratum as an invisible pincushion, with all of the observable qualities that belong to it being the pins. To Locke, it is unfair to hold someone accountable for acts they truly cannot remember committing. THE CONTENTS of the ESSAY ON HUMAN UNDERSTANDING continued.. BOOK III. In asking where we get our idea of substances, Locke finds himself in one of the stickier sections of the Essay. Chapters 1–4, - Among the remaining relations, the most significant are laws, of which Locke identifies three kinds: divine, civil, and philosophical. Millions of books are just a click away on and through our FREE NOOK reading apps. in separating carefully one from another ideas wherein can be found the least difference. wit lying most in the assemblage of ideas. �k8�m�9�Ǩ�nMp�Q#1����S �q�O�E�}����H�x��5��:����9'U� If a school bus just is a collection of yellow color, an oblong shape, powers of motion etc., what happens if I paint the school bus green, or if it breaks down and loses its powers of motion? Lastly, the substratum provides Locke with a way to account for the notion of support. c~�…ՋSz����ލ] 145 0 obj << This—personal identity, and not merely being the same "man"—is the proper basis for decisions having to do with right, wrong, praise, and blame.