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  1. Locke, God, and Materialism.Stewart Duncan - 2021 - Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 10:101-31.
    This paper investigates Locke’s views about materialism, by looking at the discussion in Essay IV.x. There Locke---after giving a cosmological argument for the existence of God---argues that God could not be material, and that matter alone could never produce thought. In discussing the chapter, I pay particular attention to some comparisons between Locke’s position and those of two other seventeenth-century philosophers, René Descartes and Ralph Cudworth. -/- Making use of those comparisons, I argue for two main claims. The first is (...)
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  • Locke on Persons and Personal Identity.Ruth Boeker - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Ruth Boeker offers a new perspective on Locke’s account of persons and personal identity by considering it within the context of his broader philosophical project and the philosophical debates of his day. Her interpretation emphasizes the importance of the moral and religious dimensions of his view. By taking seriously Locke’s general approach to questions of identity, Boeker shows that we should consider his account of personhood separately from his account of personal identity over time. On this basis, she argues that (...)
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  • Hobbes, Universal Names, and Nominalism.Stewart Duncan - 2017 - In Stefano Di Bella & Tad M. Schmaltz (eds.), The Problem of Universals in Early Modern Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    Thomas Hobbes was, rather famously, a nominalist. The core of that nominalism is the belief that the only universal things are universal names: there are no universal objects, or universal ideas. This paper looks at what Hobbes's views about universal names were, how they evolved over time, and how Hobbes argued for them. The remainder of the paper considers two objections to Hobbes's view: a criticism made by several of Hobbes's contemporaries, that Hobbes's view could not account for people saying (...)
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  • Reflection, Intelligibility, and Leibniz’s Case Against Materialism.Julia Borcherding - 2018 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 21 (1):44-68.
    Leibniz’s claim that it is possible for us to gain metaphysical knowledge through reflection on the self has intrigued many commentators, but it has also often been criticized as flawed or unintelligible. A similar fate has beset Leibniz’s arguments against materialism. In this paper, I explore one of Leibniz’s lesser-known arguments against materialism from his reply to Bayle’s new note L, and argue that it provides us with an instance of a Leibnizian “argument from reflection”. This argument, I further show, (...)
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  • Varieties of Early Modern Materialism.Falk Wunderlich - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (5):797-813.
    ABSTRACTThis paper discusses how early modern materialism can be defined and delineated, before turning to a brief survey of the main philosophical resources early modern materialist theories draw on. Subsequently, I discuss competing overall narratives concerning early modern materialism, and conclude with a defence of the controversial view that material soul theories belong to materialism proper.
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  • Materialism and the Activity of Matter in Seventeenth‐Century European Philosophy.Stewart Duncan - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (11):671-680.
    Early modern debates about the nature of matter interacted with debates about whether matter could think. In particular, some philosophers (e.g., Cudworth and Leibniz) objected to materialism about the human mind on the grounds that matter is passive, thinking things are active, and one cannot make an active thing out of passive material. This paper begins by looking at two seventeenth-century materialist views (Hobbes’s, and one suggested but not endorsed by Locke) before considering that objection (which I call here the (...)
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  • Mills Can't Think: Leibniz's Approach to the Mind-Body Problem.Marleen Rozemond - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (1):1-28.
    In the Monadology Leibniz has us imagine a thinking machine the size of a mill in order to show that matter can’t think. The argument is often thought to rely on the unity of consciousness and the notion of simplicity. Leibniz himself did not see matters this way. For him the argument relies on the view that the qualities of a substance must be intimately connected to its nature by being modifications, limitations of its nature. Leibniz thinks perception is not (...)
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