The Understanding

In James A. Harris (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century. Oxford University Press. pp. 148-70 (2013)
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The article discusses the varying conceptions of the faculty of ‘the understanding’ in 18th-century British philosophy and logic. Topics include the distinction between the understanding and the will, the traditional division of three acts of understanding and its critics, the naturalizing of human understanding, conceiving of the limits of human understanding, British innatism and the critique of empiricist conceptions of the understanding, and reconceiving the understanding and the elimination of scepticism. Authors discussed include Richard Price, James Harris, Zachary Mayne, Edward Bentham, Isaac Watts, Dugald Stewart, John Norris—as well as Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Reid.

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John Wright
Central Michigan University


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