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Locke on Fixing Ideas


Wörner, David (2021). Locke on Fixing Ideas. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, 103(3):481-500.

Abstract

I argue that Locke’s distinction between ‘determined’ and ‘undetermined’ ideas incorporates an account of semantic indeterminacy: if the complex idea to which a general term is annexed is ‘undetermined’, the term lacks a determinate extension. I propose that a closer look at this account of semantic indeterminacy illuminates various charges of confusion, misuse and abuse of language Locke levels against his philosophical contemporaries.

Abstract

I argue that Locke’s distinction between ‘determined’ and ‘undetermined’ ideas incorporates an account of semantic indeterminacy: if the complex idea to which a general term is annexed is ‘undetermined’, the term lacks a determinate extension. I propose that a closer look at this account of semantic indeterminacy illuminates various charges of confusion, misuse and abuse of language Locke levels against his philosophical contemporaries.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:900 History
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Philosophy
Uncontrolled Keywords:Philosophy
Language:English
Date:8 September 2021
Deposited On:23 Aug 2022 11:58
Last Modified:29 Jan 2024 02:42
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:0003-9101
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/agph-2018-0101
  • Content: Published Version