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Empiricism and the science of the mind

Click here to download the powerpoint slides for this lecture

Please choose ONE of the following sets of readings and questions, ie. the set on Locke OR the set on Condorcet. Note that the Locke reading is shorter than the Condorcet one, but harder to read.

Locke reading

Locke, 'An essay concerning human understanding', ed. Nidditch - read the 'Epistle to the reader', then Book II, chapters I and XX. If you download book II as a pdf the relevant pages in the pdf are pp. 1-16 and 130-134.

Locke questions

What does Locke's preface tell us about the nature of his Essay?

Where do our ideas come from, according to Locke?

What does Locke's discussion of pleasure and pain tell us about his views on good, evil and the passions?

What do these passages tell us about Locke's method of philosophising?

Condorcet reading

'The future progress of the human mind,' in Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind (1794), in Condorcet, eds Steven Lukes and Nadia Urbinati - to find this section, click on the 'Contents' tab and scroll down about half way

Condorcet questions

Why is Condorcet so optimistic about the future of humankind?

What kinds of science does he discuss?

What role do these kinds of science play in his argument?

Further reading

Anstey, Peter, ‘Locke, Bacon and Natural History’, Early Science and Medicine, 7 (2002), 65–92

Daston, Lorraine, Classical Probability in the Enlightenment (Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1988)

Fox, Christopher, Roy Porter, and Robert Wokler, eds., Inventing Human Science: Eighteenth-Century Domains (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995)

Olson, Richard, ‘The Human Sciences’, in CHS4

Smith, Roger, The Norton History of the Human Sciences, (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997), Part III, The Long Eighteenth Century

Wood, Paul, ‘Science, Philosophy and the Mind’, in CHS4