Philosophy 202
Great Traditions of Western Thought
The Modern Period

Discussion Questions on John Locke, #3

In Book IV, Locke turns to a consideration of the nature and extent of human knowledge. Of course, he has already established where we get the materials of our knowledge from, viz., experience. The question he now focuses upon is how those materials can yield knowledge.

1. Locke claims that there are different types of knowledge. What are these types? What knowledge do they yield us?

2. In Chapter III, Locke establishes the limits of our knowledge. What are the limitations?

3. How does Locke establish the existence of God? physical things? other people? Do we have knowledge of all of these things?

4. Empirism is often linked to skepticism. How does Locke's discussion of human knowledge illustrate this linkage?

5. What does Locke think that we can know about the "external world"? How does his view resemble and/or differ from Descartes'?

6. Locke distinguishes between faith and reason. How does he characterize each of these? What sorts of things does he claim are those about which faith must decide? What are the implications of his view?

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