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By Frederick Charles Copleston

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1 Here he tells us that the objects of the mind are ideas. And it would appear that the mind is fitted to deal with all its ideas. We could not say, with what objects the mind is not fitted to deal. For if we could say this, we should have ideas of these objects. And in this case we could deal with them, since an idea is defined as that about which the mind can be employed in thinking. In his introduction to the Essay Locke says that his purpose is 'to inquire into the original, certainty, and extent of human knowledge; together with the grounds and degrees of belief, opinion, and assent'.

Further, this fiction of the social covenant would justify any de facto government. It would justify, for example, the Commonwealth no less than the rule of Charles I, as long, that is to say, as the latter possessed the power to rule. It is therefore easy to understand the charge brought against Hobbes that he wrote the Leviathan when HOBBES (2) 49 he had a mind to go home and that he wished to win the favour of Cromwell. Thus Dr. John Wallis declared that the Leviathan 'was written in defence of Oliver's title, or whoever, by whatsoever means, can get to be upmost; placing the whole right of government merely in strength and absolving all his Majesty's subjects from their allegiance, whenever he is not in a present capacity to force obedience'.

28. , p. :z8. , I, I, I; I, p. 37. , 3, :z, :z; II, p. 9. ; I, p. 80. A HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY-V LOCKE (I) 'when I had writ this' (the foregoing part of the discussion). Hence he did not set out to attack Lord Herbert specifically; and he does not tell us which philosopher or philosophers he had in mind when he started to attack the theory of innate ideas. His remarks about this theory being 'an established opinion amongst some men' and about there being 'nothing more commonly taken for granted' suggest perhaps that he was simply writing in general against the theory, without intending to direct his criticism against any individual in particular, Descartes, for example, or against a particular group, such as the Cambridge Platonists.

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