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Locke, McCann, and Voluntarism

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Abstract: Locke scholars continue to disagree over how he analyzed natural laws, real essence-power relations in physical substances. Some say he regarded them as emanations, necessitated by the corpuscular structure of real essences; for others his laws are adventitious, imposed on substances by God and contingent on divine alterable will. The second view has been increasingly favored in recent years, assisted no doubt by Edwin McCann’s potent case for it in ”Lockean Mechanism“ (1985). The present article, whose authors are sympathetic to the necessitarian reading of Locke, argues against McCann’s exegesis.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0114.00043

Publication date: December 1, 1997

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