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Research the Idea of Substance & Lockes Theory of Substance (Term Paper Sample)


"Write a term paper on the topic of "substance" as discussed in John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Your thesis should include answering: What is substance, according to Locke? What kind of idea do we have of substance, and how does that idea arise?
Find a position for or against Locke's opinion but be able to show both sides of the argument.
It is important to that your essay is able to answer the following questions:
What sorts of simple ideas go into our complex ideas of substances (57)?
How do our ideas of spiritual substances differ from those of bodily substances (59–60)?
In what sense does Locke think we know that substances exist?
What role does knowledge of substance play in Locke's scheme of human knowledge? Is it a part of true understanding? Are there real substances in the world which we can know and investigate?
These should not be simply answered, but incorporated into your understanding of Locke's explanations and ideas on "substance" as mentioned in Book II of the Essay. Do not attempt to consider answering these questions as the subject of your paper. Construct your own arguments and research appropriate evidentiary support followed up by various academic resources."
Please write the paper in agreement with Locke's idea of substance and add related ideas and information contained within his overall Essay.


Institutional Affiliation:
Locke's Theory of Substance
Locke’s treatment on the ideology of substance in his Essay on Human Understanding drew mixed reactions from several contemporaries. First and foremost, in consideration of the levels of generality, theories are used in explaining different elements in life. Thus, they are meant to provide some systematic and illuminating descriptions of a set of phenomena which are expected to advance human understanding of these elements taken either singly or collectively (Ayers, 2011). Given that phenomena that a theory of substance seeks to encompass, then the probability remains that a long approach has been taken in specifying the kind of theory that must be defined.
Locke's Theory of Substance
Locke conception of substance in substratum has two relative widespread interpretations. According to one, the element of substance is considered as a bearer of properties and a pure subject that has no properties. On the other hand, Locke alleges that substance is a real essence: an underlying structure which remains responsible for particular observable properties and recurrent clusters (Brubaker, 2012). Locke depicts a picture of the origins of our ideologies on substance by alluding to the world that is carved up with a dense sensory array that establishes discrete objects, an aspect that determines the qualities that quite seem to cluster together. An instance of this is evident when we perceive blackness, softness, certain small sizes, and certain catlike shapes moving together in our experience and we assume that all of these aspects make up a single object.
Simple Ideas Forming Our Complex Ideas of Substances
Given this, Locke alleges that such cluster of ideologies on observable qualities may not succinctly constitute the concept of substance. We are therefore required to add to this an idea on whatever it is that these properties find their origins from, hence supporting Locke view on not simply believing that these properties exist out in the world. Locke’s argument corresponds to the idea of a substance as a general substratum, thus perceiving the substratum as an invisible pincushion that has several observable qualities (Dolfsma, 2012). A substratum, in this case, remains unobservable since it lacks the qualities that make it observable. Anything that can be observed or described is, however, a property rather than the substratum in its entirety. Our idea on the aspect of a substratum is necessarily confusing and vague, given that a substratum needs to support the observable properties of substance.
Contrary to the beliefs of people on the element of a substance, Locke alleges that we are limited in knowledge on bodies any better than we know the mind. In such a case, we only have the capacity to understand the observable qualities of substance. Carson (2012) points that when the need comes to understanding what these properties belong to, then there are no illumination of ideas reaches this point. In this case, it is essential to believe that Locke’s primary ideology in this chapter is driven towards arguing that the complexity of ideas on the aspect of substances does not provide any evidence that proves what the nature of the external objects are and the manner in which they support structures (Gordon-Roth, 2015). Instead of Locke’s views, humans have limited capacity in asserting positive conceptions on aspects that exist beyond the qualities we perceive. In other words, we are tied to our senses and extent, with this narrow perspective failing to allow us to understand the underlying truths. Locke, in this case, argues that human beings have the capacity to recognize only the facts which are directly pertinent to their adaptation and survival as God’s semi-divine cre...
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