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Liberating JudgmentFanatics, Skeptics, and John Locke's Politics of Probability$
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Douglas John Casson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691144740

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691144740.001.0001

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Forming Judgment

Forming Judgment

The Transformation of Knowledge and Belief

(p.126) IV Forming Judgment
Liberating Judgment

Douglas John Casson

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that Locke's goal in turning to epistemology was not simply to engage in abstract speculation about philosophical difficulties, but to instruct his readers in the proper way to govern their limited faculties and take on the burdens and responsibilities of judgment. Locke's philosophical investigations aim at a type of civic education; he seeks to teach his contemporaries the intellectual virtues of a properly governed mind. Although Locke continues to appeal to the traditional vocabulary of knowledge and opinion, he carefully shifts his readers' attention away from abstract, speculative reasoning and toward the importance of the faculty of judgment, which can attain degrees of probability but not certainty.

Keywords:   John Locke, epistemology, abstract speculation, philosophical investigations, judgment, civic education, probability, certainty

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