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Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy
 9781139085212, 9780521451055

Table of contents :
Preface (page xiii)
Acknowledgements (page xvii)
Note on the text (page xviii)
1 Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy (page 3)
2 Substance, space, labor, and property (page 31)
3 Acquaintance (page 55)
4 Seeing and touching (page 73)
5 Force (page 95)
6 De Man on Locke (page 131)
7 Locke and Nietzsche (page 156)
8 Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy (page 189)
Appendix (page 211)
Select bibliography (page 214)
Index (page 225)

Citation preview

William Walker introduces his convincing reinterpretation of John Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding with the argument

that readings of this work dominate several major histories of post-Renaissance literature, philosophy, and rhetoric. He proceeds to demonstrate the weaknesses of these readings by offering a detailed, what Walker calls “philological,” study of three central aspects of the Essay: its figurative description of mind, its account of persuasion, and its discussion of how some ideas are substituted

for others in the mind. This demonstration leads to a critique of

. those literary critics, philosophers, literary theorists, and rhetoricians whose intellectual histories are grounded in weak readings

of Locke in particular and British empiricism in general. As a finely attentive reading of a central text of emergent modernity and one which is placed in the broadest scholarly contexts, this work will draw readers from the spectrum of humanistic disciplines.




Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy


Dr HOWARD ERSKINE-HILL LITT. D., FBA, Pembroke College, Cambridge

and Professor JOHN RICHETTI, University of Pennsylvania Editorial board Morris Brownell, University of Nevada

Leopold Damrosch, Harvard University |

J. Paul Hunter, University of Chicago )

Isobel Grundy, University of Alberta Lawrence Lipking, Northwestern University

Harold Love, Monash University : Claude Rawson, Yale University Pat Rogers, University of South Florida James Sambrook, University of Southampton

This series is designed to accommodate monographs and critical studies on authors, works, genres and other aspects of literary culture from the later part of the seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth. Since academic engagement with this field has become an increasingly interdisciplinary enterprise, books will be especially encouraged which in some way stress the cultural context of the literature, or examine it in relation to contemporary art, music, philosophy, historiography, religion, politics, social affairs, and so on. Some titles in this series include

Family and the Law in Eighteenth-Century Fiction: , The Public Conscience in the Private Sphere

by John P. Zomchick Crime and Defoe: A New Kind of Writing

by Lincoln B. Faller Literary Transmisston and Authority: Dryden and other Writers

edited by Earl Miner and Jennifer Brady Plots and Counterplots: Sexual Politics and the Body Politic in English Literature 1660-1730

by Richard Braverman The Eighteenth-Century Hymn in England

by Donald Davie A complete list of books in this series is given at the end of the volume.

Locke, Literary Critacism, and Philosophy



Published by the Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge The Pitt Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 IRP 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA 10 Stamford Road, Oakleigh, Melbourne 3166, Australia © Cambridge University Press 1994 First published 1994 A catalogue record for this book 1s available from the British Library Library of Congress cataloguing in publication data

Walker, William, 1958— Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy / William Walker. p. cm. — (Cambridge studies in eighteenth-century English literature and thought) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0 521 45105 1 1. English literature — 18th century — History and criticism. 2. Locke, John, 1632-1704. Essay concerning human understanding. 3. Criticism ~ Great Britain — History — 18th century. 4. Philosophy, English — 18th century.

I. Title. II. Series.

PR441.W35 1994 192—dc20 93-33621 CIP ISBN 0 52! 45105 1 hardback Transferred to digital printing 2004


To John and Isabel Walker


And who ever by the most cogent Arguments will be prevailed with, to disrobe himself at once of all his old Opinions, and Pretences to Knowledge and Learning, which with hard Study, he hath all his Time been labouring for; and turn himself out stark naked, in quest a-fresh of new Notions? John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding



Preface , page xill Acknowledgements . XV1l Note on the text XViil PART I: INTRODUCTION

1 Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 3 PART II: MIND

Acquaintance 43 Seeing and touching39 73 2 Substance, space, labor, and property 31

5 Force 95 PART III: TROPE

67 Locke De Man on Locke 131 and Nietzsche 156 PART IV: CONCLUSION

8 Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 189

Appendix 211 Select bibliography 214 Index 225

xl .



Although I try in this book to identify and interpret the principal figurative representations of mind in John Locke’s epistemological writing, I do not understand myself to be presenting a literary as opposed to philosophical reading of it. This is because identifying and interpreting metaphors of mind in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding are standard practices in

mainstream philosophical commentary on this work from Leibniz to Rorty. Secondly, in writing a dissertation on Locke for my Ph.D. in English literature (which is how I began this book), I did not understand myself to be doing anything particularly new or radical. For reading and

making claims about Locke is a standard practice of modern literary criticism that deals with post-Renaissance English literature. If literary criticism that presents readings of philosophical texts and discusses litera-

ture and its history in relation to these readings is what constitutes interdisciplinary study, then a significant portion of the most important English literary criticism of the last fifty years is an interdisciplinary study. Indeed, that is one of the main reasons I thought writing on Locke’s Essay

would be an important and therefore rewarding thing to do: so many literary critics had already done it, they made so much depend on it, and,

most importantly, they did not, at least so I thought, do it very well. Thirdly, though I have something to say about each, I do not focus my discussion on the three “doctrines” of Locke which literary critics com-

monly discuss in connection with the literature and aesthetics of the eighteenth century and Romanticism: the association of ideas; the differ-

ence between wit and judgment; the difference between primary and secondary qualities. Nor, finally, do I say much about how Locke figures in literary criticism and philosophy as they were understood and practiced during the eighteenth century.

I did not understand it as such while I was working on it, but I have come to understand much of this book as an investigation of various kinds of authority. For it identifies and addresses the way in which philosophy

has exercised authority over modern literary criticism that deals with post-Renaissance literary tradition; it investigates the authority of Paul de


XiV Preface Man in literary studies; and it directly confronts claims about Locke which have the authority of myths, commonplaces, and idées regues. I find that my

stance towards these various kinds of authority is invariably critical, though in varying degrees. In some cases, my aim is destructive. By observing Locke’s remarkable figurative representations of mind in the Essay, 1 want to destroy the myths, propagated in texts from Webster’s Dictionary to Foucault’s The Order of Things, that Locke represents the mind as a tabula rasa or an eye, that there is a single coherent empiricist representation of mind, that the empiricist self is ‘‘materially constructed,” and that eighteenth-century empiricist epistemology is unqualifiedly representational. By observing the way in which Locke implicitly describes tropes and recommends them, | want to destroy the myths (or what is left of them) that Locke damns rhetoric, that rhetoric dies in 1660, that rhetoric can ground a critique of western metaphysics, and that AngloAmerican empiricism and Nietzsche’s philosophy have absolutely nothing

to do with one another.

I am led to question de Man’s authority, and those who bow to it, _ because I find his reading of Locke is so unreasonable. But whereas I do not delve into the origins of the various myths about Locke I am debunking (this would be an extensive and fascinating study in itself), I am concerned to investigate the sources of de Man’s authority as they are evident in his own writing. This investigation yields the claim that part of de Man’s authority derives from his representation of himself in his writing as a man of particular moral qualities. In viewing this self-representation

, as a ground of authority and persuasiveness, I understand myself to be challenging certain mythic constructions of de Man as a cold analytic reasoner, and making a claim about the literary profession within which de Man achieved and to some extent continues to exercise his authority: this profession’s judgment of a scholar’s power and truth is answerable to an important extent to the way in which that scholar represents his/her moral being in his/her work. My limited investigation of de Man’s authority thus bears out a suspicion in Aristotle’s Rhetoric which I have come to regard as one of the classical precedents for part of Nietzsche’s critique of western culture: of ethos, logos, and pathos, ethos is the most powerful means of persuasion.

While I give selected examples of literary critics asserting and attempting to salvage de Man’s power, and some examples of critics and philosophers investing in and promoting various myths about Locke, I present a little more evidence of the authority that Locke’s philosophy wields in modern literary criticism. I end up questioning the power literary critics tend to grant to the Essay not because what this text claims is false (though I think this is often the case), and not because it appeals to moral prejudice

(though, as John Richetti and others have shown, Locke is certainly a

Preface XV master at doing that), and not because I have anything against using terms and concepts from other disciplines and kinds of texts to describe literature, but because I find that it is not the kind of thing many literary critics seem to think it is — a text which issues in consistent doctrine and representation. It is, in part, because I find the Essay to be complicated in certain ways that I challenge the authority that this text wields within studies of post-Renaissance literature. I think that if literary critics had been aware of the kinds of complication I document, they, too, may have questioned the power they themselves had granted to this text. This is not to say that there are not other reasons for questioning the authority of the Essay over literary criticism: this priority seems to derive from a kind of differentiation between literary and philosophical texts and disciplines

which was foreign to Restoration literate culture. Secondly, it is the abstractness of philosophical texts such as the Essay which seems to induce critics to grant them the status of model, cause, paradigm, or soul. But as both Locke and Nietzsche show, it may be a mistake (one structured like metonymy) to make abstractness the criterion for granting some forms of power. To challenge effectively some of the commonplaces about Locke, I felt I needed to deal slowly and in considerable detail, especially in Part IT, with

Locke’s Essay. My wager is that, if some of the chapters seem slow, my claims are more accurate and convincing by virtue of the details that make them slow. I have, however, tried to streamline things by placing some of my evidence in notes and an appendix. In some cases, this evidence takes the form of listings of pages on which particular words occur. Since I was unable, mainly for financial reasons, to get the Oxford electronic text of the Essay and the computer program required to work with it, I had to compile these listings on the basis of my own unsystematic readings, underlinings, and countings. They are therefore not as comprehensive as they might be, but I think comprehensive enough to justify my claims

about Locke’s prevailing figurative discourse of mind in the Essay. R. M. P. Malpas’ listing of the frequency of word usages in this work served as a kind of check on these claims. I have also used the notes to indicate how, if I had more space, I would engage with some other commentators on Locke. And in some cases I present in them some incidental but what seem to me relevant arguments and information. The

result is that the notes are long, not absolutely necessary to my main argument, but, I think, still important. Finally, I am most interested in the relation between the various kinds of figurative representation I find Locke using and discussing and various epistemological, psychological, and ontological claims. For example, I am

interested in the way that Locke’s representation of ideas as material objects that strike another material object with different amounts of force

XVI Preface poses problems for the claim he tries to make about the difference between knowledge and belief. I deal in some detail with how Locke’s conception of ideas as signs permits him to describe psychological processes as substitutions which are structured like tropes. And I observe that Locke’s representation of the mind as a man working in an enclosed space demands or is answerable to a self which pre-exists experience. But I hasten to add that these concerns do not preclude concerns with and an awareness of history, politics, and ideology. My sense of Restoration linguistic usage as it has

been formed by readings in Restoration literary, political, theological, historical, scientific, and philosophical texts is crucial to my identification

of the figures of the Essay and my understanding of its vocabulary in general. I have tried to be aware of how Locke’s text is alluding both to other Restoration texts and to various classical texts. And, in some cases, I attempt to justify my observations about Locke’s writing by comparing them with the observations made about it by some of his contemporaries,

such as Leibniz. In a number of ways, that is, my understanding of the Essay is predicated upon a recognition of it as a Restoration document. I have also indicated how some of the things I observe about the Essay are related to both political theory and various Restoration organizations of power and desire. In bringing some demographical information to bear on Locke’s description and use of women, I want to suggest how this dimension of Locke’s text might carry meanings beyond those which I have pursued. By taking into account Richard Ashcraft’s great work on Locke, I am suggesting how Locke’s figurative representation of mind can

be understood to ally him with what Ashcraft calls a “‘political move-

ment,” in this case, the movement of the dissenters. By placing my observations of how Locke figuratively represents the mind in the context of the fascinating study of Hobbes and Boyle by Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, I want to suggest one important way in which the Essay might be propounding or ruled by the agenda of the Royal Society. By observing how Two Treatises is written into the Essay, I offer a way of understanding

how Locke’s own explicitly articulated political theory is related to his epistemology. And by juxtaposing my observations about Locke’s figurative representations with his writing on religious toleration, I point to how Locke’s figures may challenge his explicitly formulated political theory. These observations remain secondary to my coricerns with epistemology, and they typically take the form of terse suggestion. But this hardly means that I am uninterested in and oblivious to the politics of the Essay; it only means that there is much more to be said about the political implications and ideology of the Essay than I have been able to say. I understand some of my observations to be a contribution to this task of understanding the

politics of the Essay, one which I think is much more complex and demanding than is commonly allowed.


I would like to thank Jerome Christensen and Neil Hertz for their help with the first version of this book, the doctoral dissertation I submitted to the department of English at The Johns Hopkins University. While the book was at this early stage, it also benefitted in many ways from the generosity and scholarly attentions of Laurence Knighton. Though they were less directly involved, Stanley Fish and his Milton also made impor-

tant contributions. Shortly after I finished the dissertation, a version of chapter 3 appeared in Eighteenth-Century Studies and a version of chapter 7

apppeared in Studies in Romanticism — 1 thank both journals (and, in conjunction with the second of them, the Trustees of Boston University) for permission to reprint. David Hensley’s generosity made my life more pleasant and productive while | was working on revisions during the two years I held a postdoctoral fellowship in the English department at McGill University. Conversations with Tim Herron, Adam Potkay, Sandra Macpherson, and Frank Donoghue were also valuable to me at this time. As the book neared completion, I was assisted by several others. It has been a pleasure working with the co-editor of this series, John Richetti, who sent

the manuscript to such good readers. I found their reports to be most discerning, and I have followed several of their suggestions. Josie Dixon, the editor overseeing the production of the book, and Dr. Linda Bree, the

copy-editor, have been extraordinarily efficient and helpful. Finally, I want to thank those who began helping me long before I started working on this book. I am especially grateful to Tilottama Rajan who, besides having taught me about Romanticism, theory, and Nietzsche since I was an undergraduate, has supported me in the profession in so many other ways. The teaching of Ross Woodman, Rodney Poisson, and Elizabeth Revell has also held me in good stead. I am grateful to have been taught by them all and for their continued good regard.


Note on the text

References to Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding are to the

single volume edition of the work (based on the original fourth edition of 1700) edited by Peter Nidditch (1975; Oxford University Press, 1982). The frequency with which the work is cited enforced reference by means of page numbers instead of the cumbersome but often more precise reference

by means of book, chapter, and paragraph numbers. Passages from classical Greek and Latin texts are referred to by means of page numbers of modern English translations. Passages from Aristotle’s works are also referred to by means of the notation derived from Immanuel Bekker’s edition of his works (1830); passages from Plato are also referred to by means of the notation derived from Henri Estienne’s edition of his works (1578); passages from classical works besides those of Aristotle and Plato are also referred to by means of book and chapter numbers. The titles of works in German and French are given in both the original and English

the first time they occur in the text; thereafter, they are given only in English. In the notes and bibliography, they are given only in the original.

All translations of German and French texts are the author’s unless otherwise indicated.






Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy

For that is a great thing — when a book has once got a character, if it should be so dull that nobody should read it afterwards, it saves the reputation for centuries; this we have

had instances of in others [besides Locke’s Essay]. , Coleridge, ‘“‘Philosophical Lecture XIIT”’


The practice of literary criticism in the last fifty years is both a precedent

for the contemporary literary critic’s concern with Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, and a goad to intensify that concern. This

is because major critics of eighteenth-century literature and Romanticism have not only presented or assumed readings of Locke’s Essay, but have

made these readings instrumental to arguments regarding the shape of post-Renaissance literary genres, aesthetic theory, and, most generally, literary history. A brief survey of this criticism will serve to highlight this procedure as the common ground of otherwise distinct critics, establish the specific issues and assumptions in readings of Locke which are most crucial to the writing of literary history, and define the revisionary power of the reading of Locke presented in Part II of this study. In John Locke and English Literature of the Eighteenth Century (1936), Kenneth MacLean presents what he takes to be the main ideas of each of the four books of the Essay and cites a range of eighteenth-century texts as evidence of the extensive “literary biographies” these ideas undergo.! His

practice of reading eighteenth-century literature in general as a direct response to Locke is also evident in Basil Willey’s older but still current The Seventeenth-Century Background (1934). After conceding that we owe much first-rate satire and the Essay on Man to Locke’s standard of truth, Willey, like Coleridge, makes a place for Locke in the post-Renaissance dissociation of sensibility: it was “the cold philosophy” which destroyed

University Press, 1936) vii. ,

' Kenneth MacLean, John Locke and English Literature of the Eighteenth Century (New Haven: Yale


4 Introduction ‘the union of heart and head, the synthesis of thought and feeling, out of

which major poetry seems to be born.’? For Willey, the attempt by eighteenth-century poets to animate the dead universe of Descartes and Locke by means of the symbols from an obsolete mythology “‘ended in

fiasco” (302). This is why the final chapter of his book is not about eighteenth-century literature but Wordsworth, who ‘“‘was working in the spirit and tradition of Locke when he rejected gaudy and inane phraseology and devoted his powers to the task of making verse ‘deal boldly with

substantial things’”’ (289). Eighteenth-century poetry is essentially a failed response to the Lockean account of a dead world, while Romantic poetry is a successful response grounded in the fabrication of new mytholo-

gies (Shelley and Keats) or a poetry of common (Lockean) language describing how mind and heart interact with the world (Wordsworth). The Romantic accomplishment, then, is both a reaction against Locke’s empiricism and some kind of extension or fulfillment of it. Willey’s under-

standing of empiricism as something which both poses and resolves the essential issues of the eighteenth century and Romanticism is one example of the extraordinary explanatory power it has held for literary historians. This power is clearly evident in M. H. Abrams’ The Mirror and the Lamp

(1953). In his preface, Abrams explains that one of the methodological and experimental premises and experiments of his work is that he takes metaphors of mind such as the mirror and the lamp “no less seriously when

they occur in criticism than when they occur in poetry.’ This procedure allows Abrams to show that particular metaphorical identifications of the mind conform with particular aesthetic theories: the representation of mind as a reflecting mirror suits a mimetic theory of art; the representation of mind as an emanating lamp suits an expressive theory of art (viii, 31, 53, 57, 69, 158). Locke, as the philosopher who more than any other “‘estab-

lished the stereotype for the popular view of the mind in the eighteenth century” (57), is hence a principal figure in eighteenth-century literary theory. His imaging of the mind in the Essay as a mirror, a tabula rasa, and a dark room defines the mind as a passive receiver of images from without

and establishes the psychology which dominates the primarily mimetic aesthetic theory of the eighteenth century. Moreover, even the notion of

active creative perception which Abrams traces back from “Tintern Abbey” to Young’s Night Thoughts is ‘‘an interesting aspect of the Lockean

tradition.” For Abrams, the distinction between primary and secondary 2 Basil Willey, The Seventeenth-Century Background (1934; New York: Doubleday, 1953) 288. Further page references are included in the text. The book has most recently appeared as an Ark paperback, 1986. Coleridge’s criticisms of Locke are more complicated than is generally thought. For his critique of the Subject/Object dualism in Locke, see Coleridge on the Seventeenth Century, ed. Roberta Florence Brinkley (Durham: Duke University Press, 1955) 104. 3M. H. Abrams, The Mirror and the Lamp (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1953) viii. Further page references are included in the text.

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 5 qualities implicitly grants to the mind a “partnership in sense-perception.”” In Young’s conversion of this into an active partnership, Abrams sees ‘‘Locke’s sensationalism in the process of converting itself into what is often considered its epistemological opposite” (63). On Abrams’ view, then, Locke’s epistemological writings assert a conception of mind which

dictates the prevailing eighteenth-century mimetic aesthetic but also ground the empirical tradition within which the concept of creative perception and an expressive aesthetic develop. Although Abrams sees Romantic poetry as a confrontation with Lockean dualism, he here presents the Lockean doctrine of perception as a seminal statement of both eighteenth-century and Romantic responses to this dualism. Like Willey,

Abrams ultimately finds in empiricism both the postulation and the solution of the major problems of post-Renaissance aesthetics.

The other major and influential work which gives pride of place to Locke in post-Renaissance aesthetics is Ernest Tuveson’s The Imagination As a Means of Grace: Locke and the Aesthetics of Romanticism (1960).* Here, too,

itis Lockean epistemology and psychology, but along with enthusiasm for

nature, which form the basis of an essentially continuous tradition of literary theory running from the early eighteenth century through the Romantics. Tuveson’s acknowledgements that it is the chapter on the association of ideas in the Essay which revolutionizes literary theory, that ‘in fact, Locke makes no provision for aesthetic values,” and that Locke’s

theory of understanding cannot accommodate the notions of beauty, the sublime, and imagination do not deter him from making his point: the post-Renaissance project of making imagination a major mental faculty and a means of grace within the world of sense impressions is the natural and inevitable development of Locke’s concept of mind (77-78). The implication of this claim is that as the co-father of a “‘cult of nature and imagination” (164), Locke was in an essential way deluded regarding the nature of his accomplishment: When Locke narrowed the understanding to an efficient organ for knowing facts and forming accurate opinions from sense impressions, he thought he was eliminating those misty and unfruitful fancies about the higher reaches of the mind, which More had called the mens, the power of transcendent knowledge. Locke thought he was establishing common sense on its throne; but in fact he simply drove the mens elsewhere, to a nonrational area of the mentality. (139)

The coherence of eighteenth-century and Romantic aesthetics, then, resides in the displaced but natural return of a power which the deluded Locke thought he had eliminated. For Tuveson, Locke is a founding figure 4 Ernest L. Tuveson, The Imagination As a Means of Grace: Locke and the Aesthetics of Romanticism

(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1960). Further page references are included in the text.

6 Introduction of post-Renaissance literary theory, but in the sense that Oedipus is a founding figure in the Theban plays, since he is blind to the real configuration of his eliminations, enthronements, and offspring.° It is well known that both Earl Wasserman and Abrams presented more finely argued positions on these issues in articles of the sixties. Wasserman differentiates between eighteenth-century descriptive poetry and Roman-

tic poetry in terms of their response to the epistemological issue of the subject/object dualism opened by the empiricists: driven to confront this issue by the eighteenth-century empiricists, the eighteenth-century poets resorted to analogy and so produced a “‘dualistic poetry ... a poetry of hobbling simile, rather than symbol’; driven to confront this epistemological issue by both eighteenth-century philosophy and the neglect or incompetence of eighteenth-century poets, the Romantics produced distinct epistemological positions which generated a poetry of symbol.® Though Abrams points to continuities in what he calls ‘“‘the greater romantic lyric”? with both eighteenth-century loco-descriptive poetry and

seventeenth-century devotional poetry, he, too, stresses the Romantic reaction against the dualism which is seen to be instituted by Descartes and Locke: “‘the central enterprise” of Wordsworth and Coleridge was “‘to : join together the ‘subject’ and ‘object’ that modern intellection had put asunder, and thus to revivify a dead nature, restore its concreteness, significance, and human values, and re-domiciliate man in a world which

had become alien to him.’’’ |

What must be seen about de Man’s celebrated attack on these positions

is that far from disqualifying dualism as an issue of Romanticism, it confirms it as a major dimension of the confrontation of consciousness with its own temporality. Once he has generalized the results of his discovery of allegory in a passage from La Nouvelle Héloise into the claim that allegory is

the authentic voice of European Romanticism as a whole, de Man dismisses the dialectic of subject and object as simply “‘a passing moment in

{another] dialectic, and a negative one at that, since it represents a 5 In The Creative Imagination: Enlightenment to Romanticism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press,

1981), James Engell corroborates this view (17-18). A precedent for the Abrams/Tuveson line is Walter Jackson Bate’s From Classic to Romantic (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1946).

Though he rightly sees that empiricism in the early eighteenth century augmented the anti-imaginative and anti-emotional bias of neo-classicism, Bate ultimately sees British empiri-

cism as the groundwork of Romanticism. For an account of the founding position of Locke’s version of the association of ideas in eighteenth-century critical theory, see Martin Kallich, The Association of Ideas and Critical Theory In Eighteenth-Century England (The Hague: Mouton, 1970).

It should also be noted that Locke’s statements on association, the difference between judgment and wit, and the difference between primary and secondary qualities have been canonized as eighteenth-century aesthetic texts. 6 Earl Wasserman, “The English Romantics: The Grounds of Knowledge,” Studies in Romanticism 4 (1964) 20-21.

7M. H. Abrams, “Structure and Style in the Greater Romantic Lyric,” From Sensibility to Romanticism, ed. F. Hilles and H. Bloom (New York: Oxford University Press, 1965) 546.

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 7 temptation that has to be overcome.’® But this only means that the dualism which Abrams and Wasserman see the Romantics attempting to negate or transcend remains as an essential truth spoken by the rhetoric of temporality: “‘the prevalence of allegory always corresponds to the unveil-

ing of an authentically temporal destiny. This unveiling takes place in a

subject that has sought refuge against the impact of time in a natural world to which, in turn, it bears no resemblance” (206). That allegory is in

an essential sense an assertion of dualism and that this recognition is primary to the hard-nosed Romantics is again made clear when de Man claims that allegory ‘“‘prevents the self from an illusory identification with the nonself, which is now fully, though painfully, recognized as a nonself.

It is this painful knowledge that we perceive at the moments when early romantic literature finds its true voice” (207). Allegory entails the temporality of consciousness because it is a form of allusion to preexistent texts, and because it makes an epistemological assertion. That is to say, de Man sees allegory as the rhetoric of temporality not only because the allegorical sign refers to another sign that temporally precedes it, but also because it insists on the difference between a subject who knows and an object that is known (the object is known, at least, to be a nonsubject which bears no resemblance to the subject). Allegory negates symbol, in part, by affirming the dualism of self/nonself which symbol attempts to transcend or efface in

a spatial, nontemporal totality. For the early de Man, then, the central Romantic experience consists in the conflict between the allegorical repre-

sentation of the self which affirms the temporal predicament by both referring to previous signs and recognizing the self to be distinct from the natural world, and a symbolic representation of the self which is simply a

defence against this affirmation. Because he understands allegory to — include the assertion of dualism and makes this assertion essential to the definition of the temporal self, de Man here remains congruent with Abrams’ and Wasserman’s most general conception of Romanticism as an

engagement with an issue that is seen to lie at the heart of empiricist

tradition. |

It would be a mistake to think that more recent discussions of post-

Renaissance literary tradition have abandoned this conception. In Shelley and the Sublime (1984), Angela Leighton makes the commonplace that the empiricists’ principal metaphor of mind is the eye a premise in an argument that defines eighteenth-century theory and representations of the sublime as a critique or collapse of empiricism.? By regarding Shelley’s poetry as the agon of his empiricism in matters of religious belief and his 8 Paul de Man, “The Rhetoric of Temporality,”’ Blindness and Insight, 2nd. edn., revised (1971; Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983) 204-205. Further page references are included in the text. ® Angela Leighton, Shelley and the Sublime (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984).

8 Introduction sublime aesthetic, Leighton provides a version of the empiricism—sublime—

Romanticism connection which is also articulated by her predecessor, Thomas Weiskel. In The Romantic Sublime (1975; 1986), however, this connection is defined quite differently. First, Weiskel regards the experi-

ence of the natural sublime in which the presence of God in nature is perceived by the senses as, ‘‘in one sense,” a response to Locke’s postulate

that the only way to mind is through the senses.!° Moreover, the mideighteenth-century transference of sublimity from the perceived object to the soul is regarded by Weiskel as a response to the Lockean view of mind

as a fillable but essentially vacant space. And although the poetry and theory of the sublime appear to be ‘“‘a radical alternative to the visual emphasis of Lockean psychology and to the decorous precision of neoclassical diction,” they are in fact fundamentally aligned with Lockean premises. The eighteenth-century sublime, for Weiskel, merely plays out

the logic of what he calls “the classical or Lockean semiotic’? which postulates the relation between words and things as being neither necessary nor natural but arbitrary (14-17). Having argued that the Lockean account of language and the mind is the ground of various aspects of the early sublime, Weiskel proceeds to document the psychology and structures of the Romantic sublime in which this account is seen to persist and undergo modification. Again, it seems that empiricism can account for everything. It is not just that Locke is the basis of major dimensions of both

eighteenth-century and Romantic aesthetics, but that he is regarded as such even when semiotic concerns come to dominate critical practice. While differing in important respects, the positions of Leighton and Weiskel are allied in the urge to regard post-Renaissance literature and aesthetic theory as some kind of response to Locke and the empiricists: differences in the nature of this response are taken as criteria for the postulation of literary-historical categories. So that while they modify the view of such critics as Abrams and Wasserman, Leighton and Weiskel are still operating under the same overarching premise when they make Locke a touchstone of their descriptions.!! Although he claims to be arguing against Abrams’ understanding of the relation between eighteenth-century empiricism and Romanticism, Hans Aarsleff ultimately only reaffirms it: Abrams’ real claim is not, as Aarsleff '© Thomas Weiskel, The Romantic Sublime (1975; Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press,

1986) 14. Further page references are included in the text. 't’ Other instances of this premise, both old and new, may be found in ““The Case Against Locke,” the opening chapter of Frye’s Fearful Symmetry (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1947);

Alan Grob The Philosophic Mind (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1973); Richard Brandtley, Locke, Wesley, and the Method of English Romanticism (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1984); Andrew Cooper, Doubt and Identity in Romantic Poetry (New Haven: Yale

University Press, 1988). For a discussion of Romanticism in connection with a de Manian reading of Locke, see Cathy Caruth, Empirical Truths and Critical Fictions: Locke, Wordsworth, Kant, Freud (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991).

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 9 would have it, that Romanticism rejects eighteenth-century empiricism,

but that different dimensions of empiricism ground both eighteenthcentury and Romantic aesthetics. Aarsleff is hence restating part of Abrams’ claim when he writes that the philosophy of Locke and Condillac is the foundation of “‘Romantic aesthetics at large,” and that “‘the cleavage of subject and object was irreparable, but the remedy, though imper-

fect, lay in the very philosophy that had created the cleavage.”!* This conception of Lockean epistemology as a ground of post-Renaissance literary tradition in general is again affirmed in Steven Knapp’s passing observation of Locke as an important figure in what he perceives as the emergence after Milton of a strong concern with the distinction between literal and figurative language. Such a concern is only a manifestation of an ambivalence Knapp finds in English aesthetics from Addison to Coleridge: “the ambivalence consists in a desire to possess the power of alien or

archaic belief while at the same time avoiding its absurd or violent consequences.”’!3 Locke figures in the resolution of this ambivalence because his insistence on sensory perception as the legitimate grounds of

belief and his denigration of enthusiasm as grounds for religious and political action could serve as a means of defusing the power of certain beliefs. The eighteenth-century solution is a notion of literature as epistemological leisure, “ta way ... of holding beliefs one knows to be false — or can’t admit one holds”’ (140); Coleridge’s response is a notion of literature as a mediation of fiction and literal belief. Since both notions are basically

the same, Locke ends up being a major figure in the articulation of an aesthetic which is continuous from the eighteenth century through the Romantics. Like Bate, Willey, Abrams, Tuveson, and Aarsleff, Knapp suggests that the eighteenth-century/Romantics divide in aesthetics is less

pronounced than the Renaissance/post-Renaissance divide which is prominently marked by Locke. While Locke is seen to constitute a ground of literary continuity and so weaken certain historical rifts, the attitudes of

which he is a central spokesman are also seen to entrench other more general demarcations. Critics who have tried to specify the characteristics of narrower areas of eighteenth-century literature and their relation to Romanticism have also made an understanding of empiricism, and of Locke in particular, a basis of their project. Patricia Spacks’ well-known characterization of the mid'2 Hans Aarsleff, ““Wordsworth, Language, and Romanticism,” in From Locke to Saussure: Essays on the Study of Language and Intellectual History (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press,

1982) 377, 380. Aarsleff not only simplifies Abrams’ claim but fails to recognize that other critics of Romanticism, such as Bate and Willey, assert the congruity between empiricism and Romanticism. 'S Steven Knapp, Personification and the Sublime: Milton to Coleridge (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985) 140. Further page references are included in the text.

10 Introduction century poetry of sensibility as a ‘‘poetry of vision,” for example, claims

authority in the fact that Locke models the mind as an eye. And after carefully documenting Locke’s growing concern with abstraction in drafts of the Essay, William Youngren proceeds to observe that the conceptualist doctrine that is ultimately articulated by Locke (and the other empiricists) “made it perfectly natural’’ for Restoration and eighteenth-century poets

to write what Youngren calls a “poetry of exemplification’’ which is characterized as the buttressing and exemplification of general statements

“by vivid and striking particular portraits or phrases or single words.” Christopher Fox has more recently gone to the controversy surrounding the chapter on personal identity which Locke added to the second (1694) and following editions of the Essay in order to discuss the work of the Scriblerians. And S. H. Clark predicates his understanding of the central mid-century poet on Locke: Gray’s English poetry is ‘‘a series of rigorous meditations on the Lockean self’; the De Principits Cogitandi is ‘‘the epic of Lockean empiricism.” In asserting the centrality of Locke to early and mid-eighteenth-century literature, these critics buttress the understanding of later eighteenth-century sentimentalism as a reaction against Locke. But Alfred Cobban’s old claim that English sentimental literature after the mid-eighteenth century is essentially a gushy reaction against what were

felt to be the dehumanizing mechanisms of Lockean psychology is countered by accounts of Sterne as both sentimentalist and qualified Lockean. G. S. Rousseau goes so far as to invoke Kuhn’s notion of a paradigm in order to characterize the centrality of Locke’s Essay to both the eighteenth-century project of a science of man and the literature from Richardson to Sterne which is the belated literary manifestation of the revolution in sensibility.'* Though various constructions of Locke under'4 Patricia Spacks, The Poetry of Vision (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967) 2; William H. Youngren, ‘‘Conceptualism and Neoclassic Generality,” ELH 47 (1980) 734-736; Christopher Fox, Locke and the Scriblerians: Identity and Consciousness in Early Eighteenth-Century Britain

(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988); S. H. Clark, ‘‘‘Pendet Homo Incertus’: Gray’s Response to Locke. Part One: ‘Dull in A New Way,’” Eighteenth-Century Studies 24 (1991) 274-275; Alfred Cobban, Edmund Burke and the Revolt Against the Eighteenth Century (1929; New

York: George Allen and Unwin, 1960) 254-255. On Locke and satire in general, see Peter Briggs, ““Locke’s Essay and the Strategies of Eighteenth-Century Satire,” Studies in Eighteenth-

Century Culture 10 (1981) 135-151. William Dowling describes the eighteenth-century verse epistle, which he regards as the dominant form of eighteenth-century poetry, as a response to the problem of solipsism which “arose as an unintended consequence of Lockean empiricism.” See The Epistolary Moment: The Poetics of the Eighteenth-Century Verse Epistle (Princeton: Princeton

University Press, 1991) 22. On Sterne as both sentimentalist and qualified Lockean, see especially John Traugott, Tristram Shandy’s World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1954); Helene Moglen, The Philosophical Irony of Laurence Sterne (Gainesville: University Presses

of Florida, 1975); Michael Bell, The Sentiment of Reality (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1983); Martin Battestin, The Providence of Wit (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1974) 215-269. On the Locke-Sterne connection in general, see also Henri Fluchére, Laurence Sterne: de U’homme a l’oeuvre (Paris: Gallimard, 1961) and Ernest L. Tuveson, “Locke and Sterne,”’ English Literature and British Philosophy, ed. S. P. Rosenbaum (Chicago: University of Chicago

| Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 1] write these claims, the Lockean/anti-Lockean difference is one which proves adequate to defining the difference between major eighteenthcentury literary modes. And given that Locke may be constructed in these various ways, the implication is that, dovelike, the variegated Locke sits brooding as the covering cherub over eighteenth-century literature.

Including the novel. Because Ian Watt saw the novel raising more sharply than any other form the essentially epistemological problem of the , correspondence between the literary work and the reality which it imitates, he appealed to Locke in order to clarify the nature of the novel’s realism.'!° But Watt is more refined than Willey, Tuveson, and several later critics of the novel in his assessment of Locke’s relation to literary tradition. First, Locke is only the major figure within a group of philosophers including Bacon, Hobbes, Hume, and Descartes, whose general outlook Watt calls “‘philosophical realism.” And instead of characterizing the relation between philosophical realism and the “formal realism”’ of the novel as causation or determination, Watt generally identifies it as being one of analogy. Hence, the rejection of universals in favor of observed particular detail, the privileging of individual sensory experience, the understanding of personal identity in terms of memory, the more minute discrimination of temporal sequence, the privileging of denotative uses of language — these features of Locke’s philosophical realism have not effects

but parallels in the novel. Even so, Watt’s definition of the distinctive narrative mode of the novel by means of an analogy with philosophical realism (of which Locke emerges as the major spokesman) is indicative of the importance of Locke to the account of the novel which has ruled the field since 1957. Because later critics of the novel have shared Watt’s premise that the novel is in an essential sense a response to or embodiment of epistemologi-

cal problems, Locke’s Essay has remained a crucial document in eighteenth-century novel criticism. Ronald Paulson sets the stage for his study by pointing to the demands for new procedures which Lockean epistemology posed for the satirist. From his understanding that Locke transferred the locus of reality from an objective material world to the perceiving mind, Paulson infers that the satirist was forced to shift his concern “‘from the objective action to the consciousness of it, and from the

objective character to the dissolution of objective identity in consciousness.”!© The new epistemology, which made judgments regarding both the Press, 1971) 86-108. G. S. Rousseau’s article, “Nerves, Spirits, and Fibres: Towards Defining

| the Origins of Sensibility,” appeared in Studies in the Eighteenth Century vol. 3, ed. R. F. Brissenden and J. C. Eade (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1976) 137-157. 'S Tan Watt, The Rise of the Novel (1957; Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963). '6 Ronald Paulson, Satire and the Novel in Eighteenth-Century England (New Haven: Yale University

Press, 1967) 7. For an interpretation of eighteenth-century literature in general in terms of the Christian humanism “which soon disintegrated under pressure of a new subjectivism implicit

12 Introduction existence of an external world and the moral quality of action answerable to states of mind instead of objective standards, was a direct threat to the

satirist’s conventional means of assessing human life, and a principal determinant of the concern with psychological process which Paulson documents as a dimension of the satirical intent of the first major English novelists. This view of the eighteenth-century English novel as a response or parallel to Locke’s articulation of empiricism has more recently surfaced in a variety of ways: Locke’s Essay articulates the problem of identity being worked out in the novel; it is a base, key, foundation, and determi-

nant of the skepticism at the heart of the eighteenth-century novel; a ‘comparison of the novel and the penitentiary ... needs to be understood in the context of Locke’s forensic conception of the self... which in turn has to be situated 1n the broad trend of philosophy in England from Locke,

through Hume, to Bentham’’; Locke’s Essay is a part of the empiricist secularization of all knowledge which constitutes the origin of the novel.

Whether the novel is being discussed under the old rubric of formal realism or the prevailing contemporary rubrics of skepticism, subjectivity, cultural systems, and secularization, Locke’s Essay appears as a seminal text.!7

This modern critical practice of delineating central aspects of literary tradition by way of Locke’s Essay is one example of how conceptions and readings of philosophy inhabit literary studies: philosophy is the historical precedent and cause of literature, the spirit, idea, or soul of literature, the comprehensive index to what literature is about, or the analogue to its defining characteristics. The fact that empiricism can be used by different critics to explain different literary periods, genres, and aesthetic theories and by the same critic to account for both the problems and solutions of literary tradition is an indication of how powerful the drive to predicate understandings of literature on claims about philosophy has been and continues to be. If, as is sometimes observed, English authors were indiffer-

ent if not hostile to their own philosophical tradition, their critics have made this tradition the grounds for understanding their work. But while in Locke’s epistemology,” see Martin Battestin, The Providence of Wit vii. This general view is reaffirmed by Margaret Anne Doody when she observes that Samuel Richardson’s characters __ are ‘‘expressions of a philosophic era from Descartes to Berkeley, in that there is a division between the observer and the observed universe.” See A Natural Passion: A Study of the Novels of Samuel Richardson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1974) 11. '7 See W. Austin Flanders, Structures of Experience: History, Society, and Personal Life in the Eighteenth-

Century British Novel (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1984); Eve Taylor, — Skepticism and the Eighteenth-Century Novel (London: Macmillan, 1987); John Bender, /magining the Penitentiary (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987) 35; Michael McKeon, The Origins

of the English Novel, 1600-1740 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987) 65-89.

For an account of the major eighteenth-century novels as popularizations of “the new understanding of parental responsibility and filial freedom set forth by Locke in Some Thoughts Concerning Education,” see Jay Fliegelman, Prodigals and Pilgrims: The American Revolution Against

Patriarchal Authority, 1750-1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982).

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 13 insisting on the centrality of Locke’s Essay to literary tradition, almost all

the critics mentioned so far give little attention to the work itself. The

luxury of being able to postulate as a central document of literary history, without the labor of reading, a tome written over twenty years

that went through five editions is secured by a particular kind of investment. In its most general form, this investment is in a conception of the difference between literature and philosophy. The procedure of including in literary studies, indeed making essential to them, an understanding of Locke’s Essay, but excluding from literary studies the job of reading Locke is afforded by a notion of the philosophical text as one

which may be understood without being critically read. This is the assumption which allows Abrams to cite three of the thousands of instances where Locke images the mind in the Essay as justification for a claim about Locke’s “‘doctrine” of the passive mind, Tuveson to cite a few passages to justify his claim that Locke typically images thinking as

seeing, other critics to cite Tuveson as justification of their view of Locke, and critics on the epistemological analogues and origins of the

novel to get by on a few quotes. The prevailing assumption of the instances of modern literary history surveyed here is not just that literature is in some sense secondary to philosophy, but that language and the problem of reading it are incidental and secondary to epistemological doctrine. This is why the relation between philosophy and literature is typically defined not as a specifically linguistic relation such as intertextuality, but as reflection, causation, embodiment, analogy, instantiation, mediation, or manifestation. Part II presents a reading of one dimension of the Essay which is of particular relevance to the critical practice that has just been described: Locke’s figurative description of mind. This reading stands in a compli-

cated relationship to understandings of literary tradition. Given that Locke’s text is in various respects an analogue or parallel to post-Renaiss-

ance literary tradition, and given that the presented reading revises the

current understanding of these aspects of Locke’s text, this reading simply refutes several accounts of the analogue and calls for refinements

and qualifications in others. Given that an understanding of postRenaissance literary history is dictated by an understanding of Locke’s Essay, and given that the following reading revises the understanding of the Essay, this reading calls for major revisions in several versions of

literary history. But as a reading of Locke which demonstrates the complexity of Locke’s text, it also challenges those assumptions (for _ example, that philosophy is not a text, or, if a text, then a homogeneous

one) which work to promote the conception of the relation between Locke and literature as one of dependence. If literary history does not depend on and is not founded in Locke, then changes in the interpretation

14 Introduction of Locke will not necessarily carry any consequences for the understanding

of literary history the old interpretation was thought to support. It is just

that this understanding of literary history cannot claim Locke as its foundation. Again, this does not mean that the construction of literary history which wants to claim Locke as its foundation automatically crumbles, but only that Locke’s text does not sanction this construction in the way it is supposed to. On the traditional premises regarding the importance of Locke to literary tradition, then, the reading presented in Part II will carry powerful consequences because it reveals flaws in the prevailing understanding of an important dimension of the Essay. But because it also questions some of these premises (there are other reasons for questioning them), this reading also works simply to situate a more comprehensive understanding of Locke in relation to a literary understanding which is left to sanction and describe itself in ways other than claiming Locke’s philosophy as its origin and analogue. CS)

Besides English literary criticism, Anglo-American philosophy has addressed the project of identifying Locke’s metaphors of mind. What many would understand as a “literary” or ‘“‘rhetorical’’ reading of the Essay, one which pays attention to figurative language in this philosophical text, is in fact a standard component of traditional “‘philosophical” readings of Locke. More specifically, much of the critical philosophical

commentary on Locke teaches that it is by understanding figurative descriptions of mind literally or inconsistently that Locke and his followers commit important errors. Commenting on the general theory of ideas held

by Locke and others, the later eighteenth-century anti-skeptic Thomas Reid, for example, claims that the mistaken view “that perception is owing to some action of an object [an idea] upon the mind” could never have arisen were it not that we are so prone to form our notions of the mind from some similitude we conceive between it and body. Thought in the mind is conceived to have some analogy to motion in a body: and, as a body is put in motion by being

acted upon by some other body, so we are apt to think the mind is made to perceive by some impulse it receives from the object. But reasonings drawn from such analogies ought never to be trusted. They are, indeed, the cause of most of our errors with regard to the mind.

Reid’s student, Dugald Stewart, makes the point when he claims that it 1s not surprising that ‘‘in the judgment of a great majority of individuals, the common analogical phraseology concerning the mind should be mistaken

for its genuine philosophical theory.” In the nineteenth century,

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 15 T. H. Green puts it like this: ‘‘a metaphor, interpreted as a fact, becomes the basis of his [Locke’s] philosophical system.”’!®

A recognition of the way in which the philosophical commentary on Locke is concerned with metaphor does two things. First, it discounts the commonly held view that Anglo-American philosophers are generally unconcerned with the tropological dimension of their primary texts. In fact, the philosophers who write on Locke scrupulously engage with what

they identify as Locke’s metaphors. Locke’s Anglo-American analytic posterity hardly needs a literary critic to inform it of a “‘rhetorical’’ or “‘metaphorical”’ dimension of its canonical texts. Second, it invokes scrutiny of the claim for conceptual and metaphysical disruption made by the contemporary reading of metaphor in philosophy. On any standard view of what metaphor is, the identification of any expression in a philosophical

text as metaphorical requires a set of conceptual investments — if one means by “‘metaphor”’ what Aristotle means by it, then one invests in the concepts of a name, common linguistic use, a thing, a relation, a species, a

genus, proportion, and transference. This is what Derrida recognizes when he claims that the concept of metaphor is a classical philosophical concept.'? The assumption that metaphor can be identified in a philosophical text requires extensive epistemological and conceptual investments. And there is no reason to think that the epistemological implications of metaphor or understandings of it necessarily challenge these investments. It will be observed that, in the Theaetetus, Socrates explains how different metaphors of mind cohere with different concepts of knowledge without stating any massive conceptual problematic. And when Green makes his claim about metaphor in Locke’s epistemology, he is not presenting a critique of western metaphysics but an account of Locke’s all too obvious and comprehensible epistemological mistakes. The point is that the recognition of the impingement of metaphor on epistemology is not the achievement of contemporary thinkers such as Derrida, but is a thoroughly conventional one. Derrida is rather concerned to interrogate the coherence of those conceptual differences which allow for the identification of metaphor in the first place. Contemporary readers of Locke, such as John Richetti, are hence not aligned with mainstream philosophical commentary in the way they think they are when they claim to proceed on the premise that they can study ‘the rhetorical and stylistic issues” without wandering “into the depths of '8 See Thomas Reid, Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, ed. A. D. Woozley (London: Macmillan, 1941) 140-141; Dugald Stewart, Philosophical Essays, Collected Works, 11 vols., ed. William Hamilton (Edinburgh: Thomas Constable, 1854-1860) 5: 157; Thomas Green, Locke and Hume (New York: Apollo, 1968) 11. 19 Jacques Derrida, ‘La Mythologie blanche,”’ Marges de la philosophie (Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1972).

16 Introduction the technical philosophic issues about the nature of language.’’?° The “professional”? reading upon which Richetti claims to rely does not consider the persuasive, stylistic dimension of Locke as Richetti does (and Richetti’s point concerning the conservative force of Locke’s rhetoric is

well made). But the professional reading of Locke zs predicated upon recognitions of how Lockean figures and Locke’s own understanding of them affect his epistemology. Richetti ends up being aligned with this reading because his observations on style, rhetoric, and metaphor quietly

but persistently lead him to claims about the definition of Locke’s _ epistemology: the Essay is a set of instructions for observing the mind rather than an account of knowledge (50); a bourgeois ideology informs

the Essay (68); Locke’s metaphors of mind stage the failure of the | understanding to know itself (76); the mind is literally a movement, activity, and process, and ideas are literally nothing but pure process (82); Locke’s theory of language is quasi-figurative (99); the Essay postu-

lates a stable, isolated self (102); Locke does not answer but simply discards central problems such as skepticism “by involving them in psychological process and epistemological absurdity” (109). These claims do not so much rely on the professional reading of Locke as emerge in the

wake of Richetti’s own scrutiny of style and metaphor. Indeed, they contest various claims forwarded by the professional reading. Because Richetti overlooks the recognition of the interdependence of metaphor and epistemology in the tradition of Locke commentary, he is both allied with and critical of this tradition in a way he does not acknowledge. He would understand his crossing between rhetoric and epistemology as a turn away from professional philosophy, but it is one which in fact ranks him with the old pros. One of these pros was Gilbert Ryle. In locating Locke’s epistemology within a general post-Renaissance metaphor of mind established by Des-

cartes, and comprehensively presenting the misunderstandings which resulted from this metaphor, Ryle’s The Concept of Mind gave powerful expression to a fundamental impulse of the earlier philosophical commen-

tary on Locke. According to Ryle, Descartes presented ‘‘the facts of mental life as if they belonged to one logical type or category (or range of types or categories) when they actually belong to another.” The result was ‘‘the dogma of the ghost in the Machine,” a “‘philosopher’s myth.’’?! This “category mistake” specifically resides in the description of mind in the grammar and terminology of mechanics, or more generally, in metaphors that identify mind and body. It is by failing to identify this metaphor as 20 John Richetti, Philosophical Writing: Locke, Berkeley, Hume (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1983) 15. Further page references are included in the text.

2! Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind (1949; London: Hutchinson, 1978) 17. Further page references are included in the text.

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 17 metaphor, failing to recognize that Descartes presented “‘facts belonging

to one category in the idioms appropriate to another” (10), that Ryle claims post-Renaissance culture (including Locke) was led to conceive of the individual human being as essentially two beings, body and mind. The conception of the human being as a mind in a body or a ghost in a machine then led to misunderstandings of intelligence, memory, imagination, perception, knowing, the relation between theory and practice, and sensation. Ryle’s project of clearing up these misunderstandings is being continued in Jonathan Bennett’s explanation of Locke’s “‘substantive mistake, shared with Berkeley and Hume and others in the empiricist tradition, of

assimilating the sensory far too closely to the intellectual,’’?? and in Richard Rorty’s critique of the mirror of nature as the Cartesian/Lockean metaphor of mind which makes epistemology the center of philosophy. | The Concept of Mind and Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature are, in fact, the

philosopher’s The Mirror and the Lamp: as Abrams identifies metaphors of mind and their aesthetic implications, so Ryle and Rorty, summarizing a tradition of commentary, identify them and their epistemological impli-

cations. But whereas Abrams understands Romanticism to have abrogated (temporarily) the metaphor of mind inherited from Descartes and Locke, Ryle and Rorty see this metaphor and its pernicious epistemological consequences persisting down to the present day. Rorty presents the central observation of his tradition as the claim that Locke models thinking and knowing on sensory perception in general, and on seeing in particular. Locating this Lockean optical metaphor of mind within the more general ‘“‘domination of the mind of the West by ocular metaphors” which is observed by Dewey, Wittgenstein, and Heidegger,”

Rorty argues that it works to define the mind as a mirror reflecting representations of reality — as the eye sees a reflection of reality in a mirror, so the mind is aware of ideas. Other details of the analogy, Rorty explains, permit the notion of a foundation of knowledge: as some reflections in the mirror are seen to be especially clear and distinct, so some ideas appear to the mind with exceptional definition; as we are compelled to see what is before us, so the mind is compelled to believe some things about its ideas. Those ideas of which the mind is best aware, of which it must be aware, are describable as necessary truths which constitute the

- foundation of knowledge, ‘‘and the discipline which directs us towards them — the theory of knowledge — will be the foundation of culture” (163). But ifall the eye sees are reflections in a mirror, how can it tell if the reflection corresponds in the right way to what is reflected, how can it tell

if the reflection is accurate? For Rorty, these questions about reflection 22 Jonathan Bennett, Locke, Berkeley, Hume: Central Themes (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971) 26. 23 Richard Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979)

39. Further page references are included in the text.

- 18 Introduction determine the epistemological stance of the skeptic who argues that the mind cannot tell how its ideas are related to the world. In addition, the strict model of sight for knowing does not allow for the bifurcation of mind

into a site and an agent that is aware of the content of this site. Just as seeing is not the judging of the sensations one has by sight but the simple having of those sensations, so knowing can not be the judging of ideas but only the simple having of them. ‘‘Just as Aristotle has no clear way to

relate grasping universals to making judgments, no way to relate the receptivity of forms into the mind to the construction of propositions, neither has Locke. This is the principal defect of any attempt to reduce ‘knowledge that’ to ‘knowledge of,’ to model knowing on seeing”’ (146). In addition to posing the entire problematic of veil-of-ideas skepticism, then, Rorty sees Locke’s typical ocular imagery as an obstacle to an account of knowledge as a form of judgment. Part II responds not just to various literary appropriations of the Essay, but to the thoroughly traditional issue of how Locke’s figurative language

engages with his epistemological doctrine. In some cases, the fact that Locke’s metaphors of mind differ from what the philosophical commen-

tary says they are does not change the problems observed to afflict Lockean epistemology — the point will be simply that these problems are represented in a way which has not been properly identified. But in other cases, the recognition of Locke’s metaphors of mind results in the liquidation of the foundationalism, representationalism, skepticism, and forms of

incoherence which are seen to follow from his ocular metaphors. A recognition of Locke’s metaphors of mind thus entails the recognition of an epistemology, and a vision of epistemology, which are distinct from those that a tradition of Locke commentary, culminating in Rorty, attributes to

him. In fact, some of Locke’s metaphors entail the hermeneutics which Rorty endorses as the alternative to classical, Lockean epistemology.

(ii In an essay he published in The Georgia Review, Harold Bloom identifies the

context of Part IIT: There is a hidden relation between the ‘end’ of classical rhetoric and the rise of the eighteenth-century psychology founded upon the association of ideas, and indeed an even more complex hidden relation between four modes that would like to have been more diverse than they are: Classical and Renaissance rhetoric; seventeenthand eighteenth-century association-of-ideas psychology; Romantic poetry, from Wordsworth to this moment; Freudian psychoanalysis. When the Associationists

~ Locke, Hume, Gay, Hartley, Tucker being the progression of founders — developed their psychology, they founded it (perhaps unconsciously) upon the topics or commonplaces of rhetoric, precisely because they wished to usurp the

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 19 place and function of rhetoric. But Wordsworth, Coleridge, and their followers, by

translating the commonplaces to their own purposes brought back a powerful, implicit psychologized rhetoric in which topics regenerated tropes, and these tropes in turn elaborated themselves as defensive structures of consciousness. Happily unaware of this return of repressed rhetoric, the main Associationist tradition passed on to Bentham and the Mills. Freud, translating the younger Mill, took over from him the Lockean notion of object-representation, which thus

became the common ancestor both of Freud’s system of defenses and of the tropological patterns of Romantic poetry.?4

Bloom offers many things here, including a kind of literary history that demarcates a period of literature (Romanticism) in terms not of doctrine but of topo: which generate tropes which, in turn, elaborate themselves as forms of consciousness. By establishing as the theoretical premise of his literary periodization the categories of rhetoric upon and within which a will operates, Bloom offers an alternative to the vision of literary tradition

as the history, parallel, biography, or incarnation of philosophy. But besides this notion of literary history, Bloom offers something to the contemporary literary theorist when he remarks upon the connection between rhetoric and eighteenth-century empiricist psychology. The parallel between Cicero’s account of the speaker ordering his discourse in

accordance with the sixteen topoi, and the empiricists’ account of how ideas are ordered in the mind is, to Bloom, so obvious that he spends little time spelling it out. He merely confesses his stupefaction that no one else has considered it: “‘it is a mystery to me that neither the Associationists nor their modern scholars have traced the clear displacement, by the Associationists, of the places of invention into the psychological notions govern-

ing the formation of ideas” (517). But if Bloom finds mystery in the originality of his claim, historians of rhetoric and contemporary theory will find more mystery in its substance. For the implication is that empiricism is in a fundamental sense continuous with a tradition of rhetorical study which must comprehend not just classical and Renaissance rhetoric, but also psychoanalysis and contemporary tropological studies. That is to say, British empiricism must be regarded as a precedent

for developments in contemporary literary theory which are commonly regarded as decidedly non-empiricist and certainly non-British. This claim will not be foreign to those familiar with Paul de Man’s essay, ‘“The Epistemology of Metaphor.” For by reading Book III of the 24 Harold Bloom, ‘Poetic Crossing: Rhetoric and Psychology,”’ The Georgia Review 30 (1976) 508.

Further page references are included in the text.

25 Paul de Man, “‘The Epistemology of Metaphor,” Critical Inquiry 5 (1978) 13-30; reprinted in On Metaphor, ed. Sheldon Sacks (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979). Further page references are to the essay as it appears in On Metaphor and are included in the text. Jerome Christensen has also suggested the congruity of empiricist psychology (articulated by Hartley)

with contemporary French criticism in his account of the Coleridge/Hartley debate as a

20 Introduction Essay as an implicit articulation of a theory of tropes, de Man ultimately

aligns Locke with the recognition of the epistemological function of rhetoric which he claims is simply more explicit in Nietzsche and Derrida. While Bloom finds transfigurations of descriptions of rhetorical invention

and tropes in the empiricists’ description of the thinking mind and in Freud’s description of the defending mind, de Man points to the recurrence of Locke’s implicit recognition of “‘the disfiguring power of figuration”’ (27) in the major thinkers of contemporary deconstruction. It would appear, then, that both the theory of language and the psychology offered

| by the Essay are informed by rhetorical theory in such a way as to make this work congruent with radical developments in twentieth-century literary theory. And it would appear that the polemic waged by Brian Vickers and Richard Kroll against R. F. Jones’ description of the demise of rhetoric during the Restoration is well-directed.”° What is at stake here is not just the shape of the history of rhetoric and

the substance of Lockean epistemology but, again, the definition of Romanticism. As has been observed, British empiricism was and is a central point of reference for several major accounts of Romantic poetry and aesthetic theory. But in the nineteen-seventies, two bodies of work emerged as alternative Urtexts of Romanticism. One was post-Kantian idealism. Though earlier studies of influence and transmission had been made by René Wellek and others, and a Weltanschauung shared by Schelling and Wordsworth had been identified by E. D. Hirsch, ‘‘no one before Abrams,” as J. Hillis Miller put it in his review of Natural Supernaturalism, had “‘so comprehensively read the English Romantic poets in light of their

_ German contemporaries, both poets and philosophers” (7).2” Abrams’ precedent for the current humanism/deconstruction debate. See his ‘‘Philosophy/Literature: The Associationist Precedent for Coleridge’s Late Poems,” Philosophical Approaches to Literature,

ed. William Cain (Toronto: Bucknell University Press, 1984) 27-47. 26 See Brian Vickers, ““The Royal Society and English Prose Style: A Reassessment,”’ in Rhetoric and the Pursuit of Truth: Language Change in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Los Angeles:

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 1985) 3-76; Richard Kroll, The Material Word: Literate Culture in the Restoration and Early Eighteenth Century (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins

| University Press, 1991). For Jones’ major statement, see Ancients and Moderns: A Study in the Rise of the Scientific Movement in England (Saint Louis: Washington University Studies, 1936).

27 For the major early studies of influence and transmission, see A. C. Bradley, English Poetry and German Philosophy in the Age of Wordsworth (Manchester: 1909); F. W. Stokoe, German Influence in the English Romantic Period: 1788-1818 (1926; New York: Russell and Russell, 1963); V. Stockley, German Literature as Known in England 1750-1830 (1929; Port Washington: Kennikat Press, 1969);

René Wellek, Immanuel Kant In England 1793-1838 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1931). For more recent studies, see E. D. Hirsch, Wordsworth and Schelling: A Typological Study of

Romanticism (1960; Hamden: Archon, 1971) and René Wellek, Confrontations: Studies in the Intellectual and Literary Relations Between Germany, England, and the United States During the Nineteenth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965). In ‘On Romanticism: Introduction,” Studies in Romanticism 9 (1970) 217-224, Morse Peckham identifies Hegel as the most profound theorist of Romanticism; in Natural Supernaturalism: Tradition and Revolution in Romantic

Literature (New York: Norton, 1971), Abrams makes his claim for the relevance of the

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 21 observation of the parallels between the English Romantics and the post-Kantian philosophers, especially Schiller and Hegel, was powerfully

_ elaborated upon and revised at the end of the decade: David Simpson finds it useful to resort to Kant and his descendants to describe English Romantic irony; Anne Mellor uses Schlegel’s theory of irony as a “‘paradigm or framework to better understand both the content and the struc-

ture of several major English romantic poets”; Thomas McFarland emphasizes the importance of the German philosophical tradition to the

English Romantics’ concerns with the subject/object polarity; James Engell presents Coleridge as the culmination of an idea of the imagination which was significantly shaped by the post-Kantians. Under the headings of irony, Geistesgeschichte, and a new version of the subject/object dualism

which was already well established through empiricism, post-Kantian idealism has emerged in the last twenty years as a text which helps to identify and explain major dimensions of English Romanticism. The other philosophical writing which appeared in the seventies as an Urtext of British Romanticism was that of Nietzsche. This appearance was most vivid in the early issues of Diacritics. It was the stage for Bloom’s presentation of Nietzsche as a central psychologist of post-Enlightenment poetic revision, and of Coleridge as one of the first test cases. And in his review of Natural Supernaturalism which appeared in the second volume of Diacnitics, J. Hillis Miller unleashes Nietzsche on Abrams’ critical presuppositions regarding imitation, secularization, language, and interpretation. In the same volume, de Man’s well known reading of The Birth of

Tragedy is brought to bear on the issue of whether or not a genetic conception of history is characteristic of Romanticism.?® By demonstrating post-Kantian idealists to English Romanticism. J. Hillis Miller reviews this work in “Tradition and Difference,” Diacritics 2 (1972) 6-13. In “Kubla Khan” and The Fall of Jerusalem: The Mythological School in Biblical Criticism and Secular Literature 1770-1880 (Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, 1975), Eliza Shaffer draws attention to the importance of German higher criticism to Coleridge’s poetic theory and practice. For other readings of the English Romantics in terms of and in relation to the post-Kantian idealists, see David Simpson, Lrony and Authority in Romantic Poetry (London: Macmillan, 1979); Anne K. Mellor, English Romantic Irony

(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980); Thomas McFarland, Romanticism and the Forms of Ruin: Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Modalities of Fragmentation (Princeton: Princeton University , Press, 1981); James Engell, The Creative Imagination: Enlightenment to Romanticism; Mark Kipperman, ‘‘Fichtean Irony and Some Principles of Romantic Quest,” Studtes in Romanticism 23 (1984) 223-236; Crosscurrents: German and English Romanticisms, ed. J. Pipken and T. Gish

(Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1984); Theresa M. Kelley, Wordsworth’s Revistonary Aesthetics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988). For a categorization of modern studies in Romanticism not in terms of the philosophical writings upon which they draw but in terms of their form and ideology, see Jerome McGann, The Romantic Ideology: A Critical Investigation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983). 28 See Harold Bloom, “‘Antithetical Criticism: An Introduction,” Diacritics 1 (1971) 39-46; “Coleridge: The Anxiety of Influence,” Diacritics 2 (1972) 36-41, J. Hillis Miller, “Tradition and Difference,” Diacritics 2 (1972) 6-13; Paul de Man, ‘“‘Genesis and Genealogy in Nietzsche’s

22 Introduction the deconstruction of the genetic pattern in Nietzsche’s text, de Man would seem to infer that Romanticism does indeed undermine the authority of this conception and the conceptual categories it implies (“‘subject, intent, negation, totalization, supported by the underlying metaphysical categories of identity and presence” [45]). Moreover, “‘it is instructive to see a genetic narrative function as a step leading to insights that destroy the claims on which the genetic continuity was founded, but that could not have been formulated if the fallacy had not been allowed to unfold. This may well turn out to be an exemplary model in trying to understand the aberrant interpretation of Romanticism that shapes the genealogy of our present-day historical consciousness” (53). That is to say, a proper reading of Nietzsche’s text strengthens our understanding of both Romanticism itself and the traditional interpretation of it, the aberrancy of which lies in a systematic failure to perceive the destruction of the genetic system. The power of Nietzsche concerning the theory and definition of literature and philosophy in general was, in the late sixties and early seventies, being gauged by a number of French scholars; in the early volumes of Diacritics, Bloom, Miller, and de Man were explicitly arguing the direct relevance of Nietzsche to the study of Romanticism in particular. This relevance is reaffirmed in Leslie Brisman’s Romantic Origins (1979),

where Nietzsche’s text broaches each chapter, and in Tilottama Rajan’s Dark Interpreter (1980), where The Birth of Tragedy is seen as a deconstructive/phenomenological work which provides a vocabulary and a

dynamic capable of defining a particular text and mode of Romantic consciousness.29 And in the 1979 issue of Studies in Romanticism edited by de

Man, it seems that (de Man’s account of) Nietzsche’s deconstruction of the genetic system has indeed become exemplary: “‘the validity of a genetic

or generational model for literary history,’ de Man writes in his introduction, “‘is one of the received ideas the papers leave behind.’’*° But what have proven to be at least as powerful in Romantic studies as Nietzsche’s

interrogations of the genetic model of history, interpretation, revisionary historical consciousness, and Greek tragedy, are his explicit writings on rhetorical and conceptual structure. If the papers edited by de Man leave behind the genetic model of history, they also, as Rajan observes, invest in the notion developed in Allegories of Reading, “that the text repeats and thematizes its figural structures in scenes of writing and reading.” This concern with figural structure and, more specifically, with “the substitutions of structures of consciousness by structures of language’ is what The Birth of Tragedy,’ Diacritics 2 (1972) 44-53. Further page references to de Man’s essay are included in the text. 29 Leslie Brisman, Romantic Origins (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1978); Tilottama Rajan, Dark Interpreter (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1980). 30 Paul de Man, “Introduction,” Studies in Romanticism 18 (1979) 495.

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 23 Thomas Pfau has recently identified as “the most significant transformation of the paradigm of subjectivity within the study of romanticism.” ““The essential romantic question,’”’ he goes on to claim, ‘‘in the most general terms, concerns the relation between structures of conscious-

ness and those of language.’’*! It is precisely the interrogation of this relation which, in the first half of Allegories of Reading, de Man teaches to be

the persistent and most metaphysically devastating articulation in the Nietzschean oeuvre. Mediated principally by de Man, Nietzsche’s tropo-

logical critique of metaphysics has become a primary document of the | contemporary understanding of British Romantic poetry.

Because the notion of a self and the notion of an object or thing confronted, recognized, or known by this self are victims of this rhetorical critique, the subject/object dualism at the center of both empiricism and

post-Kantian idealism is of course abrogated, or at least reduced to the illusory effect of figural power. The swerve away from empiricist epistemo-

logy and post-Kantian metaphysics to Nietzschean rhetoric results in the liquidation of the conceptual premises and investments of the former and

permits a radical reformulation of the main problems and insights of Romantic literature. But if empiricism is continuous with rhetorical theory as Bloom, de Man, Vickers, and Kroll argue, then this swerve may

be less severe than it appears to be, and aspects of the Nietzschean interpretation of Romanticism may be derivable from the text of empiricism.

These issues in epistemology, rhetoric, and literary history are addressed by Part IIT. It issues, first, in a critique of de Man’s construal of Locke’s theory of tropes, and of those critics who want to save and serve de

Man in spite of their own recognition of his, to use one of Ais most charitable critic’s expressions, “flagrant violations.” This critique introduces an account of the specific ways in which Lockean psychology and linguistic theory are, and were long ago observed to be, continuous with classical and Renaissance rhetorical theory. Given this continuity, it is reasonable to assert a further continuity between Lockean epistemological analysis and the Nietzschean rhetorical critique of conceptuality. The continuity observed here confirms Nietzsche’s own identification with the Enlightenment, reveals the inadequacy of the conception of Nietzsche as an alternative to empiricism which marks Romantic literary criticism, and reformulates the relevance of empiricism to both English Romantic poetry

and contemporary rhetorical theory. In addition, it grounds further criticism of one of de Man’s major claims about Nietzsche and enforces the

recognition of the difference between a rhetorical critique of specific 3! See Tilottama Rajan, “‘Displacing Post-Structuralism: Romantic Studies After Paul de Man,” Studies in Romanticism 24 (1985) 452; Thomas Pfau, ‘Rhetoric and the Existential: Romantic Studies and the Question of the Subject,” Studies in Romanticism 26 (1987) 498, 507.

24 Introduction concepts and a critique of western metaphysics. Besides addressing issues in rhetoric, epistemology, and literary history, that is, Part III responds to de Man’s practice of reading philosophical texts and his interpretation of

Nietzsche, both of which have been enormously powerful within contemporary literary theory. (iv)

The arguments presented in Part III against some of de Man’s claims will undoubtedly be taken by some to issue from an agenda against de Man in particular and deconstruction or even theory in general. For in debates over what has come to be called “theory,” synecdoche is the master trope:

parts are taken for wholes and arguments against parts are taken for arguments against wholes. This mode of totalization is particularly crude in connection with de Man because his work is in important ways heterogeneous. The claims he makes about Nietzschean deconstruction in the essays in Allegories of Reading, for example, are quite distinct: in “Rhetoric

of Tropes,” de Man claims that ‘“‘the key to Nietzsche’s critique of metaphysics ... lies in the rhetorical model of the trope” but, in ‘“‘Rhetoric of Persuasion,” the claim is that Nietzsche’s “critique of metaphysics is structured as an aporia between performative and constative language.’’*?

The will to understand an argument against the first claim (such as that presented in chapter 7) as an attack on de Man in general would neglect the difference between these two claims, not to speak of the difference between de Man’s readings of Nietzsche and his readings of other texts. The will to understand such an argument as an argument against theory in general would neglect the difference between de Man’s claim and the voluminous potpourri that “theory” is used to name. As opposed to promoting a Marxist, anti-theory, new historicist, antiNietzschean, humanist, or anti-deconstruction agenda, the criticism of some of de Man’s writing on Locke and Nietzsche, as well as the reading of Locke presented here, moves, in part, out of commitments to the philology with which de Man claimed to be allied. By “‘philology,’”’ Nietzsche meant ‘‘a goldsmith’s craft and connoisseurship of the word [eine Goldschmiedekunst und -kennerschaft des Wortes| which has nothing but delicate, cautious work to do, and achieves nothing if it does not achieve it lento.” The foregoing reading of the Essay and other texts attempts to achieve something through

the slow work of observing and keeping track of the following things: occurrences of particular words and phrases; different usages of particular

words and phrases; word usages which are peculiar to a particular his32 Paul de Man, Allegories of Reading (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979) 109, 131. 33 Friedrich Nietzsche, Morgenréte, Sdmtliche Werke, Kritische Studienausgabe, 15 vols., ed. Giorgio

Colli and Mazzino Montinari (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1988) 3: 17.

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 25 torical period; various forms of allusion and intertextuality; the relation between how a thing is literally described and how it is used to represent something else; the terminology used by one national philosophical tradition to describe another; the history of interpretations of specific texts; the method of analysis followed in different texts; descriptions and uses of the difference between men and women; the conceptual affiliations of different usages and grammatical forms; the relation between the meaning of literal expressions and the meaning of figurative expressions. The points about de Man, metaphysical critique, and rhetoric which emerge in the wake of this practice target neither deconstruction nor theory; in fact, they try to live up to the truth of some of Derrida’s pronouncements on these matters. If these points attack anything, it is the assimilation of particular de Manian claims and procedures with Derridean claims and procedures, and the assimilation of rhetoric with deconstruction. All kinds of beliefs and concepts underlie and enable this philological practice, beliefs and concepts which have been produced by all kinds of things, one of which is texts about language and signification in general. These beliefs and concepts are thus different from a theory, where a theory is understood to be a set of rules, statements, standards, or objects which are independent of practice and the beliefs which enable practice, and which may be consulted to find out how to practice and what to believe in order to practice. The practice which follows thus does not claim tobe an application of, or to be governed by, any theory but only to be enabled, in part, by an extensive set of beliefs and concepts which have been produced by the world in one of its inhabitants. Even if the following practice did make such a claim, it would be false, since whatever was identified and used as theory beyond beliefs, concepts, and practice would turn out to be a product of beliefs, concepts, and practice.** The fact that little explicit rationale for the beliefs and concepts which underlie the following practice is provided need not weaken the importance, persuasiveness, relevance, legitimacy, rigor, value, and power of the

practice they underlie. This is because there is no necessary relation between providing explicit support for some of the beliefs and concepts which underlie one’s practice and the importance, persuasiveness, relevance, legitimacy, value, rigor, and power that practice enjoys in relation to any group of people at any given time. Some people at some times may find that only practices which provide some explicit argumentation in support of their enabling beliefs and concepts are important, persuasive,

relevant, etc. During the 1970s, literary critics seemed to be most 34 This is one way of putting the central claim of antifoundationalist epistemology. For a demonstration and explanation of this point, see Stanley Fish, Doing What Comes Naturally: Change, Rhetoric, and the Practice of Theory in Literary and Legal Studies (Durham: Duke University

Press, 1989).

26 Introduction impressed by readings of literary texts which included discussions of the

, beliefs, concepts, and processes which enabled or constituted these readings. Stanley Fish’s Self-Consuming Artifacts (1972), a series of readings of seventeenth-century English prose, and Wolfgang Iser’s The Implied Reader (1974), a series of readings of English prose from Bunyan to Beckett, were very influential books in part, it would seem, because they conclude with

| discussions of the act of reading which are consistent with their way of looking at particular texts. But some people at some times may also find

the importance, persuasiveness, relevance, etc. of any given practice unaffected or even weakened by the fact that it includes an explicit rationale for some of its underlying beliefs and concepts. This might occur when people are confident in the beliefs and concepts underlying practice and therefore feel that they do not need an explicitly stated rationale, or

when they are tired of reading about the beliefs and concepts which underlie practice. Thus, nothing necessarily follows from the fact that no explicit rationale is offered for the enabling beliefs and concepts of any practice. For those who find practice without extensive rationale for its enabling beliefs and concepts illegitimate, the following practice will be illegitimate; for those who find such a practice may be legitimate, it may be legitimate (this will depend, in part, on the specific kinds of beliefs and concepts which underlie it). Any practice may be important, persuasive, and relevant even though it fails to provide any justification for its enabling beliefs and concepts; it may remain so even when it is known that its enabling beliefs and concepts have been effectively challenged. The conceptual opposition between the sign and the signified which underlies the following practice of distin-

guishing between literal and figurative signs and identifying their meanings, for example, has been effectively challenged by Derrida. But

Derrida’s critique of this opposition means neither that one is free to discard it, nor that the practices it enables are untenable, worthless, and dispensable. That one is not free to discard it is what Derrida means when he claims that “‘our discourse [discours] irreducibly belongs to the system of metaphysical oppositions.”*° That the practices this opposition underlies and enables are not untenable is made clear by Derrida on a number of occasions, one of which is his discussion of the sign/signified opposition in

connection with translation: |

that this opposition or this difference can not be radical and absolute does not prevent it from functioning and even being indispensable within certain limits — very wide limits. For example, no translation would be possible without it. And it is, in effect, within the horizon of an absolutely pure, transparent, and univocal translatability that the theme of a transcendental signified is constituted. Within the limits where it is possible, or at least appears to be possible, translation practices 35 Jacques Derrida, L’Ecriture et la difference (Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1967) 34.

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 27 the difference between signified and signifier. But if this difference is never pure,

neither is translation and, for the notion of translation, it will be necessary to substitute a notion of transformation: the ordered [réglée] transformation of one language by another, of one text by another. We are and never will be faced with some ‘transport’ of pure signifieds from one language to another or from within one and the same language which the signifying instrument — or ‘vehicle’ — would leave virgin and unbroached [inentamé].°*°

Like the act of translation, the act of distinguishing between literal and figurative signs and identifying the meaning of these signs practices the difference between the sign and the signified. If, as Derrida argues, this difference is never pure and absolute, then neither is the act of commenting on a philosophical text in this way. But that this form of commentary Is not pure and absolute does not mean that it is worthless, dispensable, and untenable. It only means that for the notion of philosophical commentary

of this kind, it will be necessary to substitute a notion of transformation: transformation of a philosophical text by a second text (commentary). And as long as one is concerned with the difference between literal and figurative signs in a philosophical text, as long as one is concerned with the meaning of these signs, this kind of transformation will be, like translation, indispensable.

It is perhaps worth adding that Derrida could hardly dismiss all practices, the underlying beliefs and concepts of which are targeted by deconstruction, given that deconstruction is one such “‘practice” (the quotation marks are meant to indicate that there is a problem, recognized - by Derrida, with understanding deconstruction as a practice, a method, something one does). Like every other form of western discours, the critique

of metaphysics, whether it be Nietzschean, Heideggerian, Freudian, or Derridean, belongs to the system of metaphysical oppositions. As Derrida puts it in his remarkably single-minded volume, Writing and Difference [L’Ecrature et la différence},

all of these destructive discourses [those of Nietzsche, Freud, and Heidegger] and all of their analogues are caught in a kind of circle. This circle is unique, and it

describes the form of the rapport between the history of metaphysics and the destruction of the history of metaphysics; it makes no sense at all to do without metaphysical concepts in order to shake [ébranle] metaphysics; we have no language — no syntax and no lexicon — which is outside of [étranger 4] this history; we can state [énoncer] not a single destructive proposition which has not already had to slip into the form, the logic, and the implicit postulates of that very thing which it would challenge. (412)

Even when one is engaged in the “‘practice’’ of metaphysical critique, one is not outside or free of the system of oppositions that define it. Not just

practices such as the following which, like translation, postulate the 36 Jacques Derrida, Positions (Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1972) 31.

28 Introduction sign/signified opposition, but the “practice” of deconstruction itself confirms Derrida’s claim that our discourse irreducibly belongs to the system of metaphysical oppositions. The mere fact that a practice belongs to this system, even when this system has been destroyed, then, hardly makes it

untenable and dispensable, since all practices, including those which destroy it, belong to it. But if deconstruction, like all other practices, belongs to the system of metaphysical oppositions, how, it may be asked, can it claim to be a critique of this system, how can it claim to destroy it? It

is at this point that Derrida invokes his most challenging terms and notions: though he abides by the system of metaphysical oppositions which he understands to constitute western metaphysics, he yet solicits it, shakes

it, and resists it. But this solicitation, shaking, and resistance are not so much actions which Derrida deliberately accomplishes, as things and happenings to which, out of love, he attends: Deconstruction, as such, reduces neither to a method (reduction to the simple) nor to an analysis; it goes beyond the critical decision, the critical idea [l’tdée critique] itself. That is why it is not negative, although, in spite of so many warnings, it has

often been interpreted to be so. For me, it always accompanies an affirmative exigency, I would even say that it never goes without love [elle ne va jamais sans amour] .°’

Whatever integrity deconstruction has as a critique of metaphysics resides not in the integrity of a simple destruction or claim to escape, but in the integrity of these notions of solicitation, resistance, and love. The consequences and implications of the specific observations made about Locke’s figurative representation of mind and his connection with rhetorical theory are sporadically stated throughout Parts II and III; Part

IV presents a summary of these observations and a concentrated statement of implications. It is a concluding statement of how a more comprehensive understanding of the Essay enforces revisions in the understandings of philosophy, rhetoric, and literature which have just been surveyed. 37 **¥acques Derrida sur les traces de la philosophie,” Jacques Derrida interviewed by Christian Descamps, Le Monde 31 January 1982.




Substance, space, labor, and property

~ He pick’d up an opinion, Sir, as a man in a state of nature picks up an apple. — It becomes his own, — and if he is a man of spirit, he would lose his life rather than give it up. — Sterne, Tristram Shandy III, 34


The philosophical commentary on Locke is marked by the accusation that he invests too deeply in and infers too much from the analogy between the mind and a tabula rasa. This accusation is observable in Locke’s earliest opponents such as Leibniz, through Thomas Reid and Dugald Stewart in

the latter eighteenth century and T. H. Green in the nineteenth century, up to twentieth-century figures such as Wilfred Sellars, Jonathan Bennett, | and Richard Rorty.! As will be observed later in the consideration of Locke’s ostensible description of mind in terms of seeing, the claim that Locke asserts an analogy between at least one dimension of the mind and an impressed substance is not entirely mistaken. What this tradition has failed to observe, however, is that the expression tabula rasa does not occur in the Essay — rasa tabula occurs once in “Draft A”’ of the Essay (1671), but ' See Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Nouveaux Essats sur l’entendement humain, Samtliche Schriften und

Briefe (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1962) 6: 109-110 (further page references are to this edition); Thomas Reid, Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man 69-78. Reid finds both Locke and Hume guilty of imagining the mind as an impressed body but notices that Locke has some reservations and also that he “‘in some passages” places impressions “in the brain, and makes them there to be perceived by the mind there present” (74). In Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind,

Dugald Stewart claims that “the greater part of the metaphysical language, concerning perception in general, appears evidently, from its etymology, to have been suggested by the phenomena of vision.” But he goes on to castigate Locke, Newton, and Clarke for appealing to

the “theory of impulse” in order to explain perception, that is, for having ‘imagined that the | impression on the organ of sense is communicated to the mind in a similar manner.”’ See Elements, Collected Works 2: 91-119. For Green’s objections, see Hume and Locke 10-11. Richard

Rorty has already observed that it is the notion of an impression upon which a tradition of Locke commentary has seized to mount a critique. For his position in this tradition, and references to H. A. Prichard, Wilfred Sellars, and Jonathan Bennett, see Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature 139-146. 31

32 Mind not in the Essay itself. This is simply the boldest indication that, within some polemical contexts of the Essay, the tabula rasa is consistently displaced by other things to figure the mind.” In order to see that this is the case, Locke’s representation of mind must be observed not only when describing the mind is his principal and explicit concern, but also when a description of mind is required by but secondary to his other arguments and concerns. Before Locke explicitly commences his attack on innate principles and

ideas in the second chapter of Book I, he prepares its metaphorical ground. For in the introductory chapter to the work, Locke initiates a way of describing the mind which in the course of Book I supplants the mental descriptions which he attributes to the proponents of innatist doctrine. In presenting the method he is going to follow in the Essay, Locke asserts that First, I shall enquire into the Original of those Ideas, Notions, or whatever you please to call them, which a Man observes, and is conscious to himself he has in his

Mind; and the ways whereby the Understanding comes to be furnished with them. (44)

That the mind is some kind of space within which an idea may be had and observed, as a piece of furniture may be owned and observed in a room, is again implied by the way in which Locke leads up to his explicit critique of innate principles and ideas. Having established that the term “idea” will

stand for “whatsoever is the Object of the Understanding when a Man thinks,’’ Locke concludes the introductory chapter as follows: I presume it will be easily granted me, that there are such Jdeas in Men’s Minds; everyone is conscious of them in himself, and Men’s. Words and Actions will satisfy

him, that they are in others. Our first Enquiry then shall be, how they come into the Mind. (48)

By posing the question in this way, Locke has preempted the innatist’s response. For, as Locke presents it, the innatist doctrine presupposes a conception of mind which cannot make sense of the notions of entrance 2 For a text of this draft of the Essay, see An Early Draft of Locke’s “Essay”, ed. Richard Aaron and

Jocelyn Gibb (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1936) 7. The term tabula rasa occurs in Thomas Aquinas’ discussion of intellect in the Summa Theolegica (1, question 79, article 2), and, as tabulam

rasilem, in Gassendi’s account of the origin of ideas in his /nstitutio Logica (1658) (Part I, Ganon 2). Both are referring to a passage in Aristotle’s On the Soul: ‘““now we distinguished above affection in virtue of something common, in saying that the intellect is in a way potentially the

objects of thought, but nothing in actuality before it thinks, and the potentiality is like that of the tablet on which there is nothing actually written. Just the same happens in the case of the intellect.” See On the Soul, transl. Hugh Lawson-Tancred (New York: Penguin, 1986) 203 (430a). But see also Socrates’ account of the philosopher as one who practices “stamping on the plastic matter of human nature in public and private”’ the patterns he sees in the divine order, and who, in order to do so, “will take the city and the characters of men, as they might a tablet, and first wipe it clean.”’ See Republic, transl. Paul Shorey, Plato: The Collected Dialogues, ed. Edith

Hamilton and Huntington Cairns (1961; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980) 736 (500d-501a).

Substance, space, labor, and property 33 and interior space posited by the literal meaning of the question. What the innatist’s conception of mind is becomes evident in the opening paragraph of the second chapter: It is an established Opinion amongst some Men, That there are in the Understanding certain innate Principles; some primary Notions, Kotvai €vvoiat, Characters, as it were stamped upon the Mind of Man, which the Soul receives in its very first Being; and brings into the World with it. It would be sufficient to convince unprejudiced Readers of the falseness of this Supposition, if I should only shew (as I hope I shall in the following Parts of this Discourse) how Men, barely by the Use of their natural Faculties, may attain to all the Knowledge they have, without the help of any innate Impressions; and may arrive at Certainty, without any such Original Notions or Principles. For I imagine any one will easily grant,

That it would be impertinent to suppose, that Ideas of Colours innate in a Creature, to whom God hath given Sight, and a Power to receive them by the Eyes from external Objects: and no less unreasonable would it be to attribute several Truths, to the Impressions of Nature, and innate Characters, when we may observe in our selves Faculties, fit to attain as easie and certain Knowledge of them, as if they were Originally imprinted on the Mind. (48)

At first it looks as if the innatist shares Locke’s notion of the mind as a room or space, since “‘some Men” hold the opinion that certain innate principles are ‘“‘in the Understanding.”’ In this case there could be a real disagreement about when and how ideas enter the mind, since both Locke

and the innatist would agree that, in some way or another, ideas do indeed enter the mind, or that entering is a fair representation of the action of ideas in relation to the mind. But that the innatist doctrine, as Locke articulates it, does not hold a view of the mind which would enable

this kind of disagreement becomes evident with the discourse of characters, stamping, impressions, and imprinting which dominates not only this paragraph but Locke’s entire presentation of innatist doctrine in Book

I. For the innatist, ideas do not enter the mind, indeed cannot enter it, because the mind is not conceived as some type of space or room which an

idea may enter. Rather, the mind is a substance upon which ideas are written, stamped, engraved, printed, or impressed. Even where the substance is that in which the engraving or stamp is made, it is still the surface

of the substance that receives the impression, not an interior space. In response to the question of how ideas ‘“‘come into the mind,” Locke’s inna-

tist may hence only reply that, metaphorically speaking, they do not, and that the very posing of the question presupposes a faulty conception of the mind. That the issue in Book I is not just that of how the mind comes to think and know, but how it is properly imaged, conceived of, and described is made clear by the consistency of this dimension of Locke’s mental figurat-

ions. Consider, for example, the following passage from chapter four.

34 Mind Conceding that new-born children may have in them faint ideas of hunger, thirst, warmth, and pain, Locke goes on to assert that One may perceive how, by degrees, afterwards, /deas come into their Minds; and that they get no more, nor no other, than what Experience, and the Observation of things, that come in their way, furnish them with; which might be enough to satisfy us, that they are not Original Characters, stamped on the Mind. (85)

Locke does not proceed on the innatist conception of the mind as a tabula rasa and claim that it receives impressions only through experience. This is

all he need to have done in order to refute the innatist’s claim that the child has ideas (that is, receives impressions) independently of experience. For although, as several studies have pointed out, the image of the mind as an imprinted substance was the one commonly adopted by seventeenth-

century proponents of innate ideas, this image does not entail innatist epistemological doctrine since it leaves open when and by what the substance representing the mind is imprinted.’ But in spite of the epistemological neutrality of the imprinted substance metaphor, Locke here dismisses it and redescribes the mind as an enclosed space into which ideas may enter and remain as furnishing. These two conflicting images of the mind occur on almost every page of Book I, and, in the vast majority of cases, Locke claims the containment metaphor for himself while relegating the imprinting metaphor to the innatists.*

The innatist’s imagination of the mind as an imprinted substance is complicated in some cases by the postulation of a person or eye that sees, reads, and understands these inscriptions. Considering the innatist’s concession that the mind may need to reason in order to discover some innate

principles, Locke writes, , |

That certainly can never be thought innate, which we have need of Reason to discover, unless as I have said, we will have all the certain Truths, that Reason ever teaches us, to be innate. We may as well think the use of Reason necessary to make our Eyes discover visible Objects, as that there should be need of Reason, or 3 For the primacy of impression metaphors in seventeenth-century innatist theory, see James Gibson, Locke’s Theory of Knowledge and Its Historical Relations (1917; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1931) 32, and John Yolton, John Locke and the Way of Ideas (Oxford: Oxford

University Press, 1956). On the imprint metaphor in the Cambridge Platonists (and on some qualifications it undergoes there), see G. A. J. Rogers, “Locke, Newton and the Cambridge

(1992) 12-45. ,

Platonists,” Journal of the History of Ideas 40 (1979) 191-205, and William Youngren, “‘Founding English Ethics: Locke, Mathematics, and the Innateness Question,” Eighteenth-Century Life 16

4 The innatist view stated in terms of an imprinting metaphor is rejected on every page of Book | except 55-58, 61, 68, 80, 81, 96, 97, 100-103. For a listing of further occurrences of locutions in

Book I which postulate the mind as an enclosed space, see Appendix. Irregularities are observable in Locke’s concession that God may have imprinted his name on the minds of men speaking the same language (93), his parenthetical comparison of the unprejudiced understanding to white paper which may receive characters (81), and his refusal to deny “that there are natural tendencies imprinted on the Minds of Men” (67).

Substance, space, labor, and property 35 the Exercise thereof, to make the Understanding see, what is Originally engraven in it, and cannot be in the Understanding, before it be perceived by it. (52)

Here Locke attributes to the innatist a bipartite figurative representation of mind: the mind is an engraved substance and a person or eye which sees,

reads, and understands these engravings. This enriched version of the innatist representation of mind is later explicitly articulated by Locke when he attacks the possibility of there being imprinted characters and writing which cannot be “observed” by the mind (52); questions the intelligibility of ““Characters [which] could not be read by those Eyes, which saw other things very well’? (62); asserts that moral principles “‘lie not open as natural Characters ingraven on the Mind; which if any such were, they must needs be visible by themselves, and by their own light be certain and known to every Body’’; repeats that moral principles “‘are not innate, and such as offer themselves to their [men’s] view without search-

ing’ (66); and insists that moral law is not carried about by men in “indelible Characters” which stare them “in the Face whilst they are breaking it” (75).

The opening pages of Book II are indicative of Locke’s continued denigration of the innatist’s imprint metaphor and the ascendancy of the

containment metaphor. In the initial paragraph Locke claims to have examined the “‘received Doctrine, That Men have native Jdeas, and original Characters stamped upon their Minds,” and claims that he will now proceed to show “‘whence the Understanding may get all the Jdeas it has, and by what ways and degrees they may come into the Mind” (104).

The whole project of Book II, then, is foreseen as an investigation of acquisition and entrance rather than of imprinting. The second paragraph of this chapter is often quoted as an indication of Locke’s view of the mind at birth as a tabula rasa, but that Locke does not invest in this image of the mind is clear: Let us then suppose the Mind to be, as we say, white Paper, void of all Characters, without any Jdeas; How comes it to be furnished? Whence comes it by that vast

store, which the busy and boundless Fancy of Man has painted on it, with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of Reason and Knowledge?

To this I answer, in one word, From Experience: In that, all our Knowledge is founded; and from that it ultimately derives it self. Our Observation employ’d either about external, sensible Objects; or about the internal Operations of our Minds, perceived and reflected on by our selves, 1s that, which supplies our Understandings with all the

materials of thinking. These two are the Fountains of Knowledge, from whence all the /deas we have, or can naturally have, do spring. (104)

As Erling Eng has noted, “‘‘the white paper’ is but one figure in a sequence

of figures,” and it “simply provides a point of departure for a series of analogies developed in order to enrich the model, but which also serve to

36 Mind disclose its insufficiencies.”’” It may be added that nowhere in the passage does Locke make reference to printing, stamping, or impression, and that the representation of the mind as a containing space persists. For while the mind is said to be white paper upon which fancy paints, it is also furnished by this painting and receives from it a ‘‘vast store.”’ The third and final formulation of the question may be seen to conform with the storehouse image if the having of materials is understood in the sense of holding or storing them. But here Locke’s language may imply that the mind is not so much a storehouse of materials as it is an agent within the storehouse who possesses them, since the “has” also offers itself to be read in the sense of

owning and possessing. After the description of knowledge as. being founded, the implied description of the mind as a storehouse/owner again arises with the account of observation as what is ‘‘employ’d”’ in supplying

material to the understanding. With the image of observation and ideas as . a fountain from which water springs, the initial supposition of the mind as painted paper has been considerably liquidated by a scenario of provision and supply to a place, storehouse, or owner. Throughout the rest of the Essay, Locke either invokes the language of

impression to present a position he is attacking, or revises it in order to present his own views. Conceding that children may “receive” ideas before birth, but still asserting that these ideas “depend on something exterior to the mind,” Locke, for example, distinguishes these ideas from “those innate Principles [which] are supposed to be of quite another nature; not coming into the Mind by any accidental alterations in, or operations of the Body; but, as it were, original Characters impressed upon

it, in the very first movement of its Being and Constitution” (144). The

innatist who negates Locke’s containment metaphor and affirms an impression metaphor again surfaces as the one who explains the universal assent granted to some propositions in terms of “‘native uniform Impressions” instead of the faculty of discerning (155-156). In Book IV, Locke

bluntly restates his claim against innatism by claiming that God “‘has stamped no original Characters on our Minds” and reasserting the spatial mind by claiming that the mind contains those faculties with which we are “furnished” (619). And those propositions which are universal and certain and which are aeternae veritates “‘indeed are so; not from being written all or

any of them in the Minds of all men, or that they were any of them Propositions in any ones Mind, till he, having got the abstract Jdeas, joyn’d

or separated them by affirmation or negation” (638). Here, the ‘‘not” > Erling Eng, “Locke’s Tabula Rasa and Freud’s Mystic Writing Pad,”’ Journal of the History of Ideas 41 (1980) 137, 140. Philip Vogt comments on the minor role of the metaphor of white paper in an essay which is sensitive to the pervasiveness and diversity of metaphorical usage in the Essay: “Seascape with Fog: Metaphor in Locke’s Essay,” Journal of the History of Ideas 54

(1993) 1-18. |

| Substance, space, labor, and property 37 directly attaches to the writing metaphor; the containment metaphor which follows evades this negation because the sentence proceeds to describe the precondition not for the impressed minds of all men but for the singular anyone’s mind which contains ideas. The effect of this subtle grammatical shifting is to make the sentence into a conjunction containing one straight negation and one complex sentence: eternal truths are not written on the minds of all men, and eternal truths are not in anyone’s mind until “he” has joined and separated the abstract ideas “‘he’’ already has. Whereas writing is negated outright, containment is merely made contingent, so that it is not surprising to find Locke, in the rest of the passage, describing knowledge of eternal truths in terms of furnishings and

possessions which may exist in enclosed space. The metaphorical displacement observable on this micro-grammatical level of Locke’s text here models a displacement that marks the text as a whole. Locke’s revisions of the innatist’s description of the mind as an imprinted,

stamped, engraved, written substance (which may be seen, read, or understood by an eye or person) are of several types. First, the imprinting metaphor surfaces in Book IV at the moment Locke is speculating about life on other planets, and supposing that one might by means of God supernaturally have an idea derived from a sixth sense (690). This invocation of the imprinting metaphor in the context of supposition or doubt (a tactic

also found in Book I [93, 95]) occurs once more in the chapter on enthusiasm where Locke asks ‘‘how do I know that GOD is the Revealer of this to me; that this Impression is made upon my Mind by his [God’s] holy

Spirit, and that therefore I ought to obey it?” (701). Second, with the exception of occurrences in the chapter on memory and the chapter on clear and distinct ideas, the most physically severe articulations of imprinting as stamping or engraving drop out of the Essay. Third, in several cases Locke employs the terms “impression” and ‘“‘imprinted’’ in

discussing the mind without providing any indication of what it is that receives the impression. This is in marked contrast to the language of Book I where, in presenting the innatist doctrine, Locke explicitly indicates that

it is the mind or understanding upon which the impression, character, or mark is made. An example of this divergence from innatist usage is in Locke’s claim that any sober man of right understanding can be as frantic ‘fas any in Bedlam; if either by any sudden very strong impression, or long fixing his Fancy upon one sort of Thoughts, incoherent /deas have been cemented together so powerfully, as to remain united” (161). Where is the impression? What is it that is impressed upon? The same vagueness can be found in the opening of Book II where ideas are said to “imprint themselves,” in the discussion of simple modes of space where the mind is described as ‘‘taking in impressions” (178), in the discussion of the association of ideas where he again refers to “‘the strength of the first Impres-

38 Mind sion” (396), in the discussion of assent in Book IV where the man who takes his opinions on trust is said to regard his tenets as ‘impressions he has

received from GOD himself’ (660), and in a later reference to “‘Impressions [a man] may have from the immediate hand of GOD” (689).® Across

the scattered instances of Locke’s usage of terms of impression, slight swerves and turns consistently distinguish it from the innatist’s usage.

But the most significant revision Locke imposes upon the innatist’s language of imprinting is in presenting the substance that receives the impression not as a figure of the mind but as the body or sensory organ. Given that the body is a substance with surfaces which may literally be impressed whereas the mind is not, this revision transforms the term “ampression”’ from a metaphor of consciousness to a literal description of the collision of material substances. And in the context of this revision, some of the ambiguity which arises from the Essay’s grammar is weakened because “‘impression”’ in this context means impression on the senses. This

specific transformation of innatist discourse begins in Book I with refer-

ences to ideas “which are imprinted by external Things ... and which make the most frequent Impressions on their [i.e. infants’] Senses’’ (55), and “‘objects ... which have made upon their Senses the frequentest and strongest Impressions’’ (64). The identification of ideas, besides objects, as what can impress the senses is an exception to Locke’s prevailing usage which is exemplified in the following passage near the end of the opening chapter of Book IT: If it shall be demanded then, When a Man begins to have any Ideas? 1 think, the true

Answer is, When he first has any Sensation. For since there appear not to be any Ideas in the Mind, before the Senses have conveyed any in, I conceive that Ideas in the Understanding, are coeval with Sensation; which is such an Impression or

Motion, made in some part of the Body, as produces some Perception in the

, Understanding. Tis about these Impressions made on our Senses by outward Objects, that the Mind seems first to employ it self in such Operations as we call Perception, Remembering, Consideration, Reasoning, etc. (117)

Locke is here revising the terminology of impression in an attempt to make it consistent with his favored containment image for the mind. He does so

by making the body or the bodily senses that within or upon which outward objects make impressions, and the mind the space which contains ideas that are conveyed to or produced in it. The mind is still employed

about impressions on the senses, but these impressions take the form of ideas which are conveyed to and produced “in the Mind” and “in the Understanding.”’ Impression 7s sensation, and containment (of what is

produced by sensation) the metaphor for perception, thinking, or consciousness. & For further examples of this type, see 117, 145, 363, 396, 397, 398.

Substance, space, labor, and property 39 This modification persists, with some incongruities, throughout the Essay.’ In the short fifth chapter of Book II, Locke writes, “the Jdeas we get by more than one Sense, are of Space, or Extension, Figure, Rest, and Motion: For these make perceivable impressions, both on the Eyes and Touch; and

we can receive and convey into our Minds the /deas of the Extension, Figure, Motion, and Rest of Bodies, both by seeing and feeling” (127) (‘“‘these”’ after the colon seems to refer not to ideas but to space, extension,

figure, rest, and motion). In Chapter VIII, Locke claims that it is “manifestly by impulse’? that “‘Bodies produce Ideas in us” (136), and

explicitly locates the site of impulse not at the juncture of mind and sensations but at the juncture of sensory organs and the particles that constitute external bodies. Ideas and perceptions are not described as impressing or striking the mind but are repeatedly said to be produced in the mind by the impulse or operation of particles upon the sensory organs. In the later chapter on perception, Locke straightforwardly claims that perception is ‘‘exercised about our /deas’’ and again describes “impressions’ as being “‘made on the outward parts” (145). In the discussion of hearing, he continues to refer to “impressions of sounding Bodies, made

upon the Organ of Hearing”? and an “impulse there may be on the Organ,”’ but momentarily diverges from this usage in claiming that when the understanding takes no notice of that which usually produces an idea in the mind, no idea is imprinted on the mind (144). Again, Locke slips into the innatist designation of mind, but it is notable that he only denies the occurrence allowed by this presupposition and in the final sentence of the paragraph reaffirms the containment image: “‘So that where-ever there is Sense, or Perception, there some Idea is actually produced, and present in the Understanding”’ (144).

In the short chapter on retention, Locke asserts with some persistence that the mind is imprinted by ideas. This brief but pronounced exception to the usage of the Essay as a whole constitutes not a major description of

mind in the work, but rather an index to the complicity of notions of imprinting and memory. And even here, the description of the mind as a kind of containing space persists. The reference to ‘Impressions made upon any of our Senses’’ (184) in the discussion of duration resumes the prevailing usage which is exemplified in the later discussion of the modes of thinking with references to “any impression on the Body, made by an external Object’? (226), ‘‘the ordinary Impressions made then on the Senses,”’ and “‘those Motions made on the Organs of Sense”’ (228). In the ? Green notes some of these incongruities in Hume, Philosophical Works, ed. Green and Grose (1886; Darmstadt: Scientia Verlag Aalen, 1964) 8—9. Peter Alexander observes the general consistency of Locke’s usage in the Essay when he claims that “impressions are bodily; ideas or perceptions are mental.” See Ideas, Qualities and Corpuscles: Locke and Boyle on the External World

(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985) 95.

40 Mind chapter on power, Locke refers to “the impression of outward Objects on the Senses” (233) and concludes with a brief consideration of action in terms of an external agent imposing an impression upon substance (285). In the discussion of distinct and confused ideas, a clear idea is defined as that ‘“‘whereof the Mind has such a full and evident perception, as it does

receive from an outward Object operating duly on a well-disposed Organ” (364). The distinction between impressions on the senses and ideas in the mind is again clearly made when Locke refers to ‘‘Organs to receive the impressions Fire makes on the Sight and Touch” and a “‘Mind

joined to those Organs to receive the Ideas of Light and Heat’ (376).° Locke’s affirmative use of the terminology of impulse and impression in the

Essay designates the sensory organ instead of the mind as the site of collision and impression.

In Book I of the Essay, then, Locke fairly consistently presents the doctrine of innate ideas and principles, which is the main object of his attack, as a doctrine which represents the mind as some type of substance upon which God or Nature writes, stamps, and engraves.° This representation in some cases also includes a person or eye that sees, reads, and understands these inscriptions. In arguing against innatism, Locke abandons this representation; in affirming that all ideas derive from experience,

he asserts an alternative representation of mind. It consists, in part, in some kind of enclosed space to which things are conveyed and into which they enter or in which they are produced. After Book I, Locke continues to

refute the innatist position regarding the origins of some ideas or principles, and to dismiss the representation of mind with which he associates it. The innatist’s language of impression is not, however, reserved for the presentation of mistaken views about the origin of ideas, for beginning in 8 For Locke’s troubled account of how the contact of external bodies with the body or senses

_ produces “in us” or “in the Mind” ideas or sensations, see the Essay 536-537, 558-559, 632-633, 638. Here the term “impulse” instead of “impression” is used to describe the contact of external bodies with the sensory organ. This is not to deny the ambiguities in Locke’s account of what an idea is, but to emphasize the consistency that marks a particular linguistic usage in the Essay. It should also be noted that Locke does not consistently use “sensation” to refer just to the impression of particles upon the body, but often uses it to refer to consciousness of the impression (what he elsewhere calls ‘“‘perception’”’). For a discussion of these inconsistencies, see Douglas Greenlee, ‘‘Locke’s Idea of ‘Idea,’”’ Locke on Human Understanding, ed. 1. C. Tipton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977) 41-47; John Yolton, “The Concept of Experience in Locke and Hume,” Journal of the History of Philosophy 1 (1963) 53-71; Stephen Nathanson, “Locke’s Theory of Ideas,” Journal of the History of Philosophy 11 (1973) 29-42. 9 In “Locke’s Attack on Innate Knowledge,” Locke on Human Understanding 19-24, Grenville Wall cites two passages from Book I to justify his claim that “if there were any innate principles Locke

could only explain them by supposing that they were imprinted by God.” But in several passages Locke identifies nature as a candidate for the imprinter of innate ideas. See 48, 52, 54, 59, 60, 62, 64, 67. Also, expressions such as ‘“‘native Impressions” (60, 65, 86, 93), ‘‘natural Inscription” (65), and “natural Impressions” (67, 89) would seem to indicate that Locke can conceive of innate ideas without God as their direct imprinter. Finally, Locke frequently gives no indication of what it is that makes the so-called imprint affirmed by innatist doctrine.

Substance, space, labor, and property 41 Book I, Locke also uses this language to present his own position. In so doing, he transforms it in various ways: he eliminates its most severe and

concrete articulations; he uses it to speculate and express doubt; he introduces slight grammatical modifications to it which result in various kinds of ambiguity; he fairly consistently substitutes the body or sensory

organs for the mind as that which receives the impression, and external objects for God and Nature as the agent that does the impressing. That is

to say that Locke generally uses the vocabulary of impression not to describe thought but to describe what he frequently but not always calls “sensation.” This appropriation of the discourse of impression and the substitution of enclosed space for substance as a representation of the mind pervade the Essay and further justify Walter Ong’s identification of “‘the

increased use of spatial models in dealing with processes of thought and communication”’ as a mark of the post-Ramist age.!° (ii)

The shift from substance to space is entrenched by and coheres with other images and narratives of Locke’s epistemological discourse. A passage from Plato’s Theaetetus which makes the same shift is useful in identifying

and comprehending one of these narrative and conceptual affiliations. After Socrates in his role as midwife has delivered Theaetetus of the conception that knowledge is perception and made it “‘perfectly plain that

knowledge is something different from perception,” Socrates asks Theaetetus to tell him once more what knowledge is.!! This time, Theaetetus proposes that there is false judgment and true judgment, and that knowledge is true judgment. In an attempt to solve the problem of how false judgment can occur, Socrates invokes an impression metaphor (though the mind contains the block of wax): SOCRATES: Imagine, then, for the sake of argument, that our minds contain a block of wax, which in this or that individual may be larger or

smaller, and composed of wax that is comparatively pure or muddy, and harder in some, softer in others, and sometimes of just the right consistency. THEAETETuS: Very well.

SOCRATES: Let us call it the gift of the Muses’ mother, Memory, and say that

whenever we wish to remember something we see or hear or 10 See Walter Ong, Method and the Decay of Dialogue (1958; Cambridge: Harvard University Press,

1983) 314. It should be noted, however, that Ong also sees this use of spatial models to be integrally related to the rise of letterpress printing. For a listing of occurrences across the entire Essay of locutions which describe the mind as an enclosed space, see Appendix. 1! Theaetetus, transl. F. M. Cornford, Plato: The Collected Dialogues 892 (186—187b). Further references to the Theaetetus are to this edition and are included in brackets in the text.

42 Mind conceive in our own minds, we hold this wax under the perceptions or ideas and imprint them on it as we might stamp the impression of a seal ring. Whatever is so imprinted we remember and know so

know. (897) :

long as the image remains; whatever is rubbed out or has not succeeded in leaving an impression we have forgotten and do not

While this way of imagining the mind allows Socrates to explain false

judgment as the mind’s mistake in fitting or assigning its sensory perceptions to their proper imprints (thoughts), it cannot account for the occurrence of errors in pure arithmetic which Socrates then observes. For in this type of error, the mind mistakes one thought or imprint for another. Moreover, the case of arithmetical error, posed as a counter-example to the correspondence theory of false judgment, offends the previously estab-

lished premise that a man cannot think one thing he knows is another thing he knows. Faced with admitting either that a man can mistake one thing he knows for another thing he knows, or that there is no false judgment, Socrates proposes to give an account of what knowing is like. He does so by invoking the common description of knowing as “having knowledge”’ but then introducing a distinction between possessing and having: “‘‘having’ seems to me different from ‘possessing.’ If a man has bought a coat and owns it, but is not wearing it, we should say he possesses it without having it about him’”’ (903-904). After referring to a man who has caught some wild birds and keeps them in an aviary at home as one who has the birds, in the sense of possessing them, but who does not have the birds, in the sense of having immediate hold of them, Socrates introduces a new conception of mind: SOCRATES: Once more then, just as a while ago we imagined a sort of waxen block in our minds, so now let us suppose that every mind contains a kind of aviary stocked with birds of every sort, some in flocks apart from the rest, some in small groups, and some solitary, flying in any direction among them all. THEAETETUsS: Be it so. What follows?

SOCRATES: When we are babies we must suppose this receptacle empty, and take the birds to stand for pieces of knowledge. Whenever a person acquires any piece of knowledge and shuts it up in his enclosure, we must say he has learned or discovered the thing of which this 1s the

knowledge, and that is what “knowing” means. (904)

As Socrates goes on to observe, this way of imagining the mind seems to allow for an account of false judgment while avoiding the contradiction of people not knowing what they know. But in fact the new scenario presupposes the “‘very unreasonable” premise that “‘when a piece of knowledge

presents itself, the mind should fail to recognize anything and know

Substance, space, labor, and property 43 nothing.”’ Imagining his “‘destructive critic” laughing at his “‘ridiculous

aviaries or waxen blocks,’’ Socrates asks Theaetetus to “start all over again’”’ by leaving the issue of false judgment and trying to define knowledge (906-907).

In this complicated and difficult passage from the Theaetetus, the moment between the wax metaphor and the aviary metaphor is the moment when the issue of possession explicitly arises. It is after pointing to

the common account of knowing as “having knowledge”’ that Socrates

introduces a distinction between kinds of possessing, asks Theaetetus to | consider whether knowledge is a thing one can possess in the way a man possesses birds in an aviary at his home, and finally urges Theaetetus to

replace the image of the mind as a container of imprintable substance

(wax) with the image of the mind as a container of enclosed space (aviary). One of the unstated premises of this displacement is that the image of the mind as a holder of a block of wax cannot accommodate the conception of knowing as possessing. But the conception of the mind as some kind of enclosed space, such as an aviary, ts sensitive to the conception of knowing as possessing, as well as to the distinction Socrates makes between different kinds of possessing (possessing in the sense of having

control of and possessing in the sense of having at hand). It is for this reason that the conception of the mind as enclosed space is introduced by

Socrates as an alternative to the conception of the mind as imprinted substance.

(ii) This passage from the Theaetetus raises the question of whether or not the displacement of imprintable substance by space in Locke’s Essay is linked with a conception of knowing as possessing. That this is indeed the case

becomes clear once it is observed that, like Socrates and some of the innatists attacked in the Essay, Locke describes the mind as both a site or scene of activity, and an active agent on that site. The nature of this agent

whose scene is enclosed space is defined in part by the discourse of _ property in the Essay. Though the explicit consideration of property in this work is limited, the discourse of property, the language which ascribes possession, pervades it. In the final version of the opening “‘Epistle to the Reader,”’ this language marks an obsessive concern with who owns what: Reader, I Here put into thy Hands, what has been the diversion of some of my idle and heavy Hours: If it has the good luck to prove so of any of thine, and thou hast but half so much Pleasure in reading, as I had in writing it, thou wilt as little think thy Money, as I do my Pains, ill bestowed. (6)

44 Mind Hands, hours, pleasure, money, and pains are all possessed; Locke and the reader are the possessors. The subsequent occurrences of “‘own” and other possessive adjectives in the opening paragraphs of the epistle confirm the

concern with property announced in this initial address to the reader as purchaser of the book. Locke claims that like the eye, the understanding judges of objects by “‘zts own Sight’? and that he who does not live on “‘scraps of begg’d Opinions” but “‘sets his own Thoughts on work, to find and follow Truth,

will (whatever he lights on) not miss the Hunter’s Satisfaction.”’ The treatise is the entertainment of those who let loose and follow “their own Thoughts,”’

and offers the same diversion to the reader who reads using his “‘own Thoughts.”” Locke writes that it is to the reader’s own thoughts “‘zf they are thy own, that I referr my self;” the book must stand or fall with “‘thy own’

opinion, and it was not written for those who already have a “thorough Acquaintance with their own Understandings’ but partially for ‘“‘my own Infor-

mation.”’ Locke met with others to discuss the issue in ‘‘my Chamber,’ when it came into “‘my Thoughts” that it was necessary to examine “‘our own Abilities” and see what “‘our Understandings’ were fitted to deal with. This was proposed to be “‘our first Enquiry,” upon which at “‘our next Meeting”’

Locke presented some hasty thoughts. He continued writing as “‘my

leisure’ (6-7). }

Humour permitted’ and finished when an “‘Altendance on my Health gave me

This flooding out of the opening paragraphs by possessive pronouns and adjectives is sustained throughout the epistle. And the invitation posed by the presence of “own” in “known” to understand knowing as possessing

becomes even more pressing when Locke uses “own” in the sense of confessing or claiming to know or be conscious of: “‘J own, that I publish this Essay with hopes tt may be useful to others’ (9); “‘yet this I must own, that I have not had the good luck to recetve any light from those Exceptions, I have met with in print

against any part of my Book’? (11). Further, Locke twice characterizes his book’s appeal to his reader in terms of a problem of property: he would rather be seen as tedious by the quicksighted than that anyone “‘prepossessed with different Notions, should mistake, or not comprehend my meaning’ (9); he

wonders if the reason ‘‘my meaning” is often mistaken is that his subject requires more thought and attention “than Cursory Readers, at least such as are

prepossessed, are willing to allow’ (11). Pedagogical intent is here being stated in terms of a concern to help the reader escape being possessed by some notions in order to possess the ideas Locke is proposing to him/her. It is clear that although property is not explicitly announced as a concern in

the epistle, the language used to assert, claim, abolish, ascribe, and describe property is used to state the ostensible concerns with knowledge and teaching — Locke immediately sets his precedent for speaking epistemology through a discourse on property. The identification of thoughts, ideas, or knowledge as material goods

Substance, space, labor, and property 45 which may constitute property is accomplished on a massive scale in Book I by the description of the mind which has, possesses, gets, acquires, and attains. Indeed, a governing opposition of Book I is that between what one has at birth (merely faculties and possibly a few simple ideas), and what

one gets or attains after birth (ideas, speculative principles, moral principles, maxims, language, clothing, money). The indications in the epistle of how it is one comes to own or possess knowledge are also elaborated in

the first chapter of Book I. Among the various accounts Locke gives of himself in the epistle is a description of one who “‘sets his own Thoughts on work” (6) and who is ‘“‘an Under-Labourer in clearing Ground a little, and removing some of the Rubbish, that lies in the way to Knowledge’ (10). As James

Gibson, R. S. Crane, and Neal Wood have observed, the work and labor referred to here are prominent in the Essay.!* Locke claims in the introductory chapter that it is his purpose “‘to consider the discerning Faculties of a

Man, as they are employ’d about the Objects, which they have to do with” (43-44). Further on he states the main point of the chapter in similar terms: ‘‘we shall not have much Reason to complain of the narrowness of our Minds, if we will but employ them about what may be

of use to us; for of that they are very capable’? (45-46). And in the definition of the term “idea,” Locke claims it stands for ‘““whatever it is, which the Mind can be employ’d about in thinking” (47). In the opening chapter of Book I, then, Locke describes the mind as something that works

on or is employed with the ideas it contains and suggests that this employment is what gives us the ‘‘quiet and secure Possession of ‘Truths, that most concern’d us” (47). In the second chapter, he continues to refer to the mind as being given “Employment” by the ideas with which it is furnished (55). This employment is clearly defined in the rest of Book I as an exertion that can lead to

attainment or possession. In Chapter III, Locke writes, “there is a great deal of difference between an innate Law, and a Law of Nature; between something imprinted on our Minds in their very original, and something that we being ignorant of may attain to the knowledge of, by the use and due application of our natural Faculties” (75). That not only knowledge,

but also some ideas, cannot be had without something analogous to employment is evident in Locke’s claim in Chapter IV that some men even with improvements of arts and sciences, “‘yet, for want of a due application of their thoughts this way, want the Jdea, and Knowledge of God”’ (88). The discoverers of the idea of God made a “‘right use of their Reason,”’ and 12 See Gibson, Locke’s Theory of Knowledge 36-37; R. S. Crane, “‘Notes on the Organization of Locke’s Essay,” All These to Teach, ed. R. Bryan (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1965) 144-158; Neal Wood, The Politics of Locke’s Philosophy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983) 121-142, and John Locke and Agrarian Capitalism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984) 93-109.

46 Mind in an isolated colony of children someone would have to have “‘imployed his Thoughts” in order to be led to the ‘‘Notion of a Ged” (90). Locke does

not doubt that he will show “‘that a Man by the right use of his natural Abilities, may, without any innate Principles, attain the Knowledge of a God”’ (91), and those people who are without the idea of God have “‘never employ’d their Parts, Faculties, and Powers, industriously that way’’ (92). This difference is reasserted later by the distinction Locke draws between

the man who “employs” and “uses’’ his faculties to “‘acquire’” and “attain” an idea, and the “‘lazy’’ man who only takes up ideas by chance

(94). Locke continues to present the having or attaining of ideas as a function of employment and industry (95, 99), and concludes with the following tour de force:

and, I hope, it will not be thought arrogance, to say, That, perhaps, we should make greater progress in the discovery of rational and contemplative Knowledge, if we sought it in the Fountain, in the consideration of Things themselves; and made use

rather of our own Thoughts, than other Mens to find it. For, I think, we may as rationally hope to see with other Mens Eyes, as to know by other Mens Understandings. So much as we our selves consider and comprehend of Truth and Reason, so much we possess of real and true Knowledge. The floating of other Mens Opinions in our brains makes us not one jot the more knowing, though they

, happen to be true. What in them was Science, is in us but Opiniatrety, whilst we give up our Assent only to reverend Names, and do not, as they did, employ our own Reason to understand those Truths, which gave them reputation. Aristotle was certainly a knowing Man, but no body ever thought him so, because he blindly embraced, and confidently vented the Opinions of another. And ifthe taking upof

another’s Principles, without examining them, made not him a Philosopher, | suppose it will hardly make any body else so. In the Sciences, every one has so much, as he really knows and comprehends: What he believes only, and takes upon trust, are but shreads; which however well in the whole piece, make no considerable addition to his stock, who gathers them. Such borrowed Wealth, like Fairy-money, though it were Gold in the hand from which he received it, will be but Leaves and Dust when it comes to use. (101)

The notable romance motifs of the fountain and fairy money should not prevent the recognition that the identification of some ideas, knowledge, and the mind itself as gold, shreds, money, leaves, dust, and other material

objects which may be gathered and stocked pervades this passage as it does the epistle to the reader. It is also clear that as the mere existence of an object within a particular space is not enough to define it as anyone’s property, so the mere consciousness of an idea is not enough to warrant anyone’s claim to know. Physical exertion is required to warrant the claim

to property in material, just as thinking and reasoning are required to

warrant the claim to know. But this way of stating it is somewhat misleading since Locke here resorts not to simile and analogy, but to metaphor — he uses the terms “exertion,” “work,” “industry,” “gathering,”

Substance, space, labor, and property 47 “application,” and ‘‘employment”’ not to refer to acts which he claims are similar to thinking, but to zdenizfy thinking. The spatial representation of mind coheres with this identification of mental action because it pro-

vides a worksite for the laborer and a storehouse for the property in material goods he accumulates. In Book I of the Essay, then, there is a strong and persistent account of

knowledge and some ideas as material objects which may be owned, a representation of thinking as an employment of what one already owns which leads to a claim of property in material objects, and a description

of the mental site as an enclosed space. This site and action are entrenched in Book II. In the opening chapters of this book, Locke claims to have presented “‘a short, and, I think, true History of the first beginnings of

Humane Knowledge; whence the Mind has its first Objects, and by what steps it makes its Progress to the laying in, and storing up those Jdeas, out of which is to be framed all the Knowledge it is capable of’ (162). The terms in which Locke summarizes his effort typify the language that constitutes it. Besides references to the mind framing ideas, to its being furnished with ideas, and to its activity of laying up, storing, and stocking ideas, one finds on almost every page of these opening twelve chapters an

account of the idea entering, coming, being conveyed, being brought, being introduced, or being produced in or into the mind. This account is enmeshed with predications of the mind as what has, gets, and attains ideas.

The important addition to the description of thinking and knowing as owning made by the opening chapters of Book II is that besides mental faculties received from God, simple ideas received by the passive mind from sensation and reflection are also represented by the materials a man may own without any work or application. Though Locke initially refers to “‘Observation employ’d either about external sensible Objects; or about the

internal Operations of our Minds’ (104), at the conclusion of the opening

chapter he asserts that the first ideas are offered to or obtruded upon an : entirely passive mind by sensation and reflection. In statements which in

some respects are repeated by Hume, Locke goes on to argue that the

mind comes to have large, abstract, numerous, or sublime thoughts only , by employing itself about these first ideas. At the conclusion of Chapter VII, for instance, simple ideas are said to be “‘sufficient to employ the quickest Thought, or largest Capacity; and to furnish the Materials of all that various Knowledge, and more various Fancies and Opinions of all

Mankind” (132). Chapter XII concludes with a further description of the mind attaining ideas through its use and employment of the faculties it already owns, an employment of which received ideas are the materials: even those “‘large and abstract Ideas” are what “‘the Mind, by the ordinary use of its own Faculties, employed about /deas, received from

48 Mind Objects of Sense, or from the Operations it observes in it self about them, may, and does attain unto”’ (166). Locke’s own account of how the mind thinks, presented at the outset of Book IT, consists of a containment image for the mind in conjunction with a conception of some ideas, knowledge, and the mind itself as things which the mind, as a man, may come to own by employing the things which he already owns. This account is observable throughout the Essay. In Book

III, for example, when Locke discusses general terms, he regards the essences or abstract ideas which govern the mind’s sorting activities as “the Workmanship of the Understanding.” The abstract ideas which constitute this workmanship (in addition to all other ideas) are emphatically designated as what the speaker and hearer of words own or have in their own minds. And although, as will be observed in chapter 5, Book IV represents the mind that knows as a person or eye that sees, immediately

and without labor, the objects before it, the discourse of space, labor, ownership, material, and storage persists. !9 As the passage from the 7 heaetetus would lead one to suspect, a concep-

tion of ideas and knowledge as material goods complements the displacement of substance by space in the Essay. This displacement is further complemented by a mental agent which is explicitly described as a man who uses what he has in order to own, survey, and store material objects. The figurative discourse of space, property, and labor in the Essay thus identifies the mind as an essentially bipartite entity: the mind is both a site (an enclosed space which functions as a worksite and storehouse) and an agent on this site (a surveyor, laborer, owner, and storer). In displacing an object (the tabula rasa or block of wax) and an agent (the eye or person that merely sees), this discourse also introduces a narrative into Locke’s repre-

sentation of knowledge. Because, in Locke’s treatment of the innatist representation of mind, the eye or person immediately sees, reads, and

understands anything that God or Nature might have imprinted on substance that lies open to its view, there is no story to be told about how it comes to see and understand (this differs from Locke’s account of faith and

reason in Book IV where he complicates his account of how a person recognizes and understands divine signs). But there zs a story to be told about how a man comes by and stores property. In one of the stories that accompanies the spatial image of the mental site in the Essay, God does not engrave substance but grants property, in the form of mental powers, to 13 See Appendix. The form of the labor and employment Locke invokes to represent thinking is

specified with significant frequency in the Essay as building, raising, and laying down foundations, footings, and groundwork. The ideas which constitute the propositions of knowledge and belief are thus represented as building materials which go to form architectural structures. This is an important sub-narrative of the general narrative of labor in space leading to ownership, though the property it postulates is not a storable commodity but a building, and the space it postulates is not an enclosed space but the open space of a construction site.

Substance, space, labor, and property 49 man. This divine grant of property is the first incident of a story of a man’s work over time that culminates in his claim to more property in material goods and his storage of this property. The displacement of substance by space makes narrative possible, though, as will be observed in chapters 4 and 5, not necessary; in one of Locke’s dominant figurative representations of mind, this narrative takes the form of a story of a man’s acquisition of property in material through labor. A comprehensive account of the meaning of this story would take into account several things. First, Richard Ashcraft has shown that “the labor and active use of reason’”’ were of great importance in the argument for toleration as it was articulated during the 1670s by dissenters such as John Owen and Robert Ferguson in response to Samuel Parker’s Discourse of Ecclesiastical Polity (1669).'* Read in the context of the debate on toleration during the 1670s, Locke’s representation of the mental agent as a laborer,

like many other things in the Essay, aligns this work with the political agenda of the dissenters. Second, given Locke’s close association with Boyle and his writings, it is difficult to recognize Locke’s story of labor set in enclosed space without thinking of the story the experimentalists were

telling about how scientific knowledge was to be achieved. As Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer observe, the labor of the natural scientist within the laboratory (the newly instituted form of enclosed but supposedly public space) was central to the epistemology of the Royal Society as it was propounded by Boyle.!° Locke’s figurative representation of mind

in the Essay may thus reasonably be understood as a symptom of his allegiance to the new science (an allegiance which is not necessarily consistent with his allegiance to the dissenters). Third, the plot of Locke’s

story, though not its setting, has an obvious connection with the tale he tells about the individual’s acquisition of property in Two Treatises of Government. In the fifth chapter of the second treatise, the account of divine

grants, man’s property in his labor and person, and physical labor that entitles individuals’ claims to property in land and material is, in its general contours, that which Locke tells about the mind throughout the Essay:

Though the Earth, and all inferior Creatures be common to all Men, yet every Man has a Property in his own Person. This no Body has any Right to but himself. The Labour of his Body, and the Work of his Hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the State that Nature hath provided, and left itin, he hath mixed his Labour with, and joyned to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his Property. It being by him removed from the common state '4 Richard Ashcraft, Revolutionary Politics and “Locke’s Two Treatises of Government” (Princeton:

Princeton University Press, 1986) 59. | '5 See Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985) 13, 39, 55-60.

50 Mind Table |

First Means of Acquired property acquisition property Two Treatises

labor, one’s own person, physical labor land, food,

the world (joint ownership clothing, with all mankind) money Essay

understanding, faculties, willing language, simple ideas (from experience) knowledge

powers, thinking ideas,

Nature placed it in, hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes

the common right of other Men. For this Labour being the unquestionable Property of the Labourer, no Man but he can have a right to what that is once

joyned to, at least where there is enough, and as good left in common for others. !©

The clear parallels between Locke’s narrative of mind in the Essay and

his explanation in Two Treatises of “chow men might come to have a property in several parts of that [the world] which God gave to mankind in common” may be schematized as in Table 1. In The Economy of Literature, Marc Shell observes remarkable parallels in texts of Plato and Heraclitus between accounts of economic exchange and accounts of language and knowledge. If, as Shell concludes, philosophy ‘‘confronts the

economics of thought itself,’ if it manifests “‘the internalization of economic form,” we may say that Locke’s Essay is a philosophical text par excellence.'” For it is clear that one narrative line of the Essay is an analogue

to the economic narrative grounded in labor and property outlined by Locke in Two Treatises. What makes this strikingly clear is the massive terminological overlap between the two texts: ““employment,”’ “‘labor,”’

“work,” “industry,” “‘application,” “‘stock,” “laying up,” “‘property,”’

“own,” “possession,” “gathering,” “material,” “furnish,” ‘“‘gold,” “produce,” “‘acquire,” “Shave,” “take,’’ “bestow,” “‘hunting,” ‘“‘bounds,”’

“annex,” “join,” “add,” and “determine.” These terms from the chapter on property in Two Treatises pervade Locke’s representation of knowing 16 John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, ed. Peter Laslett (1960; New York: Mentor, 1965) 328-329. 17 Marc Shell, The Economy of Literature (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978) 62.

Substance, space, labor, and property 51 and constitute a powerful textual index to the complicity between Locke’s account of knowing and owning.

If the priority of the column-headings in the schematization of this complicity were certain, one could say, following Shell, that Locke’s epistemology simply internalizes an economy of property, value, and labor. But perhaps the First property/Means of acquisition/Acquired property schema masks a deeper, more powerful schema. This is the impulse behind Kurt Heinzelman’s observation that “when seen as an imaginative structure ... economics has no defensible claim to priority, but merely takes its place, as an abstract system of thought, among a configuration of similarly structured forms of knowledge, such as architecture, biology, literature, and so on.”’!® Because it is apparent not that the structure of Locke’s economy is the founding deep structure of Locke’s mental system, but only that it is analogous to this system in specific ways, the assignation of priority to the structure of the economy seems unwarranted. At the same time, it is important to see that the language Locke uses to

describe his mental system is more conventionally used in economic discourse. If the structure of economy is simply analogous to the structure of

mind, the language of economy may be said to be distinct from and, so,

borrowed or internalized by Locke’s epistemological discourse. The premise that one can recognize a proper or standard usage of a term, in conjunction with a traditional understanding of metaphor as a use of a term to identify something other than what the term is standardly used to identify, permits the following formulation: the discourse of property in Two Treatises occurs in the Essay as a principal metaphorical representation of the mind and its actions.!® Given a standard eighteenth-century understanding of allegory as language which makes the abstract sensible and concrete, and given that the Essay is making mental activity concrete by narrating it as physical labor '8 Kurt Heinzelman, The Economics of the Imagination (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1980) 139.

19 This claim challenges Peter Laslett’s view that “‘it is easily demonstrated that the literary continuity between them [the Essay and Two Treatises] was about as slight as it possibly could be under such circumstances” (Two Treatises of Government 96-97). On the other hand, several

scholars argue for various kinds of consistency and coherence between the two works. See Raymond Polin, La Politique morale de John Locke (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1960); Max Milam, ‘““The Epistemological Basis of Locke’s Idea of Property,” The Western Political Quarterly 20 (1967) 16-30; Peter Schouls, The Imposition of Method: A Study of Descartes and Locke (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980); James Tully, A Discourse on Property: John Locke and

his Adversartes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980); Neal Wood, The Politics of Locke’s Philosophy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983) and John Locke and Agrarian Capitalism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984); Robert Denoon Cumming, Human Nature and History: A Study of the Development of Liberal Political Thought (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969) 2: 120; Richard Ashcraft, Revolutionary Politics and Locke’s “Two Treatises of Government’’ (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986); Ruth Grant, John Locke’s Liberalism

(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987).

92 Mind. leading to the acquisition of material goods, it may also be said that Locke’s representation of knowing as owning constitutes an allegory of mind. The terms of this allegory are those of Two Treatises. The literary continuity between the works may thus be described by saying that Two Treatises consists of terms which, in that work, constitute a literal account of physical labor but which, in the Essay, constitute an allegory of mind. The epigraph from Tristram Shandy suggests that this allegory may have a further twist. If, as James Work tells us, Tristram’s account of Walter’s opinions and labor is a parody of the account of property in Two Treatises, it is also a literal transcription of Locke’s account of mind and thought in the Essay.”° The explicit analogy drawn between an individual’s coming to believe and the acquisition of a commodity such as an apple is not peculiar to Tristram Shandy, but is a staple of Locke’s epistemological statement.

That is to say that Sterne teaches that the relation between Locke’s texts may be conceived not just as a cognitive relation, such as implication, inconsistency, coherence, logical independence, and contradiction, but as a literary relation, such as allegory or parody. The project of identifying the meaning of Locke’s representation of the

mind as an enclosed space in which a man labors and accumulates property in material, then, would recognize the ways in which this representation is related to the Restoration debate over religious toleration, the new science, and Locke’s major political work. This project would also have to confront the claim that metaphor impinges on epistemological doctrine. As was observed at the opening of this chapter and in the introduction, this claim is a commonplace in the three-hundred year old commentary on Lockean epistemology. The tradition, in fact, grants a remarkable priority to metaphor: Locke’s epistemology is commonly seen to be dictated by his figurative representations of mind and his mistaken understanding of them. If Locke’s metaphors dictate his epistemological

doctrine, it could reasonably be said that several aspects of Locke’s epistemological doctrine are answerable to his substitution of metaphors of space and labor for innatist metaphors of substance and impression. For

example, the ontological difference between an engraving in substance and the substance itself is unclear — rather than being a different thing

from the substance, the engraving seems to define the shape of the substance, or be defined by it. But the difference between a room and the material objects it contains is not so problematical. Locke’s figuration of the mind as a room containing objects hence dictates his understanding of that of which the mind is conscious as things (ideas) which are different

from the mind itself. In additon, if the mind’s ideas are imagined as engravings in substance, it is difficult to imagine how the mind could 20 Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy, ed. James Work (1940; Indianapolis: Odyssey Press, 1976) 222.

Substance, space, labor, and property 33 transfer or convey them to other minds. It is because he imagines the idea

as an object in an enclosed space, an object which may be contained, removed, and placed inside another space, that Locke understands it as something that can be communicated to other minds. Finally, the innatist’s impression metaphor as it is understood by Locke demands that at least some kinds of knowledge be achievable without thought, for Locke does not understand labor to be a necessary condition for seeing impressions. This understanding of the sight of engravings in substance laid open to the eye underlies Locke’s argument throughout Book I that if there were

characters engraved by God on the mind, the mind would see and understand them. The problem posed by God, as an engraver of the mind, , is thus the same as one of the problems posed by figurative language, since

Locke, like Aristotle, claims that people need not labor over time to appreciate metaphor: it is in ‘Metaphor and Allusion,” that “lies that entertainment and pleasantry of Wit, which strikes so lively on the Fancy, and [is] therefore so acceptable to all People; because its Beauty appears at

first sight, and there is required no labour of thought, to examine what Truth or reason there is in it” (156).2! Just as people need not labor to enjoy metaphor and the eye need not labor to see beauty, so the eye need

not labor to see engravings in substance open to its view — if God engraved the mind, he would, like metaphor, strike lively and thus give the mind beauty and truth without exacting labor from it. For Locke, the representation of the mind as an eye beholding sacred engravings in substance laid before it would demand that some things may be known | without thought and reason. But his representation of the mind as a man who labors over time in an enclosed space demands an epistemological doctrine that makes mental actions such as concentrating and reasoning necessary to the act of knowing. It could also be said that Locke’s representation of the mind as a laborer

in enclosed space dictates an epistemology which, in some respects, is fundamentally at odds with some of his other claims about knowledge (and the other metaphors which dictate them). When Locke discusses the communication of ideas in Book III, he does not claim that the mind that communicates its ideas is thereby deprived of them. But on the representation of the mind as a space containing a laborer and material goods, this would have to be the case — how could a material object exist in two different spaces at the same time? Furthermore, as will be observed in chapters 4 and 5, Locke claims that all knowledge is or derives from the _ 21 In the Rhetoric, Aristotle claims that the hearer has to “seek” the resemblance implied by metaphor and engage in “‘a bit of mental inquiry” in order to understand good metaphor. But the emphasis is on the way good metaphor sets an event before our eyes, makes it easy and pleasurable for us to learn, and gives “rapid information.” See The Rhetoric of Aristotle, transl. Lane Cooper (1932; Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1960) 206-207 (1410b).

54 Mind mind’s intuitive perception of the agreement or disagreement of ideas — this perception is immediate and requires no proof or examining. Locke’s representation of the mind that knows as a man who, through labor over

time, has accumulated and stored property demands a doctrine that violates this understanding of knowledge. It will also be observed in these chapters that, at least in some passages in Book IV, Locke understands the mental agent as something which is essentially. passive and which believes and knows not out of anything it does but out of what ideas do to it. The implications of the representation of the mental agent as a man actively

engaged in labor also conflict with this understanding. On the traditional premise that Locke’s metaphors dictate his epistemo-

logy, then, a number of claims may be drawn from the observation that one of Locke’s major metaphorical representations of the mind is as a laborer in an enclosed space: the epistemology dictated by this metaphor both conforms with and violates other parts of Locke’s epistemological doctrine and figurative discourse. But this traditional premise is hardly self-evident. It is not at all clear, that is, that Locke begins by imagining the mind to be some kind of thing he knows it is not, such as a man in a room, and then finds himself forced to make literal epistemological statements by

this imagination. Why could he not begin with literal statements about knowledge and then resort to a figurative epistemological discourse which captured the nuances of the statement (which is how Socrates appears to proceed in the passage from the Theaetetus)? What kind of evidence could

be presented to justify the claim that one or the other had priority in a person’s thinking or writing? And is it not possible that at some moments in a text or meditation a figure of mind may dictate a literal epistemological claim, while, at others, the reverse occurs? Since the answers to these questions are not clear, the preceding observations of how Locke’s metaphors dictate his epistemology need to be qualified: there are important

ways in which Locke’s representation of the mind as a laborer in an enclosed space is consistent with some of his literal statements about knowledge, and inconsistent with others. The meaning of this representation takes shape in relation to these consistencies and inconsistencies, _ and in relation to broader Restoration discourses of science, theology,

politics, and economics. ,



We'll follow the new Mode which they begin,

And treat ’em with a Room, and Couch within. : Dryden, Marriage a la Mode


It has so far been observed that, within the context of the polemic against innatism, Locke is remarkably consistent in substituting an enclosed space

for an imprinted substance as his figuration of the mental scene. This substitution works to displace God (and Nature) as the origin of ideas. For God as pre-natal imprinter is, in the Essay, the predominant corollary of

the explicit description of the mind as an imprinted substance which Locke attributes to his innatist opponents. To eliminate the notion of the mind as an imprinted substance is to eliminate the notion of God as its pre-experiential and direct imprinter. This dimension of Locke’s discourse of mind is hence an instance of the secularization that several literary critics understand to dominate Restoration and eighteenth-century thinking and writing.' Besides helping to displace God as the imprinter, author, and origin of ideas and knowledge, spatial discourse coheres with another vocabulary Locke uses to establish experience (sensation and reflection) as the ground of knowledge. This is the political/economic vocabulary that also constitutes Two Treatises of Government. Locke does not, as ‘Thomas Weiskel claims, empty out the soul and thereby establish both the vacant soul of eighteenth-century accounts of the natural sublime and the “inner space, the infinitude of the Romantic mind which is born as a massive and

more or less unconscious emptiness, an absence.”* Rather, it is as a workplace and storehouse for material goods a man acquires through the employment of what he already owns that space functions in one of the ' Susan Staves, Players’ Scepters (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979); Michael McKeon, The Origins of the English Novel; Steven Zwicker, Politics and Language in Dryden’s Poetry (Prince-

ton: Princeton University Press, 1984) 33-34. See also Richard Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.

2 Thomas Weiskel, The Romantic Sublime 15.


56 Mind pervasive figurative representations in the Essay. God implicitly resurfaces

(as he usually does from his secular dunkings) in the narrative of labor opened up by this space as that which makes an original grant, in the form

of labor and personhood, to man. The mind as enclosed space, then, coheres with the polemic against innatism and, construed as a workplace and storehouse, further elaborates the pervasive representation of thinking as manual labor and knowing as ownership of material. This space is also designated as a scene of socio-erotic activity. That concerns with Locke’s representation of mind should lead to considerations of a social and erotic narrative as well as the more general issue of the representation of women in the Essay is not surprising, given arguments regarding ways in which gender is constitutive of seventeenth-century accounts of reason and science. In The Man of Reason, for example, Genevieve Lloyd

argues that “‘in Bacon’s metaphors the control of the feminine became explicitly associated with the very nature of knowledge,” that “‘the intellectual virtues involved in being a good Baconian scientist are articulated in

terms of the right male attitude to the feminine,” and that Bacon’s metaphors “give a male content to what it is to be a good knower.”’ Evelyn Fox Keller also points to Bacon as the instigator ofa male Oedipal ambition to appropriate and deny the maternal, an ambition which she thinks works to constitute the new science. Numerous others have claimed to find gender

difference operative in seventeenth-century notions of what it is to be reasonable or scientific. The rise of science and a new philosophy in the seventeenth century has been a major field for the pervasive contemporary project of discovering the force of male gender and the will to dominate in the constitution of standards which claim to transcend or be impervious to that drive and will. This chapter bears affiliations with this project, though it does not invoke the interpretive strategies of psychoanalysis to explain extensive cultural change as does the work of Susan Bordo, Jane Flax, and Fox Keller.’ Its claim is rather limited to observations of how Locke’s description of women in the Essay engages with his use of women to represent

the mind and thought. Contrary to what the commentary on this work would lead one to believe, women are central to Locke’s discourse of mind:

although he consistently describes them as pernicious and displaced determinants of belief, he also uses them to represent the goals of epistemological inquiry: knowledge and truth. 3 See Genevieve Lloyd, The Man of Reason (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984) 16-17; Evelyn Fox Keller, Reflections on Gender and Science (New Haven: Yale University Press,

1985) 33-42; Susan Bordo, “The Cartesian Masculinization of Thought,” Signs 11 (1986) 439-456; Janna Thompson, ““Women and High Priests of Reason,” Radical Philosophy 34 (1983)

10-14; Jane Flax, “‘Political Philosophy and the Patriarchal Unconscious: a Psychoanalytic Perspective on Epistemology and Metaphysics,”’ Discovering Reality, ed. Sandra Harding and M. B. Hintikka (Dordrecht: Reidel, 1983) 245-282; Evelyn Fox Keller and Christine Grontkowski,

“The Mind’s Eye,” Discovering Reality 207-224.

Acquaintance 37 (i1)

In the Essay, women are before the beginning. It is before Book I, the two tables of contents, the “Epistle to the Reader,” and the dedicatory epistle

to the Earl of Pembroke that Locke first refers to them. He does so by placing a passage from Ecclesiastes 9.5 on the title page of the fourth and following editions of the work: As thou knowest not what is the way of the Spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the Womb of her that is with Child: even so thou knowest not the works of God, who maketh all things.

The reference to the womb here would seem to be incidental to the topos of epistemological modesty which Locke never tires of sounding in the Essay. The passage merely cites “‘thou’s” lack of knowledge of the way of the spirit and of the bone growth of the foetus as being similar to its lack of knowledge of the works of God. It does not seem, at this early point in the Essay, of any importance that the passage obliquely associates women with the divine by designating both in terms of a productive or reproductive

function. This association seems quite beside the main point which _ emphasizes not Woman as the maker of the child, but only the “Womb” as the location of unknowable foetal growth in “her” who does not produce but is merely with ‘‘Child.”’ The possible analogy between God/works and

woman/child is stifled by a grammar that grants “her” not a way or activity of making, but only the status of the site of mysterious growth, or the status of the agent that simply is or exists with the unborn child that happens to grow in its body. But this nexus of ignorance, divinity, and the qualified presence of a

woman at the beginning of the Essay recurs forty pages into Book I. Towards the end of his argument against the existence of innate practical principles, Locke proposes to account for how men can come to hold some propositions “‘so sacred somewhere or other,”’ that they will sooner die than doubt or have doubted their truth: This, however strange it may seem, is that which every days Experience confirms; and will not, perhaps, appear so wonderful, if we consider the ways, and steps by which it is brought about; and how really it may come to pass, that Doctrines, that have been derived from no better original, than the Superstition of a Nurse, or the Authority of an old Woman; may, by length of time, and consent of Neighbours, grow up to the dignity of Principles in Religion or Morality. (81)

In this genealogy of sacred and ostensibly innate belief, Locke places women at the origin. While length of time and the consent of neighbours may enhance the dignity of a belief, the nurse or old woman institutes it. But how is this institution of belief related to the impress of the natural, self-evident, sacred, and divine? As in the epigraph from Ecclesiastes, the

58 Mind woman in Locke’s account of sacred belief is occluded as an originary, productive agent: To which we may add, That when Men, so instructed, are grown up, and reflect on their own Minds, they cannot find any thing more ancient there, than those Opinions, which were taught them, before their Memory began to keep a Register of their Actions, or date the time, when any new thing appeared to them; and therefore make no scruple to conclude, That those Propositions, of whose knowledge they can find in themselves no original, were certainly the impress of God and Nature upon their

Minds; and not taught them by any one else. These they entertain and submit to, as many do to their Parents, with Veneration; not because it is natural; nor do Children do it, where they are not so taught; but because, having been always so educated, and having no remembrance of the beginning of this Respect, they think it is natural. (82)

There is no trace of the old woman or nurse in the mind which holds the sacred, natural beliefs they institute. This is because these women operate before the mind has begun to remember and before any event which the mind could remember once its faculty of memory has become active. The mind’s sense of the sacred and the natural derives from a moment prior to

its sense of the beginning of its moments, prior to its consciousness of priority and moments. That moment is where, for Locke, women in superstition and authoritative age hold sway over belief. But because it is,

for the believing mind, inconceivable as a moment, the mind cannot recognize it as an instant of a woman’s presence or power. Rather, confronted with beliefs beyond which seems to lie not more time but oblivion, the male mind posits God or Nature as their origin. As Locke later describes the mind positing substance out of its incapacity to imagine how simple ideas of sensible qualities that are constantly united can subsist in themselves, he here describes it positing the sacred out of its incapacity to find an origin in itself for a belief it seems always to have had. Locke’s adult male mind repeats the inference of Milton’s Adam who, after asking

how he came to be on earth, responds “‘Not of myself; by some great Maker then.’’* In Locke’s account, however, a real empirical origin is displaced and totally effaced by the posited origin: in the oblivion of the male mind, God usurps women as the origin of the oldest belief and makes it sacred. Empiricism liquidates this posited God by locating experience,

women, and time in what the mind senses as the atemporality in which divinity works.

“It is easy to imagine,” Locke concludes, how men can “‘stamp the Characters of Divinity, upon Absurdities and Errors, become zealous Votaries to

Bulls and Monkeys; and contend too, fight, and die in defence of their Opinions” (83). As always in the Essay, epistemological rigor has theo+ Paradise Lost 8.278, Fohn Milton: Complete Poems and Major Prose, ed. Merritt Y. Hughes (Indianapolis: The Odyssey Press, 1957). Further references to Milton are to this edition.

Acquaintance 59 logical cash value. The uncovering of a specific temporal moment of institution in ostensible oblivion, of women in God and Nature, of absurdity in belief, of idolatry in worship enables Locke to make Milton’s

point of how easily men come “Devils to adore for deities.” Although women are not instantiated as Milton’s Sin or Eve in Locke’s genealogy of idolatry, they are made to reside in the oblivion of the male mind as the

original of the bulls and monkeys it comes to adore. It is hence not surprising that she also resides at the origins of the disease, the madness, that is the foundation of the greatest errors in the world: the association of ideas. While the most general origin of pernicious associations between

ideas is in the customary or accidental connection of unrelated ideas, Locke does not fail to implicate women in one of his examples: The Ideas of Goblines and Sprights have really no more to do with Darkness than Light; yet let but a foolish Maid inculcate these often on the Mind of a Child, and raise them there together, possibly he shall never be able to separate them again so long as he lives, but Darkness shall ever afterwards bring with it those frightful

Ideas, and they shall be so joined that he can no more bear the one than the other. (397-398)

Though Locke does not here emphasize the unavailability to consciousness and memory of the originary moment, he again designates the woman as

the instigator and confirmer of a pernicious mental state at the earliest stages of experience. This is all the more conspicuous because in all the other examples of the ‘“‘unnatural’’ association of ideas, Locke does not designate any agent as its deliberate instigator: no external agent deliberately instigates and enforces the connection between ideas of notes in the musician’s mind, between ideas of honey and sickness in a grown person,

between ideas of a man and pain in one who was injured by that man, between ideas of a place and pain in a man who saw his friend die in that place, between ideas of lost enjoyment and a child in a mother whose child has died, or between ideas of pain and books in children. In all these cases,

the association of ideas is not enforced by any individual. In the only

example of unnatural association where a specific agent inculcates or defines the association, that agent is a woman. This peculiarity only confirms the implications of the earlier passage which makes women responsible for the man who takes ‘‘Monsters lodged in his own brain, for the Images of the Deity, and the Workmanship of his own Hands”’ (84).° > Paradise Lost 1.373. See also the passage at the end of the Essay (712), though there the term “parents” besides “‘nurse”’ also implicates the father in the origin of idolatry. 6 See also Some Thoughts Concerning Education in which Locke frequently points to mothers, maids,

and governesses, but also servants in general, as impediments to the education of a young gentleman (in The Educational Writings of John Locke, ed. James L. Axtell [Cambridge: Cam-

bridge University Press, 1968]). In this work, Locke sometimes points to the concern with authority and having orders obeyed as the motive for the woman’s instigation of superstition. In some cases, women are thus not the victims of superstition, but its de-mystified manipulators

60 Mind But it is not just monsters of the mind to which women give birth. The literal, physical correlative of beastly belief and pernicious association is the changeling, the deformed foetus, Abbot Malotru, the monstrous birth. Locke refers to the production of monsters in all species of animals, but in referring to human monstrosity he privileges the female: ‘it [has] been more than once doubted, whether the Foetus born of Woman were a Man, even so far, as that it hath been debated, whether it were, or were not to be nourished and baptized”’ (416). As Locke’s other genealogies might lead one to suspect, the deformed foetus is born of woman so that it is she who is

directly implicated in the production of those numerous “monstrous births” which are the occasion for considerations of problems of human essence in the Essay.’ This is in part due to the sexual promiscuity of women which is elsewhere insinuated by Locke’s story of Adam’s immediate but mistaken suspicion of jealousy in Lamech and possible adultery in Lamech’s wife Adah, and the example of the man who refuses to believe in the falsehood of his mistress in spite of a score of witnesses to the fact (466,

715). In his consideration of human essence, Locke extends this promiscuity to bestiality: ‘for if History lie not, Women have conceived by Drills; and what real Species, by that measure, such a Production will be in

Nature, will be a new Question; and we have Reason to think this not impossible, since Mules and Gimars, the one from the mixture of an Ass

and a Mare, the other from the mixture of a Bull and a Mare, are so frequent in the World” (451). In this case, it is by way of intercourse with baboons that women come to reside at the origins of irregular births which

challenge our definition of humanity.2 Whereas the female animal is instantiated both as a woman and a mare in this historical report of monstrosity, the male animal is instantiated only as an ass or a bull, as if the male human stands beyond the whole affair, as if he could not be a partner in the production of the monstrous, as if he is beyond bestiality. In who, knowing superstition as superstition, implement it in contexts of domestic power. When, in the Essay, Locke refers to the “foolish Maid” who inculcates associations of ideas, it is perhaps

not that the maid is foolish in superstitious belief, but foolish as an educator in instigating superstition which will remain in the child for its entire life. If the woman as instigator of superstition is also the knower of superstition as superstition, then the presence of the woman as

knower in Book IV does not contradict but confirms the designation of her as the origin of ostensibly sacred belief in men. The ““Country-Wench” who knows how to add without maxims

(640) and the “Country Gentlewoman’”’ who sees the connection between bad weather and sickness without syllogisms (672) are free of the superstitions of philosophers (maxims and syllogisms) but may induce other superstitions out of concerns with authority and compliance. For women as rule-free knowers in Some Thoughts Concerning Education, see, for example, Locke’s

reference to ladies who speak properly “without Knowing what Tenses and Participles, Adverbs and Prepositions are’ (277). ? The main considerations of monstrous births and changelings are in the chapters on the names of substances (Book III, Chapter VI) and on the reality of knowledge (Book IV, Chapter IV). See also 418, 164, 503, 519. 8 The O.E.D. defines “drill” as ““A West African species of baboon,” and gives 1664 as the date of its first occurrence in this sense.

Acquaintance 61 this physiological production of the monstrous, women are materially constituting the productive power Locke relegates to them in matters of the mind. A final extraordinary genealogy in the Essay which parallels the other histories of mental and material monstrosity is in the chapter in Book ITI on general terms. As an example of how it is that words and ideas can become general, Locke provides the following account: But to deduce this a little more distinctly, it will not perhaps be amiss, to trace our

Notions, and Names, from their beginning, and observe by what degrees we proceed, and by what steps we enlarge our Jdeas from our first Infancy. There is nothing more evident, than that the /deas of the Persons Children converse with, (to instance in them alone,) are like the Persons themselves, only particular. The

Ideas of the Nurse, and the Mother, are well framed in their Minds; and, like Pictures of them there, represent only those Individuals. The Names they first give to them, are confined to these Individuals; and the Names of Nurse and Mamma, the Child uses, determine themselves to those Persons. Afterwards, when time and a larger Acquaintance has made them observe, that there are a great many other Things in the World, that in some common agreements of Shape, and several other Qualities, resemble their Father and Mother, and those Persons they have

been used to, they frame an Jdea, which they find those many Particulars do partake in; and to that they give, with others, the name Man, for Example. And thus they come to have a general Name, and a general Idea. Wherein they make nothing new, but only leave out of the complex Jdea they had of Peter and James, Mary and

Jane, that which is peculiar to each, and retain only what is common to them all. (411)

Again, Locke observes the mother and the nurse at the beginning. In this case, however, a feature of the child/mother relation which has not been evident in the other genealogies but which 1s stressed throughout the Essay appears: the child has well-framed ideas of the nurse and mother. One of the ironies in the presentation of women in the Essay is that while they are occluded or unknowable in their instigating and productive power to the

male adult, they are known with certainty by the infant: ‘the Child certainly knows, that the Nurse that feeds it, is neither the Cat it plays with, nor the Blackmoor it is afraid of (62); ‘‘a Child knows his Nurse, and his

Cradle, and by degrees the Playthings of a little more advanced Age’”’

(64); it is without any innate principles that the child knows “that Wormwood rubb’d on the Nipple, hath not the same Taste, that it used to receive from thence,”’ distinguishes ““between its Mother and a Stranger,” and is fond of the one and flees from the other (85); the child “‘comes, by degrees, to know the Persons it daily converses with, and distinguish them from Strangers” (117); “‘a Child certainly knows, that a Stranger is not its Mother,” long before he knows abstract maxims (595). While, to the adult

male, women are an unknown site of foetal growth and the unknown

62 Mind origin of ostensibly sacred belief and the madness of association, they are what is first known to the child. This designation of women as what the child knows with certainty further defines the content of what the adult

mind takes to be its oblivion. It is not simply a moment of female instigation which exists prior to the first belief, but also a kind of know-

| ledge of the female, the infant’s knowledge of the body and identity of the mother and nurse. To the extent that it is a consciousness of the presence of women in childhood, then, Locke’s empiricism is not the discovery but the rediscovery, retrieval, or recuperation of the obliterated consciousness of

the child. |

But the passage on the formation of general terms and ideas both

articulates further obstacles to this recuperation and itself strangely fails to

accomplish it. What is peculiar about this history of the general idea of and term for humanity is how reference to the nurse and the mother drops out. This is conspicuous because the passage describes them in most detail as the particular individuals of whom the child initially has ideas and for whom it has specific names. Indeed, the first part of the passage justifies the expectation that the general concept the child is formulating will be

not that of humanity in general, but that of the woman or female, since this is the more specific common ground of the particulars first described.

The fade of the female is made more noticeable with the defeat of this expectation, the disappearance of the nurse, and the peculiar way in which the father is designated as residing in the originary position with the mother. The sentence beginning with ‘“‘afterwards”’ seems to designate the

father and other persons as particulars the child comes to know after it knows and names the nurse and the mother. But this temporal sequence announced by “afterwards” is misleading because the sentence deftly positions the father back at the beginning with the mother, and dissolves the nurse into “persons they have been used to”’: other things in the world are all that the child later discovers to resemble not only its mother, but

also its father and other persons who have slid back into the originary

position. Under the guise of designating a later event, the sentence beginning with “afterwards” really goes back in time to expand and redefine the group of initial particulars in the life of the child. At this point in the passage, then, there are the mother, the inserted father, and people

the child is used to as the initial individuals, and “other Things in the World” which the child later discovers to resemble these initial individuals. By the end of the paragraph, all these first individuals have disappeared as the ground of the general term ““Man.” For it is now a new set of individuals — Peter, James, Mary, and Jane — which is said to be

the basis of the general idea. The nurse and mother, who are initially described as the particulars of which the child has well-framed ideas, and for which it has specific names, disappear by the end of the account and

Acquaintance 63 seem to have lost what at first appeared to be the prominent place in the child’s formation of the general term for and idea of humanity. | If the deceptive narrations and bald substitutions of this passage are resisted, further female vanishings may be observed. The general term ‘“Man”’ is derived by means of a process of omission and retainment. The child’s mind frames an idea of what particulars have in common, of that respect in which they resemble each other, of that in which each particular partakes. In so doing, the mind omits from its complex ideas of particulars ideas of those qualities which are peculiar to each. In the case of the idea of

humanity, this process ostensibly involves the omission of ideas of both male and female gender from complex ideas of individuals. One may suspect that the process cuts deepest on the female because in this passage and elsewhere in the Essay, women are most clearly designated as the particulars of which the child has ideas. But even when ideas of male gender do fall within the scope of abstraction, they are recuperated in the general term used to designate the new general idea. For the term “Man” designates ideas of both humanity in general and the male gender. That is to say that the ideas of qualities that constitute gender, which are ostensi-

bly omitted in the formulation of the general term for and idea of humanity, obviously return as possible designations for the general term. If female gender is cut deepest in the process, male gender is restored and healed as a possible designation of the new general term. Observing this kind of duplicity in the act of naming may be thought to be an unfortunate symptom of contemporary sensitivities to gender and linguistic usage. But Locke himself engages in this practice: he persistently detects duplicity in naming throughout Books II and ITI, and is even more sharply concerned with it in his political writings. At the opening of the sixth chapter of the second treatise in Two Treatises of Government, for

example, Locke claims that the name “‘Paternal Power’ given to the power parents have over their children “‘seems so to place the Power of Parents over their Children wholly in the Father, as if the Mother had no share in it, whereas if we consult Reason or Revelation, we shall find she hath an equal Title.’’? It “‘would yet have sounded but odly, and in the very name shewn the Absurdity,”’ Locke continues, if this supposed Absolute Power over Children had been called Parental, and thereby have discover’d, that it belong’d to the Mother too; for it will but very ill serve the turn of those Men who contend so much for the Absolute Power and Authority of the Fatherhood, as they call it, that the Mother should have any share in it. And it would have but ill supported the Monarchy they contend for, when by the very name it appeared that that Fundamental Authority from whence they would

derive their Government of a single Person only, was not plac’d in one, but two Persons joyntly. But to let this of Names pass. (346) 9 Two Treatises of Government 345. Further references are included in the text.

64 Mind Locke here reveals the motivations that can impinge upon the ostensible arbitrariness and pragmatics with which the mind assigns names to its ideas. For he indicates that concerns with power, with the legitimation of male claims to power, and with the negation of female claims to power are operative in the act of naming. The passage also emphasizes just how far-reaching the implications of nomination are: the naming of parental power as “‘Paternal Power” has induced men to forget that the mother shares this power with the father, to think that the father only has this power, to think that it is hence an absolute power and, ultimately, to think that the right of a monarch to absolute power could be derived from the

supposed power of a father over his children. In the passage on the formation of the general concept of and name for humanity, Locke neglects to observe how the general name “‘Man”’ eclipses the female just as the term “paternal power” negates the mother’s claim to the parental power which, according to Locke, belongs to her.

The idea of female gender is dropped from ideas of the first individuals. The details which are apparently incidental to the account of omission and retainment in general concept formation are of interest because they parallel those of the effacements and omissions Locke designates as crucial events in the history of male consciousness. For the

details of the example of general concept formation present another version of how the male’s experience and knowledge of the mother, nurse, and maid are impaired, lost, or minimalized. Moreover, in describing this process of omission of ideas of gender, Locke himself manifests the ten-

dency to forget or efface women. For in his designation of those initial individuals of whom the child has well-framed ideas, Locke moves from emphasizing the mother and the nurse to an exclusion of them altogether. By the end of the paragraph, it is not the child but Locke who forgets that besides Peter, James, Mary, and Jane, it is the mother and the nurse who are among the first individuals from which the general idea of humanity is

derived. Without referring to Locke, one might say that the passage gradually overwrites itself in that some members are repeatedly substituted for others in the group of individuals from which the child derives the general idea of humanity. Locke and the child can finally only be confirmed in their omissions and exclusions by the loaded term which _ happens to be used to designate this general idea that is the product of the entire process. For the idea of not just humanity, but the male gender is

designated by the ostensibly general term ““Man.” In the duplicity of this general term, men survive the mental abstraction that would cut out any idea of their gender — in the name of humanity, the gender of men is

saved. -

If Locke rediscovers the influence of women at the origins of the

monstrosities of the male mind and the animal kingdom, then, he both

Acquaintance 65 describes and manifests the symptoms of the forgetting and effacement of that influence. Women are present, but because of the time at which they are present and because of the language used to designate that presence in its most general form, it either cannot be brought to consciousness or is easily forgotten. But even if moments of female deceit are revealed as Locke reveals them, men may still persist in their oblivion to them. The reason for this is evident in the final lines of Locke’s famous denunciation of rhetoric: "Tis evident how much Men love to deceive, and be deceived, since Rhetorick, that powerful instrument of Error and Deceit, has its established Professors, is publickly taught, and has always been had in great Reputation: And, I doubt not, but it will be thought great boldness, if not brutality in me, to have said thus much against it. Eloquence, like the fair Sex, has too prevailing Beauties in it, to suffer it self ever to be spoken against. And ’tis in vain to find fault with those Arts of Deceiving, wherein Men find pleasure to be Deceived. (508)

Just as women surface when Locke considers the false idols of the mind and

the pernicious effects of the association of ideas, so they emerge at the eloquent close of this statement against another central cause of error in men. Here, however, Locke follows Renaissance precedent in designating

female deceit as an analogue to the deceit of eloquence, and identifies prevailing beauty and the pleasures of deceit instead of early instigation as

the cause of the deceit.!° Instead of residing at the obscurest origins of male consciousness, women are here things of beauty whose open deceit gives pleasure. As a statement against this kind of deceit, empiricism is not the recovery of infantile consciousness, but a more aggressive denunciation

of traits which are taken to characterize the fair sex. As this kind of statement, empiricism also recognizes itself as ineffectual since the obstacle

deceived. :

is now not oblivion, the limits of memory, the power of customary connection, or the process of abstraction, but the pleasure of being There is thus some consistency in the frequent descriptions of women in the Essay. A dominant feature of the overall presentation is the positioning

of women at the beginnings, or before the ostensible beginnings, of a consciousness which is clearly defined as male. The epigraph from Ecclesiastes both initiates the designation of women as an originary site and, by virtue of its position before the entire text of the Essay, is an emblem of that '0 For a brief summary of Renaissance iconography that represents rhetoric or eloquence as a woman, see John Steadman, The Hill and the Labyrinth (Berkeley: University of California Press,

1984). Leibniz’s response to this passage is intriguing: agreeing with Philalethe’s (Locke’s) condemnation of eloquence but also noting the eloquence of this condemnation, Theophile (Leibniz) invokes Venus to represent two types of rhetoric. Philalethe has an “other kind [of Eloquence] which is superior to this misleading kind, as there was a Venus Urania mother of divine love, before whom this other bastard Venus, mother of a blind love, dared not appear with her blindfolded son.” See Nouveaux Essais sur l’entendement humain 350.

66 Mind designation. In obliquely associating women with the divine and grammatically carving them down from an agent to a site of mysterious growth, the epigraph, moreover, outlines major features of Locke’s genealogy of sacred belief. Because maids and old women instigate belief before the male child begins to remember anything, their instigation is taken by the grown man to be that of God himself: the term “God” is a metaphorical designation of superstitious, old, authoritative, and forgotten women. Women retain their originary position in Locke’s account of other mental aberrations such as pernicious associations of ideas, and his treatment of material aberrations such as monstrous births and deformed foetuses. And in the example Locke provides of the formation of general terms and ideas,

a version of the presence and vanishings of women in childhood is once again described. In this case, it seems as if Locke himself becomes oblivious

to the mother and nurse he initially designates as the particulars which ground the formation of the general idea of humanity. A specifically linguistic component also enters into the process since the general term for

the general idea of humanity also designates the male gender: the term ‘“‘Man” is, in a way, another metaphorical designation for the same forgotten women. The predictable appearance of women in the statement against rhetoric confirms the general view of them as a cause of error in men, but this cause no longer operates in the shadows of childhood. It is rather beauty and a deceit that gives pleasure which here constitute an

unassailable origin of error in men. ,

This treatment of Locke’s comments on mothers, nurses, and maids as comments about women in general does not render irrelevant or uninteresting considerations of the differences between these women. A more comprehensive treatment would notice that Locke’s designation of the nurse, old woman, and maid, besides the mother, as crucial figures of male infancy presupposes particular circumstances. The nurse would not likely be such a figure in seventeenth-century lower-class families which could not afford a nurse, nor in the relatively small number of wealthier families which heeded seventeenth-century warnings against the pernicious effects, including the infant’s death, of wet-nursing, nor in Puritan families such as Dryden’s or Locke’s own which favored the breast-feeding of the child for

roughly two years by the mother herself. That is to say that the nurse would function as an instigator of belief and first individual only in specific economic and religious domestic contexts. The maid is not so class-specific

since, according to some seventeenth-century demographers, the lower and middle-classes of seventeenth-century England often took in children from other families as maids, servants, or workers (sometimes in exchange for the service of their own children). The “‘authority of an old woman”’ is

perhaps a function of the unusual degree of independence, but also solitude, of the elderly which some historians trace to the particular mode

Acquaintance 67 of economic and political individualism in England. It is not just women as biologically defined entities, but women in particular economic and cultural circumstances which Locke identifies as a formative power on infancy and which a more detailed study of Locke’s remarks about women might accommodate.!!

(ii Given this account of women in the Essay, it is remarkable how they enter

into the representation of the philosophical commitment to truth and the acts of thinking, believing, and knowing. When Locke describes how women influence boys and men, he generally defines them as a root of error

which must be revealed, expunged, and resisted as far as possible. But when he implements them as a figure for dimensions of mental life, a differ-

ent scenario arises. Indications of this alternate presence of and attitude towards women also occur very early in the Essay. On the first page after the title page in the dedicatory letter to Pembroke, Locke writes, “but there being nothing more to be desired for Truth, than a fair unprejudiced Hearing, no body is more likely to procure me that, than your Lordship, who are allowed to have got so intimate an Acquaintance with her, in her more retired recesses’ (3). Invoking women to articulate Pembroke’s knowledgeability which is then further described and praised, Locke here, as elsewhere, invokes a traditional assimilation of women and truth. And like Cowley who, in his ode in praise of the Royal Society, makes a point of identifying philosophy as male and Nature into whose “‘privatest recess” the sight presses as female, Locke makes the philosopher a man.'? But this 'l The practice of putting children out to wet nurse is identified as one of upper-class seventeenth-century families by Lawrence Stone, The Crisis of the Aristocracy 1559-1641 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965) 590-593; Joseph E. Illick, “Child-Rearing in SeventeenthCentury England and America,” The History of Childhood, ed. Lloyd de Mause (New York: Psychohistory Press, 1974) 303-350; and Lloyd de Mause, ‘“The Evolution of Childhood,” The History of Childhood 32-39. Peter Laslett, in The World We Have Lost Further Explored (1965; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983) 118, points to the high incidence of maternal breast-feeding in England as a whole compared with other European countries. For accounts of the Puritan commitment to maternal breast-feeding, see John Demos, ‘Developmental Perspectives on the History of Childhood,” The Family In History, ed. T. K. Rabb and R. I. Rotberg (1971; New York: Harper, 1973) 131-32, and James Anderson Winn, John Dryden and His World (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987) 8-11. For an account of the English attitude towards the elderly in the seventeenth century, see Alan MacFarlane, Marriage and Love in England (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986) 107-116. For the prevalence of apprenticeship and servanthood in seventeenth-century English life, see MacFarlane 79-102, and Laslett 15-17. These two accounts qualify Philipe Ariés’ view that apprenticeship was essentially a medieval institution of western Europe which was gradually overshadowed by the school during the Renaissance. See Centuries of Childhood: A Social History of Family Life, transl. Robert

Baldick (New York: Vintage, 1962) 365~371. |

'2 For further identifications of truth with a woman, see Essay 48 and 285. For a brief summary of

classical and Renaissance instances of this topos, see Steadman 137-141. The Cowley ode appeared in the first edition of Thomas Sprat’s History of the Royal Society (London, 1667).

68 Mind .

topos of the male philosopher investigating female truth is remarkable in the Essay because it makes an acquaintance with what is explicitly designated as the root of error the image of a positive engagement, indeed, the positive engagement for the philosopher. Moreover, readers of the drama-

tic literature of Locke’s day may pause over Locke’s use of the term “acquaintance” to designate this engagement. When, in The Country Wife, the rake Horner refers to “some unbelieving sisters of my former acquaintance,”’ celebrates being rid of all his “former acquaintances,” and mockingly alludes to Pinchwife’s “great acquaintance among the ladies;’? when

Sir Jaspar invites Horner to be ‘“‘acquainted”’ with his wife, invokes Horner and his wife to become “‘better acquainted”’ with each other, and claims to have known the ladies would never leave Horner once they were

“acquainted” with the rake; when Sparkish claims to make his fiancée Alhithea “‘acquainted”’ with Harcourt who eventually wins her from him; when Pinchwife fears Horner’s making an “acquaintance” with him and his wife —- when the characters of this play use the term “acquaintance,”

it is clear that this term, like other terms in Restoration usage such as “business,” “‘breeding,’’ and “conversation,” is sexually loaded. And given the obvious sexual connotations of “retired recesses,” besides the use of “recess” as a term for the womb in Restoration and eighteenth-century midwife books, it is clearly an erotic engagement with a woman which is

being invoked by Locke to define the intellectual advancement of Pembroke, and the aim of philosophy in general.!° These observations call for some scrutiny of another general statement of philosophical intent which concludes Book I: All that I shall say for the Principles I proceed on, is, that I can only appeal to Mens own unprejudiced Experience, and Observation, whether they be true, or no; and this is enough for a Man who professes no more, than to lay down candidly and

freely his own Conjectures, concerning a Subject lying somewhat in the dark, without any other design, than an unbias’d enquiry after Truth. (103)

Given Locke’s negative account of women, besides his designation of them

as figures of truth, this passage makes strange sense: the emphasis on the | maleness of the audience and Locke himself coheres with the view of philosophizing as a man’s acquaintance with a woman. The woman with whom Locke would be acquainted is ostensibly Truth, but the passage also suggests that the “Subject lying somewhat in the dark” is the figure with which Locke is concerned. This suggestion resides in the ambivalence of '3 For “acquaintance,” see William Wycherley, The Country Wife, ed. Thomas Fujimura (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1965). For “‘recess” in midwife books (with which Locke as a physician and writer on midwifery would have been familiar), see Robert Erickson, ““*The books of generation’: some observations on the style of the British mid-wife books 1671-1764,” Sexuality in Eighteenth-Century Britain, ed. Paul-Gabriel Boucé (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1982) 81, 84.

Acquaintance 69 the term “subject,” the sexual connotations of “‘design,” and the linguistic play initiated by the passage itself on “lie” and “‘lay’’: Locke lays down conjectures about a subject lying in the dark. Locke’s explicit designation of the deceit and promiscuity of women in the Essay and his own word play in this passage provoke an understanding of the subject in the dark as one who is lying, saying what is not true, like other women in the Essay, or one who is lying, sleeping with something, like the promiscuous producers of monstrous births. On this understanding, Locke’s account of himself as a man laying down guesses about a subject lying in the dark is an account of a meeting with the fair sex, and the entire passage a further invocation of a scene of acquaintance to figure Locke’s mental career. This scene would be negligible if it were grounded simply in a reading of a peculiar bit of the Essay made possible by puns on the term “‘lie,’”’ and by substitutions, encouraged by other passages in the Essay, of terms such as

“truth” and “subject”? by gender-specific terms such as ‘‘Woman.” To insist on the importance of minute passages such as this and the one from the dedicatory letter would be unwarranted. Yet these passages are made

to resonate by the persistence of their language in Locke’s account of

mind. The term “acquaintance” does not disappear but occurs throughout the Essay as a designation of the relation between the mind and itself, its ideas, and its world. And to pun on “‘lie’”’ and “lay” is to follow not just the play on these terms in one specific passage, and the firmly established account of women as promiscuous deceivers, but the overwhelming semantic proliferation of the terms as they occur on almost

every page of the work.'* Though he accuses those writers of a “plain cheat and abuse’’ who use one term in multiple senses (492), just as he damns eloquence and the fair sex it resembles as a “perfect cheat’ (508),

Locke invests deeply in terms such as “lie”? and “lay” and the multi_ valence which they afford. If he avoids the superstition and jargon of the scholastics which he tirelessly berates, Locke’s remarkably heavy reliance on more common terms for antithetical meanings works to charge them as the primal terms of the Essay. Indulgences in “‘lying’’ and “laying”? which allow the passage at the end of Book I to restate the earlier explicit account

own practice. ,

of an acquaintance with a woman are not affronts to but typify Locke’s But regardless of how one deals with the problem of punning or wit in the Essay, further elaborations of the firmly established scene of acquaintance clearly indicate that women are not dead metaphors for truth but are implemented in a specific way to represent mental life. In Book III, Locke asks ‘‘though many a Man can with satisfaction enough own a no very handsome Wife in his Bosom; yet who is bold enough openly to avow, that 14 See Appendix.

70 Mind he has espoused a Falshood, and received into his Breast so ugly a thing as a Lye?” (552). The assimilation here of women and propositions as what a man owns and receives in his bosom is commonly articulated in the Essay

in narratives of courtship and embracing. Before the attack on innate ideas, Locke presents the following reason for mounting it: “but because a Man is not permitted without Censure to follow his own Thoughts in the

search of Truth, when they lead him ever so little out of the common Road: I shall set down the Reasons, that made me doubt of the Truth of that Opinion, as an Excuse for my Mistake, if I be in one, which I leave to

be consider’d by those, who, with me, dispose themselves to embrace Truth, where-ever they find it” (48). Locke is committed to embracing the truth which in the dedicatory letter has just been identified as a woman, and, as he later claims, he would be “‘ready to embrace such welcome, and useful, Propositions’’ as those argued by some to be innate, ifhe knew what | marks distinguished innate propositions from others (84). Because Locke appeals to reason, the propositions he embraces will be distinguished from

the opinions of mankind and the “Fondness, and Devotion wherewith they are embrac’d”’ (44). After presenting his first description of how various opinions are “‘received and embraced as first and unquestionable Prin-

, ciples,” that is, taken to be sacred, by “‘Men of different Countries, Educations, and Tempers’”’ (81), Locke presents a second version which runs more like a narrative of Dorimant’s courtship of Harriet in Etherege’s The Man of Mode, or Palamede’s advances to Doralice in Dryden’s Marriage & la Mode: men grow “‘fond of the Notions they have been long acquainted with” in their mind, and take up with some borrowed Principles; which being reputed and presumed to be

the evident proofs of other things, are thought not to need any other proof themselves. Whoever shall receive any of these into his Mind, and entertain them there, with the reverence usually paid to Principles, never venturing to examine them; but accustoming himself to believe them, because they are to be believed, may take up from his Education, and the fashions of his Country, any absurdity for innate Principles; and by long poring on the same Objects, so dim his sight, as

to take Monsters lodged in his own brain, for the Images of the Deity, and the

Workmanship of his Hands. (83-84) ,

Locke’s account of the male sense of sacred belief designates the nurse or

old woman as the cause of the belief. What happens in this follow-up to that account is that women become components of the figure or representation of the belief which they literally cause. That is to say that after claiming that women cause or instigate erroneous belief, Locke goes on to represent that belief in terms of a scene of socio-erotic interaction. ‘‘Fond-

ness,’ “acquaintance,” “taking up,” “reputation,” “‘receiving into,” “entertaining,” “‘revering,” “fashion,” “lodging”? — interspersed with some commercial terminology, this is the language of Restoration libertine

Acquaintance 71 comedy and is being used not to narrate a courtship, but at least ostensibly

to describe the male mind in the process of believing. Like the term “acquaintance,” the other terms in this list persist throughout the entire Essay and, so, work to establish the scene of acquaintance as one of the

principal models of thinking in the work.'!? As a component in this representation, the woman is not principally the instigator of pernicious belief as she is in Locke’s doxastic genealogies, but an entertained guest in

furnished lodgings, Mrs. Pinchwife and Lady Fidget in Horner’s apartment, Bellinda in Dorimant’s dressing-room.!® (iv) This representation of mind coheres with other features of Locke’s figurative epistemological discourse. In the previous chapter, it was observed that Locke persistently substitutes enclosed space for imprinted substance as a

representation of the mental scene. In the mind conceived of most generally as an enclosed space, and more specifically as a furnished room or chamber, thinking as reception, introduction, entrance, entertainment,

acquaintance, lodging, fondness, reverence, lying, prevailing, and embracing finds its site. The spatial metaphor of mind, then, sets the scene for two tales which traverse the Essay. In one of these tales, this space is explicitly specified as the site of a man’s labor and the storehouse for the property in material goods to which that labor entitles him; in the other, this space is explicitly specified as a chamber, dressing-room, or drawingroom within which a man gets acquainted with women. In both cases, the mind is represented not just as the szte of an action, but also as an agent which acts within, observes, or transforms the site. '5 See Appendix. This account of the scene of acquaintance is consistent to some extent with Cathy Caruth’s argument that in a few passages the terms “‘solicit”’ and “‘receive”’ are among those which make Locke’s account of sensation change from literal empirical description to a figurative narration of the mind’s entrapment and a drama of influence. Caruth’s chapter on Locke also provides an alternative account of the importance of women in the Essay grounded in the description of the mourning mother in the chapter on association. See Empirical Truths and Critical Fictions.

'6 Locke’s Essay might thus be cited by Ruth Salvaggio to justify the perspective from which she sees ‘‘women ‘figuring’ quite prominently in Enlightenment discourse”’ (4). And given that literal description is one kind of representation, then the Essay further justifies her claim that Enlightenment discourse represents women as, and associates them with, monstrosity, error,

and reproduction. But rather than using women to figure all that threatened and did not fit his system, which is what Salvaggio claims “Enlightenment men” typically did, Locke uses them to represent the.central components of his system: ideas that constitute knowledge. And that Locke is concerned to document the presence and power of women in the contexts which determine men’s belief would seem to call for qualifications to Salvaggio’s claim that “it is not the Enlightened mind that rescues woman from her historical obscurity, but rather suppression

of woman and all her feminine associations that allows Enlightenment to thrive”’ (xi). See Enlightened Absence: Neoclassical Configurations of the Feminine (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988).

72 Mind While much of the language describing property is distinct from that describing acquaintance, there are some common terms which conflate the two sites and stories. If furniture is a component of the social space that sets the scene for acquaintance, Locke’s concern with his own furniture as

a commodity, which is conspicuous in Cranston’s biography, and his listing of “Furniture” along with ““Money, Lands, Houses” as an outward possession in A Letter Concerning Toleration, indicates that furniture also has a place in the storehouse.!’ And if, as Locke claims in Book II of the Essay, pain and pleasure have an efficacy ‘‘to set us on work” (129), the pleasures of acquaintance besides the acquisition of property may be involved with the labor of the mind. This implication is strengthened by those instances where Locke assimilates women and propositions as commodities owned by men. Moreover, that it is not just the account of acquaintance which

designates the mental agent as a man, but also the account of labor is indicated by Heinzelman’s remarks on post-Renaissance economic theory in general, and Adam Smith in particular: In economic discourse, labor always means masculine or ‘male labor’ to distinguish it from childbearing, or female labor, but, for Smith, male labor is literally connected to the business of generating and supporting life. The wages of the laborer must maintain not only him but also his family, even beyond the first generation. If labor is the basis of economic production, then it must ultimately bear adequate fruit to sustain economic consumption. Labor is, in the end, the economic expression of manhood. !8

In some respects, mental space is, at once, a storehouse and a chamber, ideas are both material goods and women, and the two different narratives of acquaintance and labor are implicated in one another. '7 See, for example, Locke’s inventory of the contents of his house at Belluton (6-7), his account of expenditures on furniture at Oxford (33), the inventory of furniture in his rooms at Christ Church (161), and his concern to fill his rooms at Oates with his own furniture (343): in Maurice Cranston, John Locke (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985). For furniture as an outward possession, see A Letter Concerning Toleration, ed. James Tully (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1983) 26. It is worth noting here that besides giving “movable articles, whether useful or

ornamental, in a dwelling-house, place of business, or public building” as a meaning of “furniture,” the O.£.D. also gives ‘apparatus, appliances, or instruments for work.” The general understanding of the term as contents is enforced by the meaning of “that with which something is or may be stocked, something to fill or occupy (a receptacle etc.), contents,”’ but the term was also used to mean ‘“‘equipment in dress or armor.” It must be acknowledged that Locke’s use of the term to describe the mind on some occasions functions in a description not of the contents of a space, but of the clothing or outer accoutrements of an agent. '8 Kurt Heinzelman, The Economics of the Imagination 145.

| Seeing and touching

The Sense of Feeling can indeed give us a Notion of Extention, Shape, and all other Ideas that enter at the Eye, except Colours; but at the same time it is very much streightned and confined in its Operations, to the number,

bulk, and distance of its particular Objects. Our Sight seems : : designed to supply all these Defects, and may be considered as a more delicate and diffusive kind of Touch, that spreads it self over an infinite Multitude of Bodies, comprehends the largest Figures, and brings into our reach some of the most remote Parts of the Universe. The Spectator, 411


Commentary on the Essay frequently identifies the eye as part of the tabula rasa representation of mind (the eye sees what is on the tabula rasa) or as part of an alternative representation of mind.! The evidence supporting this view that the eye, in one way or another, models the mind in the Essay is extensive and begins on the first page of Book I: “‘the Understanding, like the Eye, whilst it makes us see, and perceive all other Things, takes no

notice of it self.’’ (43). References to how men know by “the light of ' For versions of the claim that Locke’s governing model for the mind is an optical one, see Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind; Colin Murray Turbayne, The Myth of Metaphor (1962; Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1971) 205; John Yolton, ‘‘As in a Looking-Glass:

Perceptual Acquaintance in Eighteenth-Century Britain,” Journal of the History of Ideas 40

(1979) 207-234; Robert McRae, “‘Idea’ as a Philosophical Term In the Seventeenth Century,” Journal of the History of Ideas 26 (1965) 175-190; Angela Leighton, Shelley and the Sublime; Douglas Lane Patey, Probability and Literary Form (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984) 29; W. J. T. Mitchell, /conology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986) 121-122; Michael McKeon, The Origins of the English Novel 76, 83. Though Richetti points to the instability of the visual model in Locke, he still claims that the three major empiricists “tend to rely on visualization” and approach the object-subject dilemma “‘by means of a relatively stable visual world.” See Philosophical Writing 24-25. For the claim that the western philosophical tradition in general is dominated by ocular metaphors, see Richard Rorty (who claims to be following Dewey, Wittgenstein, and Heidegger), Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, and writings of Jacques Derrida such as “‘Violence et la métaphysique,”’ in L’Ecriture et la différence.


74 Mind Nature” (75) and how an idea is “‘agreeable to the common light of Reason” (89) substantiate this analogy between knowing and seeing. So, too, does Locke’s insistent claim in the final chapter of Book I that, if an idea is in the mind, it is either in view of the mind or out of its view in

memory (96-98). To the account of the mind seeing its ideas, which continues in Book II, is added the description of how the mind turns its eye inward to see, observe, perceive, and reflect upon its own operations (127). And as “‘the most comprehensive of all our Senses’’ (146), sight is persistently invoked in Book IT as a model of the mind’s understanding of ideas and thinking about its own operations. The relative sparseness of descrip-

tions of the mind as an eye in Book III is compensated for by the unrelenting description of knowing as seeing in Book IV: intuitive knowledge consists in the mind’s perception of the agreement or disagreement of ideas at first sight; demonstrative knowledge consists in the mind’s perception of the agreement or disagreement of ideas not by an immediate but by a repeated or extended view (526, 528, 529, 530, 532, 552, 577, 591, 993, 611, 655, 669, 672-676, 684, 706). As the eye sees light and those objects towards which it is turned and which it surveys, so the mind knows (531, 632, 650-651, 710, 717). All knowledge consists ‘“‘in the view the

Mind has of its own Ideas, which is the utmost Light and greatest Certainty, we with our Faculties, and in our way of Knowledge, are capable of’ (530). “In all the parts of knowledge,”’ Locke later writes in distinguishing knowledge from belief, “‘there is intuition; each immediate Idea, each step has its visible and certain connexion; in belief not so” (655).

And in that the “‘Candle of the Lord”’ is set up in men’s minds (552), in that we have a little “‘clear Light, some Sparks of bright Knowledge” (683), in that God has given us “the light of Reason” (694), the mind itself provides the light by which it sees. Though the strict identification of the mental agent as an eye (rather than a seeing person) conflicts with the pervasive identification of this agent as a man who works and entertains, ‘“‘Words relating to Sight”’ (363)

in the Essay commonly permit the postulation of a person who sees, and they therefore cohere with the scene of property and acquaintance: they elaborate upon the man’s activities of storing, inspecting, taking inven-

tory, receiving, entertaining, and embracing things and people in a particular space. The consistency of this optical terminology with the bipartite representation of the mind as a man and an enclosed space is evident, for example, in the “Epistle to the Reader,” where Locke explains that by “determinate or determined” he means “‘some object in the Mind, and consequently determined, t.¢. such as tt is there seen and perceived to be’ (13). The

determinate simple idea is “‘that simple appearance, which the Mind has 1n its view, or perceives in it self, when that Idea is said to be in it,”” and the determined complex idea is ‘‘a determinate number of certain simple or less complex Ideas,

Seeing and touching 75 joyn’d in such a proportion and situation, as the Mind has before its view, and sees in it self when that Idea is present in it, or should be present in it, when a Man gives a

name to it” (13). In the fourth chapter of Book I, this version of the mind seeing what it contains is extensively stated. Responding to the possibility of there being “any innate /deas, any /deas, in the mind, which the mind does not actually think on,” Locke insists that “‘what is not either actually in view, or in the memory, is in the mind no way at all”’ (96-97). To be in the mind an idea must either be in view or in the memory, and it “cannot by the memory be brought into actual view, without a perception that it comes out of the memory, which is this, that it had been known before, and is now remembred”’ (98). The explicet description of the mind seeing what is in it occasionally occurs in Book IT (106, 121, 132, 149, 152, 254) and is infrequent in the final two books. But since the unremitting language of property and acquaintance establishes that ideas are always in the mind, accounts of the mind seeing ideas imply that it is seeing what it contains.

The description of the mind “in Words relating to Sight” thus coheres with the identification of it as an agent and an enclosed space — the man

who gets acquainted with and works on women and material objects

within an enclosed space also sees them. ,

But if ocular language functions in the Essay as an elaboration of a man

who works and woos, its ability to represent the mind is also radically compromised. In the face of Locke’s own assertions of its adequacy to describe the mind, this terminology repeatedly fails to do so, articulates not thinking and perception but error and unconsciousness, struggles through singular and bipartite representations of mind, and reduces to the terminology of other senses. These problems with ocular metaphors of mind in the Essay are evident in Locke’s more graphic mental figurations,

his attack on enthusiasm, his account of clear and distinct ideas, his response to the Molyneux problem, and his troubled account of how sensation causes ideas. Ultimately, they qualify both the coherence of optical metaphors of mind in relation to the scene of labor and acquaintance, and Locke’s rejection of the innatist’s language of impression. (it)

The optical model of mind invoked in the opening paragraph of the first chapter of Book I heralds many of the difficulties it suffers over the course

of the Essay: :

The Understanding, like the Eye, whilst it makes us see, and perceive all other

Things, takes no notice of it self: And it requires Art and Pains to set it at a distance, and make it its own Object. But whatever be the Difficulties, that lie in the way of this Enquiry; whatever it be, that keeps us so much in the Dark to our selves; sure I am, that all the Light we can let in upon our own Minds; all the

76 Mind , |

Acquaintance we can make with our own Understandings, will not only be very pleasant; but bring us great Advantage, in directing our Thoughts in the search of other Things. (43)

The eye takes no notice of itself. Of course there is always the mirror in which the eye may see itself, or at least its reflection, but then the analogy has already changed to one between the mind on the one hand, and an eye and a mirror on the other. Because of this immediately articulated weakness of ocular terminology, Locke quietly abandons it. There is no further explicit reference in the passage to the eye or the act of seeing, but, first, a reference to we who are ‘“‘so much in the Dark to our selves.”’ It is no longer

the eye that is representing the understanding, but the entire person which, if taken to refer to an individual human being, can literally see itself, at least its body, in the light. Second, light is said to be let in upon the mind, as if the mind were not an eye but something existing in a dark space (a cabinet or closet) into which light may be admitted. Finally, the relation the understanding eventually has with itself is described not in terms of vision but as pleasant and advantageous “Acquaintance,” as if the mind’s engagement with not only ideas but also itself is best represented as a mode of social interaction which goes well beyond seeing. In the same breath that he posits the eye/mind analogy, then, Locke states its shortcomings and moves to other analogies. Another version of this displacement of vision as a representation of thinking is evident in the well-known passage from Book II, where Locke

claims that external and internal sensation |

are the Windows by which light is let into this dark Room. For, methinks, the Understanding is not much unlike a Closet wholly shut from light, with only some


little openings left, to let in external visible Resemblances, or Jdeas of things without; would the Pictures coming into such a dark Room but stay there, and lie

so orderly as to be found upon occasion, it would very much resemble the Understanding of a Man, in reference to all Objects of sight, and the Ideas of them.

The rapid and unannounced multiplication of analogies and the inconsistency or confusion in the main analogy are made apparent if the passage is schematized as in Table 2. It is notable that in column ITI, ‘“‘eye” does not appear. That is to say, in spite of the references to light, pictures, and visible objects, the under-

standing is not being directly compared to an eye. Rather, the mind is being imaged as a closed space, and the eye would seem to be imaged as an

opening into that space, in which case it could fill in the missing term in column II, or be understood to be included in “‘sensation” in line 1. But if this is the case, if ideas of objects of sight pass through the eye to the understanding, then the eye is not representing the mind but is part of the

I II Ill

Seeing and touching 77 Table 2

1. Ideas pass through sensation to understanding

2. Light is let by windows into dark room

3. External visible resemblances

Ideas of things are let in by little closet shut

without openings to from light Pictures

4. Ideas of objects — understanding of sight

total mechanism of perception including the mind that is being represented by light passing through windows into a space. That is, seeing is not

representing understanding but is part of the process of understanding which is being represented. This point is made clear at the end of the passage where what is being represented is identified not as the understanding alone, but as the understanding “‘in reference to all Objects of sight, and the /deas of them.”’

Two further observations may be made concerning this description of mind in terms of light, sight, and visibility. First, Locke would seem to be comparing the contents of the mind to ideas, light, external visible resemblances, and pictures which may be seen or found. Ideas and possibly external visible resemblances should not occur in this list since what 1s needed to make the analogy is something different from but comparable to the ideas which are the contents of the mind. To some extent, the passage is not articulating an analogy, but floating between a platitude (ideas are like ideas) and a redefinition of what an idea is (there are ideas outside the mind and ideas inside the mind). Second, this passage demonstrates how

the language of sight can split the mind into a scene and an agent comparable to the scene and agents that have been observed in the last two chapters on labor and acquaintance. The eye only admits or lets in ideas of visible objects, as windows or little openings let in light, external visible resemblances, and pictures. As the eye is to the window, so the mind is to the room: it is the ste of ideas produced by experience, where experience consists of sensation and reflection. But since the passage also refers to an act of finding, and this act cannot be performed by the room, it | implicitly postulates an agent which does the finding, is separate from the _ Closet, and is independent of the process by which the pictures get into the closet in the first place. In that the representation of mind consists of both

78 Mind a site and an agent, the mind itself is being posited as an essentially bipartite entity, one which is the scene of experience (reflection and sensation) and an agent that is independent but conscious of what is present in it. Though the agent that does the finding is not named in the passage, it is demanded by the grammar of finding; though the mental agent that is conscious of what is in the understanding is not named, it is posited by the terms of the analogy.

The point here is not simply that the analogy drawn between the understanding and a room allows for a problematic correspondence or sameness. Because statements of comparison or analogy are not statements of identity, they always presuppose a difference in some respects between the two things being compared; that the two components of a comparison or analogy do not correspond in every respect is implied by a statement of

analogy. Hence, it is not of any particular interest to find that problems arise if the two things being compared are regarded as the same in certain respects. For it may be precisely in those respects that the analogy is implicitly asserting a difference between the two things — it may be precisely due to this implicitly recognized difference that a statement is one

not of identity but analogy. But this does not mean that all problematic implications of statements of analogy may be dismissed as the dross of an implicitly recognized and asserted difference. Where a problematic impli-

cation of regarding the compared things as being the same in a certain respect is powerful and interesting is where that respect is indicated to be relevant to and comprehended by the statement of analogy. In the case

urider consideration here, it is not of any significance that the analogy between a mind and a room allows for the implication that the mind is six-sided. This is because the issue of the shape of the mind is not indicated to be at stake in the discussion. But that the issue of consciousness is at stake or is relevant to the passage is evident, first, from the discussion of discerning

and other operations of the mind within which the passage occurs and, second, from the explicit identification within the passage itself of an act of finding what is in a dark room as a crucial feature of the analogue for mind

which is being presented. Indeed, that the pictures be findable by some agent is identified as an enabling condition of the rest of the comparison. The point, then, is that the analogy drawn between the understanding and

a room, an analogy that draws on ocular terminology, allows for a problematic correspondence or sameness in a respect which is indicated as being relevant to or comprehended by the statement of analogy.

(ii If ocular terminology is, in some cases, quietly discarded, used to describe not consciousness but the production of the content of consciousness, or

Seeing and touching 79 laden with problematical implications, its general legitimacy as a way of | describing the mind is also explicitly attacked. This is evident in the chapter on enthusiasm which Locke added to Book IV in the fourth and following editions of the Essay. Here he considers the enthusiast’s claim to know by inner light and sight and admonishes him to “‘bring this Guide of

his Light within to the Tryal” (704). Since, in his attack on innatist doctrine, Locke negates not just the notion of characters imprinted by God

or Nature on the mind at birth, but also, on a couple of instances, the notion of ‘“‘native Beams of Light’? (64) and “innate Light’’ (80), the attack on enthusiasm is really the second trial of a purported light in the Essay. But this time, Locke explicitly points to ocular terminology as the distinguishing feature of the pernicious doctrine and openly condemns it for being metaphorical. Here is Locke mimicking and condemning the enthusiast: Reason is lost upon them, they are above it: they see the Light infused into their Understandings, and cannot be mistaken; ’tis clear and visible there; like the Light of bright Sunshine, shews it self, and needs no other Proof, but its own Evidence: they feel the Hand of GOD moving them within, and the impulses of the Spirit, and cannot be mistaken in what they feel. Thus they support themselves, and are sure Reason hath nothing to do with what they see and feel in themselves: what they have a sensible Experience of admits no doubt, needs no probation. Would he not be ridiculous who should require to have it proved to him, that the Light shines, and that he sees it? It is its own Proof, and can have no other. When the Spirit brings Light into our Minds, it dispels Darkness. We sec it, as we do that of the Sun at Noon, and need not the twilight of Reason to shew it us. This Light from Heaven is strong, clear, and pure, carries its own Demonstration with it, and we may as rationally take a Glow-worme to assist us to discover the Sun, as to examine the celestial Ray by our dim Candle, Reason. (700)

The principal error of the enthusiast is to take strong persuasion as a light that allows for privileged seeing and that constitutes a ground of knowledge. As Locke puts it a few pages later, “‘all the Light they speak of is but a strong, though ungrounded perswasion of their own Minds that it | [their knowledge] is a Truth” (702). The proper name for the enthusiast’s

ground of assent is “strong perswasion’’; the metaphorical name the enthusiast gives to it is “inner light.” The consequences of not recognizing

this metaphor as such and of taking this light to be from God are disastrous: “‘if the Light, which every one thinks he has in his Mind, which

in this Case is nothing but the strength of his own Perswasion, be an Evidence that it is from GOD, contrary Opinions may have the same title to be inspirations; and GOD will be not only the Father of Lights, but of opposite and contradictory Lights, leading Men contrary ways’’ (703). But if the true light that enlightens the mind is not persuasion, what is it? “Light, true Light in the Mind is, or can be nothing else but the Evidence

80 Mind of the Truth of any Proposition; and if it be not a self-evident Proposition, all the Light it has, or can have, is from the clearness and validity of those Proofs, upon which it is received”’ (703).

This trial of the enthusiast’s sight and light is remarkable for several reasons. Richetti’s observation that in attacking the enthusiast’s discourse Locke is interrogating the discourse of the Essay is borne out by the specific parallels between them.” Like the enthusiast, Locke has spoken of unavoidably receiving ideas from the sun (286), of irresistible knowledge which

“like the bright Sun-shine, forces it self immediately to be perceived, as soon as ever the Mind turns its view that way” (531), of the ideas one unavoidably has looking at the sun (632), of the candle set up in the mind of man (46, 552), and of a worm in a cabinet whose knowledge of human understanding is comparable to man’s knowledge of the faculties of other intelligent beings (120). While Locke does not always compare the same things to light, sunshine, twilight, worms, and candles as does the enthusiast, it is still obvious that the enthusiast’s language is a mélange of the language Locke uses in the Essay to describe the mind. The complicity of

_ Locke’s own linguistic procedures with those of the enthusiast he is condemning is further evident in the shift in this passage from third person to first person personal pronouns. Locke begins by describing “‘them’”’ and what ‘‘they”’ do in their language of light but, after asking the question about “he” who sees, moves into the first person plural and stays there to

the end of the performance. The mimicry is initiated in the third person which still posits a distance between the mimicked enthusiast and Locke, but as if Locke finds the enthusiast’s language to be his own, he abandons the reference to “them” and joins his voice with those of the enthusiasts in the first person plural ‘‘we”’ and “‘us.”’ The language of both the enthusiast and Locke is about to be stripped of metaphor. If one looks behind the words “‘light”’ and “‘sight’”’ in the enthusiast’s argumentation one will find strong persuasion; if one looks behind these

words in Locke’s argumentation will one find light? Clearly not. In pointing to the metaphors in the enthusiast’s discourse, Locke points to them in his own. True light in the mind is the evidence of the truth of any proposition. ““To talk of any other light in the Understanding,” Locke continues, “‘is to put our selves in the dark, or in the power of the Prince of

Darkness, and by our own consent, to give ourselves up to Delusion to believe a Lie’”’ (703). Hence, it is not because the enthusiast’s discourse 1s

metaphorical that Locke condemns it, but because the enthusiast uses light and sight as metaphors for the wrong thing. In using the term “‘light”’

to designate evidence, in referring to ‘“‘the irresistible Light of Selfevidence” (697), in referring to the “Light” of reason and revelation 2 See John Richetti, Philosophical Writing 115.

Seeing and touching 81 (698), Locke is not proposing a literal usage as an alternative to the metaphorical usage of the enthusiast, but is replacing strong persuasion by reason, revelation, or evidence as that which ‘“‘light’”? metaphorically designates — “‘light’”’ is properly a metaphor for reason, revelation, and evidence. In this moment of linguistic self-consciousness, Locke is restricting the legitimacy of words relating to sight as figurative representations

of what passes in the understanding. As metaphors for reason and evidence, these terms are acceptable, but as metaphors for persuasion or inner assurance, they are pernicious. Though the language of seeing may help to describe what it is to know, it may also mislead us into following the devil and thinking that God is the father of contradictory truths. It is precisely because the enthusiast has been imposed upon by words relating to sight that he mistakes what he strongly believes for a divinely revealed truth.

(iv) What makes Locke’s metaphors better than the enthusiast’s is presumably

that they do not entail such unacceptable propositions as that whatever one strongly believes is a divinely revealed truth, and that God is the father of contradictory truths. But it has already been observed that, in one case, Locke’s ocular metaphors postulate a form of a prior mental agency which contravenes some of the Essay’s claims concerning the self.

That Locke’s visual metaphors pose further problems is evident in a passage from the chapter on clear and obscure ideas in Book II which strongly asserts the heuristic value of seeing as a model for thinking: The Perception of the Mind, being most aptly explained by Words relating to the Sight, we shall best understand what is meant by Clear, and Obscure in our Ideas, by reflecting on what we call Clear and Obscure in the Objects of Sight. Light being that which discovers to us visible Objects, we give the name of Obscure, to that, which is not placed in a Light sufficient to discover minutely to us the Figure and

Colours, which are observable in it, and which, in a better Light, would be discernable. In like manner, our simple Ideas are clear, when they are such as the Objects themselves, from whence they were taken, did or might, in a well-ordered Sensation or Perception, present them. Whilst the Memory retains them thus, and can produce them to the Mind, when-ever it has occasion to consider them, they are clear Ideas. So far as they either want any thing of that original Exactness, or have lost any of their first Freshness, and are, as it were, faded or tarnished by Time, so far are they obscure. Complex Ideas, as they are made up of Simple ones; so

they are clear, when the Jdeas that go to their Composition, are clear; and the Number and Order of those Simple /deas, that are the Ingredients of any Complex one, is determinate and certain. (363)

The first sentence announces that Locke will reflect on what we call

82 Mind clear and obscure in the objects of sight. In the second sentence this promise is being kept, since Locke describes what we call obscure. But the

expectation of an account of what we call clear is only minimally and implicitly kept with the reference to the obscure object which in better light would be discernable. This is why the third sentence can be so perplexing: since it is an obscure object that has just been explicitly described, it is peculiar that the following sentence makes the comparison with not an obscure but a clear idea. That is, it is easy to take the third sentence to mean that ideas are clear as objects of sight are obscure. But even if this second sentence is read as implicitly defining the clear object of _ sight as that object the figure and colors of which, due to good light, may

be seen, the third sentence is still puzzling since it does not draw the comparison between this clear object of sight and the clear idea. The clear idea would, it might reasonably be expected, be that idea the qualities or

defining features of which are discernable by the mind under certain conditions. But instead of a reference to the mind’s capacity to discern the

clear idea, there is a reference to how (“‘such as”) the object that is the origin of the idea presents the idea in a well-ordered sensation. The ‘‘such as’ functions as a kind of marker in this sentence, as does the “‘thus”’ in the following sentence, both pointing to but withholding the essential feature of an idea that makes it like a clear object of sight. How does the object present its idea to the mind in a well-ordered perception, and how does the memory retain it?

After withholding for two sentences the feature of the clear idea to which the visibility of the clear object of sight is the analogue, the passage comes forth in abundance: the clear‘idea has “that original Exactness,”’ has a “‘first Freshness,”’ is not ‘faded or tarnished by Time.” That is how the object presents its idea to the mind in a well-ordered perception, that is

how the memory retains the clear idea. Instead of positing particular features of the clear idea that correspond to or are represented by the color and figure of the clear object of sight, however, this rush of information only provides further figures for those features. As color and figure are to the clear object of sight, so exactness, freshness, and vivacity/brightness are to the clear idea of the mind. Though exactness might be a property of an idea, brightness and freshness are not. In the place of the properties of an idea that correspond to the figure and color of an object in good light, Locke places further features of a visible object in good light (vivacity/

brightness) as well as features of a tasted, smelled, or touched object (freshness). To some extent, then, what sight is modelling, what the words relating to sight are describing or imaging, is not thinking but other kinds

of sensing. To put it another way, the language of sight is describing thinking only if thinking is already identified with seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching. The analogy that is being drawn, then, is not

Seeing and touching 83 between seeing and thinking, but between seeing and a metaphor for thinking. Only if it is supposed that exactness is an actual feature of an idea perceived by the mind does the passage manage to prevent the complete disappearance of thinking into other modes of sensory perception.

But Locke persists. In the following paragraph he goes on to describe

obscure simple ideas in terms of sight: , The cause of Obscurity in simple Jdeas, seems to be either dull Organs; or very slight and transient Impressions made by the Objects; or else a weakness in the Memory,

not able to retain them as received. For to return again to visible Objects, tohelp us to apprehend this matter. If the Organs, or Faculties of Perception, like Wax over-hardned with Cold, will not receive the Impression of the Seal, from the usual impulse wont to imprint it; or, like Wax of a temper too soft, will not hold it well, when well imprinted; or else supposing the Wax of a temper fit, but the Seal

not applied with a sufficient force, to make a clear Impression: In any of these

cases, the print left by the Seal, will be obscure. This, I suppose, needs no application to make it plainer. (363-364)

What is odd here is that in spite of announcing his return to a sight analogy, Locke goes to the language of impression he uses to present the pernicious innatist doctrine. How does Locke manage with the language

of the enemy? First, this is an instance of the figural revision that was observed in chapter 2: the imprinted piece of wax is not the analogue for the mind, but for the bodily organs. Second, this piece of wax is presented as a visible object. The comparison seems to be that we see the impressions

in a piece of wax as the mind 1s conscious of ideas resulting from the sensation. But in referring to a piece of imprinted wax, Locke refers to _ something which may be perceived by the sense of touch as easily and comprehensively as that of sight. Since the color of the wax is of no importance here, but only the depth and shape of the impression, Locke need not have understood his analogy as a return to visible objects but could have with equal propriety understood it as the introduction of tactile objects. Indeed, the analogy introduces elements which cannot be accounted for by a model of sight. How do we see the “‘temper”’ of wax, and how do we see its temperature? As Locke writes earlier in Book II, not the

eye but “the Hand feels Softness and Warmth in the same piece of Wax” (119, 125). And how do we see an “‘impulse,”’ how do we see if it is the usual

impulse “wont”? to make an impression, or if it is more or less than this sufficiency? Though an impression in wax is certainly visible, the temperature of the wax, its temper, and the force with which another object strikes

it are not. And these qualities of the wax are not simply incidental or irrelevant to the comparison being made, since the durability and definition of the impression are directly determined by them. For this reason, we will best understand the matter not by simply looking at the wax, but

84 Mind by feeling its imprinted surface, striking or exerting pressure against it to determine its temper, and inserting our bodies between the wax and the seal to feel the impulse and force with which the seal is applied. Then we will be clear about what an obscure idea is like and what makes it so. Although Locke announces a comparison between an idea and a visible object, then, he in fact compares the idea with an object several described features of which are perceivable only by the tactile sense. The fact that Locke explicitly characterizes the comparison as he does and the fact that impressions in wax are visible enforces an understanding of this passage as an instance of Locke’s description of thinking solely in terms of sight. And perhaps the eye could discern an extremely thin or shallow impression in the wax which would escape the tactile sense. Save for this exception, the sense of touch can pick out not only all of the features of the ostensible

object of sight that the eye is described as picking out (the clarity of definition of the impression), but also features of that object and what strikes it which the eye cannot pick out (temper, temperature, and force). The text of Locke’s comparison shows that in spite of the announcement to the contrary, it is a consideration of tactile objects, some of whose qualities

may be seen, which helps to apprehend how the mind thinks. Again, Locke’s text is at odds with its own announcements and the commentaries

that highlight and invest in them. In the first passage from Locke’s consideration of clear and obscure ideas, words relating to sight describe not so much thinking as other kinds of sensation. Only as a figure of the figure which identifies thinking with seeing, tasting, touching, or smelling

does sight represent thought. In the second passage, Locke simply misidentifies as an object of sight that with which he compares ideas. For it turns out that relevant qualities of this object are not perceivable by sight

but only by touch. In both passages, the heuristic value of the model of seeing for thinking is asserted but substantially liquidated by the implicit displacements of the mind as what sight models and of sight as what models the mind. (v)

The kind of omissions in these passages, as Locke indicates in the Essay, can easily escape our attention. This is because although sight may be the most comprehensive of our senses, it is yet not as comprehensive as custom and habit may lead us to think. Indeed, it is due to the fact that “Objects, near our view, are apt to be thought greater, than those of a larger size, that are more remote,” that Locke invokes sight as the model for error in judgments about pleasure and pain (275). The limitations and deceptions of sight are also raised in ““Of Perception” in Book II, the chapter in which Locke inserted the Molyneux problem in the second and following edi-

Seeing and touching 85 tions of the Essay. The problem, which became a hallmark of eighteenth-

century discussions of perception, is introduced by a brief account of how it is we come to attribute to sight ideas which we do not receive from sight alone:

We are farther to consider concerning Perception, that the Jdeas we receive by sensation, are often in grown People alter’d by the Judgment, without our taking notice of it. When we set before our Eyes a round Globe, of any uniform colour, v.g. Gold,

Alabaster, or Jet, ’tis certain, that the /dea thereby imprinted in our Mind, is of a

flat Circle variously shadow’d, with several degrees of Light and Brightness coming to our Eyes. But we having by use been accustomed to perceive, what kind of appearance convex Bodies are wont to make in us; what alterations are made in the reflections of Light, by the difference of the sensible Figures of Bodies, the

Judgment presently, by an habitual custom, alters the Appearances into their Causes: So that from that, which truly is variety of shadow or colour, collecting the Figure, it makes it pass for a mark of Figure, and frames to it self the perception of a convex Figure, and an uniform Colour; when the Jdea we receive from thence, is only a Plain variously colour’d, as is evident in Painting. (145)

In that it identifies an unnoticed substitution of effect or appearance for cause as a determinant of the mind’s awareness of what it perceives, this passage 1s an example of what in chapter 7 will be identified as a standard

procedure of the Humean and Nietzschean critique of central metaphysical concepts. This habitual and unnoticed substitution leads the mind to think that sight provides it with more information or more ideas than it really does. In fact, sight provides only the idea ‘‘of a flat Circle variously shadow’d, with several degrees of light and Brightness coming to our Eyes,” the idea of “‘variety of shadow or colour,”’ the idea of “‘a Plain

variously colour’d.”’ What the mind mistakenly thinks it receives from sight is a sign or “mark of Figure’? which seems to invoke the mind to produce in itself “‘the perception of a convex Figure, and an uniform Colour.”’ There is some ambiguity here as to whether the mind through judgment takes the ideas of shadow and color as a sign or mark of other ideas, or whether it in some way simply alters the ideas of shadow and color into other ideas. Also, Locke does not indicate here if the ‘‘sensible Figures of Bodies”’ are sensible to the eye, the touch, or both. That is, it is not clear if ideas from another sense are introduced by judgment. But it is still clear that it is not sight alone which provides us with the idea of a convex figure

of uniform color, but sight in conjunction with judgment grounded in prior perceptions.

In the second and following editions of the Essay, the problem of Molyneux follows:

To which purpose I shall here insert a Problem of that very Ingenious and Studious promoter of real Knowledge, the Learned and Worthy Mr. Molineux, which he was pleased to send me in a Letter some Months since; and it is this:

86 Mind Suppose a Man born blind, and now adult, and taught by his touch to distinguish between a Cube, and a Sphere of the same metal, and nighly of the same bigness, so as to tell, when he felt one and tother, which rs the Cube, which the Sphere. Suppose then the Cube and Sphere placed ona Table, and the Blind Man to be made to see. Quaere, Whether by his sight, before he touch’d them, he could now distinguish, and tell, which is the Globe, which the Cube. To

which the acute and judicious Proposer answers: Not. For though he has obtain’d the experience of, how a Globe, how a Cube affects his touch; yet he has not yet attained the Experience, that what affects his touch so or so, must affect his sight so or so; Or that a protuberant angle in the Cube, that pressed his hand unequally, shall appear to his eye, as tt

does in the Cube. I agree with this thinking Gent. whom I am proud to call my Friend, in his answer to this his Problem; and am of opinion, that the Blind man, at first sight, would not be able with certainty to say, which was the Globe, which the Cube, whilst he only saw them: though he could unerringly name them by his

touch, and certainly distinguish them by the difference of their Figures felt. (145-146)

What is important to notice here is the kznd of inadequacy Locke posits. He does not claim that sight fails to allow the man to perceive immediately a

difference or distinguish between the two objects before him. Rather, because the man does not know how ideas from sight are related to ideas from touch, he is not capable of determining by seeing which object is the one he knows by touch as a cube, and which object he knows by touch as a sphere. That is, sight will inform him which object is the one he knows by touch to be a cube and which a sphere only if, in addition to seeing, he knows how ideas from sight are related to ideas from touch. The shortcoming of sight in this case is, hence, somewhat different from the one Locke has just described. For in the first case, in order for seeing to give us

the idea we think it does, it must occur in conjunction with an act of judgment that is determined by previous visual and possibly other sensory perceptions. In the Molyneux example, in order for seeing to allow us to identify which objects produce in us certain ideas when we touch them, it

must occur in conjunction with further information derived from past experience indicating how ideas from two different senses are related. But in both cases, seeing is less comprehensive than we think it is and must be

supplemented in various ways in order to provide what we take it to provide. | This makes it all the more interesting that when Locke begins the next paragraph with the sentence that in the first edition followed directly from the first passage, he makes one of his typical announcements in praise of seeing:

But this is not, I think, usual in any of our Jdeas, but those received by Sight: Because Sight, the most comprehensive of all our Senses, conveying to our Minds the Jdeas of Light and Colours, which are peculiar only to that Sense; and also the

far different /deas of Space, Figure, and Motion, the several varieties whereof

Seeing and touching 87 change the appearances of its proper Object, wz. Light and Colours, we bring our selves by use, to judge of the one by the other. This in many cases, by a settled habit, in things whereof we have frequent experience, is performed so constantly, and so quick, that we take that for the Perception of our Sensation, which is an Idea formed by our Judgment; so that one, viz. that of Sensation, serves only to excite the other, and is scarce taken notice of it self; as a Man-who reads or hears with attention and understanding, takes little notice of the Characters, or Sounds, but of the /deas, that are excited in him by them. (146-147)

This passage does not comment on the Molyneux example inserted immediately before it but is a continuation of the passage regarding the alteration of ideas of sensation by judgment. For the concern here is not with the correspondence between ideas from two different senses. Rather, Locke seems to be clarifying the ambiguity in the first passage by indicating that ideas from other senses are not required in order to get the idea of a uniformly colored convex figure. This is because the ideas formulated by judgment, while apparently provided by other senses, are also said to be provided by sight. The mind judges of space, figure, and motion by light and color, but at the same time the ideas of space, figure, and motion are conveyed to the mind by sight. How can this be? Why does the mind have to form an idea through judgment if that idea is conveyed to the mind by sight? In Book II, Locke claims that the ideas of figure, space, and motion

are simple ideas conveyed to the mind without any act of judgment by seeing and feeling (127). Or is it only an idea of two-dimensional figure which the mind conveys to the mind, the idea of three-dimensional figure being produced by a judgment regarding several ideas of two-dimensional figure?

However one responds to this difficulty, the point to be made in connection with this passage is that it ends up limiting or qualifying the comprehensiveness of sight which it announces. The faculty of sight may be comprehensive in conveying in some way or another various ideas to the mind, but because we misunderstand this comprehensiveness it is also deceptive. Apart from the problem of how ideas of sight correspond to ideas of other senses is the. problem of how ideas of sight relate to other ideas of sight, how a rapid and unnoticed act of judgment infects our sense of what it is to see. Molyneux’s question raises the problems of how ideas of sight are correlated by the mind with ideas of touch, and how limited sight on its own is to inform us about what we touch. The passage within which

Molyneux’s question stands as an insertion raises the problems of how some ideas of sight are related to other ideas of sight, and how sight as the most comprehensive of our faculties is not so comprehensive. In both cases,

an unnoticed act of judgment grounded in previous sensory perception makes the mind overestimate the power of sight. Because the eye cannot register the acts of judgment which accompany and determine the mind’s

88 Mind |

sense of vision, seeing is hence a model of a kind of error. It is for this reason that in his consideration of the Molyneux problem in “An Essay

Towards a New Theory of Vision’ (1709), Berkeley cites Locke’s treatment of it in support of his argument against those such as Locke who

assert the comprehensiveness of sight. And it is for this reason that in eighteenth-century French considerations of the problem, blindness can

function as the model for knowing about the senses: , But what is worse, he is right in all of this; it is our place to be instructed in his school, and to learn from this blind man what the things we see are. His voice is the

very voice of Nature: his mind, still entirely new in the visible world, has not imbibed any of the prejudices that the habitual combination of sight and touch has engendered in our minds, and that make us eternally confound the limits, operations, objects, and qualities of these two senses.*

(vi) |

Though Locke insists that the sense of sight is distinct from the sense of touch and that it is crucial to distinguish between ideas that derive from these two distinct senses, he also quite explicitly indicates that the former is

really only a mode of the latter. All sense is essentially tactile, “‘a more delicate and diffusive kind of Touch,” as Addison puts it, and it is touch which is ultimately the analogue whenever the mind’s activity is described as sight. The displacement of sight by touch observable in the passage on clear and distinct ideas, that is, is not an isolated incident but a pervasive movement in the Essay. This fact becomes evident in Locke’s considerations of a subject which he identifies as being outside the scope of the Essay but which he nevertheless seems compelled to include in the work. Remarkably, this is the subject of how physical sensation makes the mind have an idea. On the opening page of the first chapter of Book I, Locke

writes, |

I shall not at present meddle with the Physical Consideration of the Mind; or trouble my self to examine, wherein its Essence consists, or by what Motions of our

Spirits, or Alterations of our Bodies, we come to have any Sensation by our Organs, or any /deas in our Understandings; and whether those Jdeas do in their 3 Jean-Bernard Mérian, Sur le Probléme de Molyneux, first published in ““Mémoires de l’Académie

de Berlin,” 1770-1780; for a modern edition, see that edited by Francine Markovits (Paris: Flammarion, 1984) 70. For Berkeley’s citation of Locke against Locke, see “An Essay Towards A New Theory of Vision,” Berkeley’s Philosophical Writings, ed. David Armstrong (New York:

MacMillan, 1965) 336-338. There is also Diderot’s “Lettre sur les aveugles 4 usage de ceux qui voient,”” which, as the title suggests, presents the blind man as a figure of knowledge of the

senses and of many other things. See “Lettre sur les aveugles” (Paris: Flammarion, 1972) 79-124. For a good exposition of the views of Locke and Berkeley on the Molyneux problem, and the recognition of Gassendi as a precedent for these views, see Reinhard Brandt, ‘‘Historical Observations on the Genesis of the Three-Dimensional Optical Picture (Gassendi, Locke, Berkeley),” Ratio 17 (1975) 176-190.

Seeing and touching 89 Formation, any, or all of them, depend on Matter, or no. These are Speculations, which, however curious and entertaining, I shall decline, as lying out of my Way, in the Design I am now upon. (43)

But that Locke cannot avoid meddling with how sensory perception produces ideas in the mind is soon evident in Book II where, in his consideration of simple ideas, he presents a corpuscular theory of sensation: Ifit were the design of my present Undertaking, to enquire into the natural Causes and manner of Perception, I should offer this as a reason why a privative cause might, in some cases at least, produce a positive Idea, viz. That all Sensation being produced

in us, only by different degrees and modes of Motion in our animal Spirits, variously agitated by external Objects, the abatement of any former motion, must as necessarily produce a new sensation, as the variation or increase of it; and so introduce a new Jdea, which depends only on a different motion of the animal Spirits in that Organ. (133)

What is here introduced as a marginal consideration 1s further elaborated later in the chapter as a matter of convenience: ““To discover the nature of our Jdeas the better, and to discourse of them intelligibly, it will be convenient to distinguish them, as they are /deas or Perceptions in our Minds; and as they are modifications of matter in the Bodies that cause such Perceptions in us’’ (134). It is perhaps only out of this convenience that the next statement of this theory of sensation is presented as a step in the orderly consideration of simple ideas: ‘““The next thing to be consider’d, is how Bodies produce /deas in us, and that is manifestly by impulse, the only way which we can conceive Bodies operate in”’ (135-136). Locke

then goes on for a page to describe how all sensation that causes ideas in the mind consists in the impulse of particles of matter upon the sensory

organs and a communication of motion from these organs to the mind where it produces or becomes an idea. After a few more pages on the primary/secondary quality distinction, Locke masterfully excuses himself for his ostensible digression on the grounds that, in fact, it is essential to his concerns: I have in what just goes before, been engaged in Physical Enquiries a little farther than, perhaps, I intended. But it being necessary, to make the Nature of Sensation a little understood, and to make the difference between the Qualities in Bodies, and the Ideas produced by them in the Mind, to be distinctly conceived, without which it were

impossible to discourse intelligibly of them; I hope, I shall be pardoned this little Excursion into natural Philosophy, it being necessary in our present Enquiry, to distinguish the primary, and real Qualities of Bodies, which are always in them, (vz. Solidity, Extension, Figure, Number, and Motion, or Rest; and are sometimes perceived by us, viz. when the Bodies they are in, are big enough singly to be discerned) from those secondary and imputed Qualities, which are but the Powers of

90 Mind several Combinations of those primary ones, when they operate, without being distinctly discerned; whereby we also may come to know what Jdeas are, and what are not Resemblances of something really existing in the bodies, we denominate from them. (140)

Surely Locke must be pardoned for this meddling if it is not simply convenient but necessary, if it would be zmpossible to discuss intelligently

ideas in the mind without it, if the little excursion is relevant to the necessary distinction between primary and secondary qualities. But this pardon is contingent upon the recognition that an issue which he attempts to make secondary is in fact central to his designs. In the context of this theory of how sensation causes ideas, a theory which Locke presents as being both beyond the scope of and essential to the Essay, seeing is liquidated as a distinct and privileged mode of sensation. After stating that bodies produce ideas in us only by impulse, Locke goes on to describe how we can see something at a distance: “since the

Extension, Figure, Number, and Motion of Bodies of an observable bigness, may be perceived at a distance by the sight, ’tis evident some singly imperceptible Bodies must come from them to the Eyes, and thereby convey to the Brain some Motion which produces these Jdeas, which we have of them in us”’ (136). Ideas of secondary qualities, such as color, are also produced in this way. Locke asks us to suppose that ‘“‘a Violet, by the impulse of such insensible particles of matter of peculiar figures, and bulks,

and in different degrees and modifications of their Motions, causes the Ideas of the blue Colour, and sweet Scent of that Flower to be produced in our Minds” (136). This explicit account of sight as the impulse of one body against another occasionally surfaces later in the Essay. In the chapter in Book III on the names of simple ideas, Locke refers to Descartes’ view that light is “‘a great number of little Globules, striking briskly on the bottom of the Eye” (423). Granting that this may be a true account of light, Locke

here also supports the Cartesian distinction between the cause of our sensation of light (the striking of globules) and the idea that the sensation produces in us. In Book IV, Locke again finds himself on this excursion into natural philosophy and, after denying it, uneasily concludes with a generalization on the subject. Having supposed that the sensation or idea of whiteness is caused by globules striking the retina, Locke insists that he does not say that the nature of Light consists in very small round Globules, nor of Whiteness, in such

a texture of parts as gives a certain Rotation to these Globules, when it reflects them; for I am not now treating physically of Light, or Colours: But this, I think, I may say, that I cannot (and I would be glad any one would make intelligible that he did) conceive how Bodies without us, can any ways affect our Senses, but by the immediate contact of the sensible Bodies themselves, as in Tasting and Feeling, or the impulse of some insensible Particles coming from them, as in Seeing, Hearing,

Seeing and touching : 91 and Smelling; by the different impulse of which Parts, caused by their different Size, Figure, and Motion, the variety of Sensations is produced in us. (536)

As Locke persists in his physical enquiries, his disclaimer regarding them becomes more pronounced. “’Tis evident,” he writes, ‘‘that the bulk, figure, and motion of several Bodies about us, produce in us several Sensations, as of Colours, Sounds, Tastes, Smells, Pleasure and Pain, etc.,”’ but there is “‘no conceivable connexion between any impulse of any sort of

Body, and any perception of a Colour, or Smell, which we find in our Minds” (558-559). Recalling his claim that it is znconcetvable how motion can be communicated by impulse (311), Locke ends up making God the causal agent in the theory of sensation he so backhandedly presents:

But the coherence and continuity of the parts of Matter; the production of Sensation in us of Colours and Sounds, efc. by impulse and motion; nay, the original Rules and Communication of Motion being such, wherein we can discover no natural connexion with any /deas we have, we cannot but ascribe them to the arbitrary Will and good Pleasure of the Wise Architect. (559-560)

Within this very troubled treatment of a basic problem of his epistemology, how sensation causes ideas, Locke treats sight in terms of bodily impact and motion. What then, is sight? “Body as far as we can conceive being able only to strike and affect body”’ (541), the eye must be a body to

be struck by minute particles of matter. Just “as Figure necessarily supposes Extension, receiving or communicating Motion by impulse, supposes Solidity”’ (546). The eye must be a solid body in order to be struck by and receive motion from particles of matter. And if sight is the sensation

of a striking external body, of the impulse made upon us by an external body, then it is essentially a tactile sense. For it is by touch that we sense solidity and the impulse a solid body may exert upon us. ““The Jdea of Soltdity,”’ Locke claims early in Book II, “‘we receive by our Touch; and it

arises from the resistance which we find in Body, to the entrance of any other Body into the Place it possesses, till it has left it’? (122~—123). Moreover, “Upon the Solidity of Bodtes also depends their mutual Impulse, Resistance and Protrusion’’ (126). It is by touching that we sense the solidity of other bodies, the impulse they make upon us, and their resistance to our own bodies. If the eye receives motion from an external body, if the eye is the site of an impulse that causes motion, it must be touching that body — if the eye does not touch, we do not see.* * The pre-Socratics, Leucippus and Democritus, present the early classical Greek statement of atomism; Epicurus presents the later classical Greek statement. Lucretius, in Book I'V of On the Nature of Things, presents the primary Latin poetic formulation. John Kraus relates Locke’s atomism with this tradition (and its seventeenth-century reformulation by Pierre Gassendi) in John Locke: Empiricist, Atomist, Conceptualist and Agnostic (New York: Philosophical Library, 1968)

33-59. For the importance of Boyle’s corpuscular physics to Locke, see Maurice Mandelbaum, Philosophy, Science, and Sense Perception (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1964),

92 Mind In his consideration of the theory of sense—idea causation in the Essay,

P. J. White claims that it is motivated by Locke’s sense of scientific achievement concerning the problems of impact and motion: “Locke had joined the Royal Society in time to witness what was believed to be the almost full understanding of the concept of motion and the discovery of the laws of impact. It is not surprising that we find his theory of sense—idea generation modelled on the concept of impulse and bodily motion.” In a note, White further suggests that it was because light could be accounted

for in terms of motion and impulse that Locke uses visual language to describe the mind: Locke sees light “‘as a sensible phenomenon that would

be explained by the impulse theory just like any other sensation. Consequently, there is a possible rationale here for the frequent use Locke makes of visual language in describing the mind” (131). The suggestion seems to be that Locke employs terms relating to sight to describe the mind because sight is explainable in terms of motion and impulse or, as has been

- urged in this chapter, in terms of touching. While it does not seem reasonable to suppose that Locke uses the language of sight because he can explain seeing as touching, and while Locke’s reservations and skeptical retractions do not allow one to speak as if Locke has or presents a theory and doctrine of sense—idea causation, White’s remark is of value as an

index to the status of visual language in the Essay. To the extent that Locke’s awkward yet compelled presentation of a theory explaining how

sensation causes ideas is taken into account, the language of seeing is reducible or answerable to the language of touching. For this presentation

identifies ali sensation in terms of impulse, solidity, and reception of motion, and this kind of sensation, on Locke’s premises, is tactile. As White puts it, one effect of Locke’s argument is “‘to make the action at a distance of observable bodies on the senses basically no different from their immedi-

ate action on the senses. The only difference between the two kinds of sensible events is in respect of the size of bodily material in motion” (125). Sight may be the only faculty that can convey some types of ideas to the and Peter Alexander, J/deas, Qualities and Corpuscles. For accounts of Locke’s atomism in connection with Gassendi’s atomism and general Epicureanism, see Francois Duchesneau, L’Empirisme de Locke (The Hague: 1973), and Richard Kroll, ‘“The Question of Locke’s Relation to Gassendi,” The Journal of the History of Ideas 45 (1984) 339-359, and The Material Word. For

an account of Descartes’ doctrine that light is a pressure instantaneously propagated without

| motion through a matter consisting of tiny globules, see A. I. Sabra, Theories of Light From Descartes to Newton (London: Oldbourne, 1967).

> P, J. White, “Materialism and the Concept of Motion in Locke’s theory of Sense—Idea Causation,” Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 2 (1971) 102. Further page references

are included in the text. White also points to precedents for Locke’s theory in Hobbes and Descartes, and convincingly shows how two notions of motion are operative in the theory: motion as a property of an observable body and motion as an entity of action separable from body. It is the abstraction of the first notion of motion which allows Locke to “use motion as a _ theoretical voyager between the realm of neurophysical matter and mental nonmatter” (131).

Seeing and touching 93 mind, but this is because only the eye can touch and sense some types of material particles. (vii) These readings of the language of sight in the Essay disrupt the commonplace that Locke uncritically invests in visual metaphors of mind. For they reveal various kinds of displacement and collapse in the wake of Locke’s explicit assertions of the adequacy of these metaphors. In some cases, he simply abandons the visual metaphors he announces and passes to others. It is as ifin the act of describing mental life, he discovers the inadequacy of the visual model he announces and is forced to resort to other models. He may thus be observed to move from visual terminology to terms referring to the entire person, social interaction, and other senses. Because of this shifting, Locke’s explicit identification of his analogies as eye/mind analogies often ends up being a misidentification. In other passages, the inade-

quacies of visual terminology are explicitly stated. The open condemnation of “sight” and “‘light’’ as figures of the enthusiast’s strong belief marks Locke’s recognition of the dangers and inadequacies of optical discourse in epistemological discussion and offers one rationale for those

moments where he tacitly relinquishes them. But if Locke on several occasions slides away from “Words relating to Sight,” these words never- __ theless pervade his epistemological discourse and are both assimilated and assumed by the pervasive description of a man who works, accumulates, possesses, stores, entertains, offers lodging, receives, and embraces. The meaning and implication of these ocular terms, however, are inflected by the literal account of vision which the Essay also contains (just as Locke provides a literal description of the women he uses to represent ideas and, in Two Treatises, a literal account of the manual laborer and material he

uses to represent the mental agent and ideas, so he provides a literal account of the vision he uses to represent knowing). In the Molyneux example, sight is shown to be not as comprehensive as we think, and our : understanding of sight is shown to neglect the way in which sight 1s infected by judgment. Read with this account of sight in mind, the optical discourse of the Essay emphasizes the limitations of consciousness and the generally unnoticed impingement of various mental processes upon it. In

Locke’s troubled presentation of how sensation causes ideas, sight is described in terms of impulse, bodies, and motion. Read with this account of sight in mind, the optical discourse of the Essay reduces to a discourse of

tactile sensation. When Locke uses ocular terminology to describe the mind, it is enclosed space which is representing the mental site and a material body capable of being struck by other material bodies within that space which is representing the mental agent.

94 Mind This reduction of sight to a kind of touch effected by Locke’s troubled atomism qualifies the metaphorical consistency observed in chapter 2.

There it was seen that Locke tenaciously excludes the vocabulary of impression from psychological discourse and relocates it in physiological discourse (to describe the impingement of the world on the bodily organs). He just as tenaciously invokes a vocabulary of space and containment to take the place of these rejected terms in psychological discourse. It is now apparent that Locke’s description of mental agency in terms of sight, in conjunction with the atomistic account of sight, implicitly rehabilitates the vocabulary of impression in discussion about the mind. For if the visual

analogy is a tactile one, the mind as an agent is being imaged as a _ strikable, dentable, impressible substance — not a readable imprinted substance, but an animate substance that is struck by and senses various kinds of particles. Because sight understood as collision still permits the eye to see what is contained by a room, the description of the mental agent in

ocular terms can cohere with the designation of the mental site as an enclosed space. But this account still implements the innatist’s impression as a component of the total representation. It is just that whereas Locke’s innatist represents the mental site as strikable substance read by a person or eye, Locke ends up representing the mental agent as a strikable sensitive substance (strictly speaking, the metaphor would call for a second mental agent which would be aware of the sensations of the first agent). Although the scene of impact 1s explicitly rejected in Locke’s discussion of the mind, it is implicitly reinstated by the postulation of a man who sees the contents of an enclosed space. This disguised return of the impressed coheres with the delineation of knowledge and belief in terms of force, weight, and strength which is the subject of the next chapter.

J Force


, Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it. Newton, Principia Mathematica


In Book IV of the Essay, there is something so slight yet so overwhelming about seeing as it is evoked as a representation of knowing. What is slight is the exertion that enables it: “if I turn my Eyes at noon towards the Sun, I cannot avoid the Jdeas which the Light, or Sun, then produces in me”’ (632). All Locke has to do in order to see, that is, is to turn his eyes and, of course, open them: “‘a Man with his Eyes open in the Light, cannot but see’” (650). This minimal turn and opening is again referred to on the fol-

lowing page: a man’s certainty regarding ideas of God and man and mathematical propositions is as great as his certainty “in a clear Morning that the Sun is risen, if he will but open his Eyes, and turn them that way”’ (651). At the end of Book IV, Locke again claims that most men “need

but turn their Eyes’? one way in order to be convinced of some probabilities they are concerned to know (710). Like most men, Locke himself

can no more refuse to avoid knowing some things than he “can avoid seeing those objects, which [he] turns [his] Eyes to, and looks on in daylight”? (717).

But if these descriptions point to how little Locke and other men have to

do in order to see, they also point to something overwhelming in the experience. For once men have made the minimal exertion, they face an offer they cannot refuse: Locke cannot avoid some ideas, a man cannot help but see, and Locke cannot avoid seeing some objects. Once they open and turn their eyes, that is, it is as if something forces itself upon them. This

is precisely how Locke himself puts it at the opening of Book IV. 95

96 ~ Mind Intuition, upon which ‘‘depends all the Certainty and Evidence of all our Knowledge,” is when the mind perceives the Truth, as the Eye doth light, only by being directed toward it. Thus the Mind perceives, that White is not Black, That a Circle is not a Triangle, That Three are more than Two, and equal to One and Two. Such kind of Truths, the Mind perceives at the first sight of the /deas together, by bare Jntuition, without the intervention of any other /dea; and this kind of Knowledge is the clearest, and most certain, that humane Frailty is capable of. This part of Knowledge is irresistible, and like the bright Sun-shine, forces it self immediately to be perceived, as soon as ever the Mind turns its view that way; and leaves no room for Hesitation, Doubt, or Examination, but the Mind is presently filled with the clear Light of it. (531)

Here, the unavoidable and irrefusable is stated in the dynamic terminology of force and resistance: given the minimal exertion of opening and turning the eye, light forces itself to be perceived. Since the mind perceives

truth as the eye perceives light, knowing is comparable to enforced perception.

Locke frequently uses the term ‘‘force”’ in his account of knowledge and belief as the mind’s perception of the agreement or disagreement of the ideas it contains, a perception which, as was observed in the previous chapter, is pervasively identified in Book IV as vision. After referring to the force of a name (567) and the force of questions (570), Locke, in his discussion of maxims, considers the claims that whatever is, is, and that it is impossible for the same thing to be and not to be. “These two general Maxims amounting to no more in short but this, that the same ts the same, and the same ts not different, are truths known in more particular instances, as well as in these general Maxims, and known also in particular instances, before these general Maxims are ever thought on, and draw all their force from the discernment of the mind employed about particular Jdeas’’ (593). The object of the force referred to here, that against or upon which force is exerted or impressed, is identified on the next page when Locke is writing about abstract mathematical axioms: thousands of simple mathematical propositions “‘at very first hearing, force the assent, and carry with them an equal, if not greater clearness, than those mathematical Axioms” (594). Later in the discussion, Locke refers to the “‘force’’ of axioms which reach “only to the Sound, and not the Signification of the Words”’ (605) and the “force” of some maxims “‘in proving Propositions made of Terms standing for complex Jdeas’’ (606). In the chapter on our knowledge of the existence of other things, Locke again refers to those ideas, such as the ones the sun produces in him when he turns his eyes at noon towards it, ““which force themselves upon [him]”

(632). But it is after he has announced the topic of probability as distinct from knowledge that Locke most heavily invokes the term. After observing in the chapter on degrees of assent that “‘we are forced to determine our

Force 97 selves on the one side or other’ of many uncertain propositions (659), Locke proceeds to discuss opinions “we would force upon” others (660), the force of written and spoken testimony, the force of proofs, and the force of opinions (664-665). In the following chapter, ““Of Reason,” Locke uses the term to designate a visible property of the chain to which he resorts in order to represent ideas in proofs and arguments. This chain is mentioned earlier in connection with the reasonings of mathematicians (643) and is recalled at the beginning of Locke’s direct treatment of reason: it [Reason] hath to do, both in Knowledge and Opinion, and is necessary, and assisting to all our other intellectual Faculties, and indeed contains two of them, viz. Sagacity and Illation. By the one, it finds out, and by the other, it so orders the

intermediate /deas, as to discover what connexion there is in each link of the Chain, whereby the Extremes are held together; and thereby, as it were, to draw into view the Truth sought for, which is that we call Jlation or Inference, and consists in nothing but the Perception of the connexion there is between the Jdeas, in each step of the deduction, whereby the Mind comes to see, either the certain Agreement or Disagreement of any two ideas, as in Demonstration, in which it arrives at Knowledge; or their probable connexion, on which it gives or with-holds

its Assent, as in Opinion. (668-669) ;

When Locke goes on to break down the faculty of reason into its four degrees, force is added to connection as a property of this visible chain. As if he senses some difficulty in how force can be accommodated by a model of sight, he no sooner identifies force as a perceived feature of the chains that represent proofs in the definition of the second degree of reason, than

he omits it as such a feature in the definition of the third degree: | : So that we may in Reason consider these four Degrees; the first and highest, is the , discovering, and finding out of Proofs; the second, the regular and methodical Disposition of them, and laying them in a clear and fit Order, to make their Connexion and Force be plainly and easily perceived; the third is the perceiving their Connexion; and the fourth, the making a right conclusion. (669)

If Locke shows some uneasiness here in identifying force besides connection as a visible property of a chain, he seems to get over it quite quickly. In discussing the inference that men can determine themselves from the claim that men shall be punished in another world, Locke writes, it is by vertue of the perceived Agreement of the intermediate /dea with the Extremes, that the Extremes are concluded to agree, and therefore each intermediate /dea must be such, as in the whole Chain hath a visible connexion with those two it is placed between, or else thereby, the Conclusion cannot be inferr’d or drawn in; for wherever any Link of the Chain is loose, and without connexion, there the whole strength of it is lost, and it hath no force to infer or draw in any thing. In the instance above mentioned, what is it shews the force of the Inference, and consequently the reasonableness of it, but a view of the connexion of all the intermediate /deas that draw in the Conclusion, or Proposition inferr’d. (673)

98 Mind As links in a chain are connected to each other and show the chain’s strength and force to pull something, so ideas are related to each other and

show the reasonableness of inference. Or, as Locke puts it when he considers the value of the syllogism, ‘‘a Man must see the connexion of each intermediate J/dea with those that it connects, before he can with Reason make use of it in a Syllogism. And when all those Syllogisms are made, neither those that are, nor those that are not Logicians will see the force of the Argumentation, i.e. the connexion of the Extremes one jot the better” (674). Locke continues to represent the mind’s consciousness of the ideas that make up both demonstrative knowledge and probable propositions as either the sight of the force of connected objects, or the sight of objects the force of which depends on their connection. ‘‘Logicians themselves,” he writes, ‘see the connexion of each intermediate /dea with those it stands between (on which the Force of the inference depends)”’; there is no need of syllogism to ‘“‘see” in any particular demonstration “‘the immediate connexion of each Idea to that which it is applyed to on each side, on which the force of the reasoning depends”’ (674); ‘‘the Mind considering the Jdea of Justice, placed as an intermediate Jdea between the punishment of Men, and the guilt of the punished” may “as plainly see the force and strength of

the Inference, as when it is formed into Syllogism” (675). To show men

the weakness of any argument in a “Rhetorical Discourse” in which ‘metaphorical Representations” strike their fancies, there needs no more but to strip it of the superfluous J/deas, which blended and confounded with those on which the Inference depends, seem to shew a connexion, where there is none; or at least do hinder the discovery of the want of it; and then to lay the naked Jdeas on which the force of the Argumentation depends, in their due order, in which Position the Mind taking a view of them, sees what connexion they have, and so is able to judge of the Inference, without any need of a Syllogism at all. (676)

Finally, in cases where the agreement or disagreement of ideas can be judged only ‘‘by the intervention of others, which have not a certain Agreement with the Extremes, but an usual or likely one,’’ judgment is properly exercised. In some of these cases, the related ideas affect the mind

as knowledge does, namely, as light and visible objects force the eye; in others, the mind has a freedom to choose what and how firmly to believe as a person may choose objects which appear to be heavier than others: This, though it never amounts to Knowledge, no not to that which is the lowest degree of it: yet sometimes the intermediate Jdeas tie the Extremes so firmly together, and the Probability is so clear and strong, that Assent as necessarily follows it, as Knowledge does Demonstration. The great Excellency and Use of the Judgment, is to observe Right, and take a true estimate of the force and weight of

Force 99 each Probability; and then casting them up all right together, chuse that side, which has the over-balance. (685)

The inclusion of weight with force as what the eye sees or estimates when it looks at objects marks Locke’s usage once he has broached the issue of probability in Book IV. In the chapter on probability, this sight of weight is stated in terms of balancing, preponderance, and proportion: Probability wanting that intuitive Evidence, which infallibly determines the Understanding, and produces certain Knowledge, the Mind if it will proceed rationally, ought to examine all the grounds of Probability, and see how they make more or less, for or against any probable Proposition, before it assents to or dissents from

it, and upon a due ballancing the whole, reject, or receive it, with a more or less

firm assent, proportionably to the preponderancy of the greater grounds of Probability on one side or the other. (656)

In “Degrees of Assent,’’ Locke claims that ‘“‘in matters of Probability, ’tis not in every case we can be sure, that we have all the Particulars before us, that any way concern the Question; and that there is no evidence behind,

and yet unseen, which may cast the Probability on the other side, and out-weigh all, that at present seems to preponderate with us’’ (659). And

after referring to “Arguments of weight,’> and men who have not “weighed the Arguments of Probability” (660-661), he tentatively concludes “that as the Arguments and Proofs, pro and con, upon due Examin-

ation, nicely weighing every particular Circumstance, shall to any one appear, upon the whole matter, in a greater or less degree, to preponderate on either side, so they are fitted to produce in the Mind such different Entertainment, as we call Belief, Conjecture, Guess, Doubt, Wavering, Distrust, Disbeltef, etc.” (663; this terminology is also evident on pages 678, 709, and

715). Weight and force are visible properties of the bodies which represent the ideas that make up the propositions of both probability and knowledge in Book IV of the Essay. If the eye that represents the mind need only turn and open in order to see, then, what it confronts in seeing are force and the property of mass

within its field, weight. To begin with, there are the force and weight objects have in relation to each other: the eye sees the force a chain has to pull and draw other objects and sees that one object outweighs, overbalances, preponderates over another. But besides exerting force over other objects, chains and material objects exert force, and weigh upon the eye itself: because light and visible objects can force themselves upon the eye,

can overcome its resistance, and can directly weigh upon it, they can represent those arguments and proofs which alter the mind’s belief, cause assent, and produce that certainty Locke calls ‘““knowledge.” The eye that

represents mental agency in Book IV both sees force and weight as properties objects have in relation to other objects and is itself subject to

100 Mind the force and weight of what it sees. When in Book IV Locke represents knowing and believing as seeing, he is not representing them as a voluntary gaze at form, but as an enforced sensing of force. (31)

Three preliminary observations need to be made concerning this inclusion of force and weight in the representation of knowing as seeing in Book IV. First, aspects of this representation cohere with the scene of acquaintance, the principal terms of which persist in Book IV: “stripping,” “‘laying,”’ “nakedness,” “embracing,” “‘connection,” “looking,” and “force” elab-

orate this scene, particularly if “force’’ is recognized in its common Restoration sense of sexual violation. The chains Locke invokes to represent reasoned argument are sometimes described in the terms that describe

the human chains de Sade’s Dolmancé arranges to demonstrate to Eugénie, and to draw her into, la philosophie dans le boudoir. Second, the

term “force” is a principal term of Locke’s political writing where it is commonly used to name swords, dragoons, racks, imprisonment, torture, arms, and armies. As such, it assimilates with the description of knowing in the political terms, such as “liberty” (663), “‘govern” (662, 688), ‘‘auth-

ority,” “usurp,” “tyrannize’ (697-698), and “determination,” which surface in Book IV. Remnants of the “‘para-political myth” of mind, one

which describes minds and their faculties “by analogies with political superiors and political subordinates,” which Gilbert Ryle understands to be partly displaced by the para-mechanical myth of Descartes and Locke, are still visible in Book IV of the Essay. Third, and most important, the discourse of weight and force is integrated in Book IV with the following terms: “evidence,” “testimony,” “‘trial,” ‘“‘witness,”’ ‘“‘examination,” “proof,” and ‘‘judgment.”’ As Lorraine Daston, James Tully, and others

observe, these are juridical terms, and they pervade not just Locke’s discussion of probability but the emergent discourse of probability in general at the end of the seventeenth century. They are also used, as Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer observe, by Boyle and the experimentalists to describe how scientific knowledge is properly established. Used as a description of mind, this juridical discourse thus represents mental space as a courtroom (or laboratory) and mental agency as a judge (or natural philosopher). ‘The discourse of force and weight, that is, is locatable in broader socio-erotic, political, scientific, and juridical discourses which constitute distinct representations of mind in Book IV.! ' For human chains, see Marquis de Sade, La Philosophie dans le boudoir ou les instituteurs immoraux

(Paris: Gallimard, 1976). Ryle refers to the para-political myth in The Concept of Mind 24-25; in The Anxiety of Freedom (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992) 114-115, Uday Singh Mehta observes political terminology and its implications in a passage from Locke’s journals where he

Force 101 But that a central term of Locke’s epistemological discourse migrates from other discourses does not mean that it is used literally in those other discourses: that “‘force’’ and “‘weight”’ are recognizable as juridical terms,

for example, does not necessarily mean that they are used literally in , juridical discourse. In fact, they are not: evidence does not literally have weight and force, and a judge is not literally a piano the keys of which register force (this is how one Renaissance jurist describes the judge in order to accommodate the ascription of force and weight to evidence and testimony).? ‘Force’ and “‘weight’”’ are metaphorical in juridical discourse, and they remain so in Locke’s epistemological text. The eye or person seeing the weight and force of material objects is a representation of the judge assessing evidence and testimony which, in turn, 1s a representation of the mind believing and knowing propositions in the Essay. Both the juridical and optical discourses in Book IV, then, ultimately represent the mind as an agent that sees the force and weight of material objects, and a space within which these objects exist.

There is a serious problem with this representation, one which is signalled by the fact that the Renaissance jurist imagines the judge not as an eye but a piano. Given Locke’s treatment of the Molyneux problem, considered in the previous chapter, it is likely that he would say that when we place two objects on each side of a set of scales and observe the result, we

do not see the weight of each object; rather, we see only stasis or motion (and infer, on the basis of this observation and past perceptions, claims about their weight). Similarly, it is likely that he would say that when we

look at a chain we do not see its strength and force in relation to other objects and ourselves; rather, we see only links connected with each other (and infer, on the basis of this observation and past perceptions claims about the chain’s ability to pull us and other objects). It is likely, that is to say, that Locke would claim that thinking that sight provides us with ideas

of the weight, strength, and force of objects is to be unaware of how judgment and ideas from other senses infect our sense of what we see. More specifically, he seems obliged to say that the perception of at least weight and strength is answerable to ideas derived from the tactile sense, since it is by pulling on the chain, being pulled by it, and feeling the pressure objects exert against our bodies that we come to have ideas of weight and strength.

The problem remains when Locke explicitly considers the nature of | is describing the imagination. No page references are given for “determination” because this


radically ambivalent term pervades the entire Essay. In ‘“‘Governing conduct,” in Conscience and Casuistry in Early Modern Europe, ed. Edmund Leites (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988) 12-71, James Tully discusses probability and juridical discourse; Lorraine Daston does the same in Classical Probability in the Enlightenment (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988). Shapin and Schaffer observe Boyle’s juridical discourse in Leviathan and the Atr-Pump

2 Lorraine Daston, Classical Probability in the Enlightenment 43.

102 Mind power. In the finicky opening paragraphs of the chapter, ““Of Power,” in Book II, Locke argues that “‘Bodies, by our Senses, do not afford us so clear

and distinct an Idea of active Power, as we have from reflection on the Operations of our Minds” (235). Anticipating in one respect, but resisting in another, Hume’s critique of the concept of power, Locke argues that “the Idea of the beginning of motion,”’ that is, the idea of active power, we have only from reflection on what passes in our selves, where we find by Experience, that barely by willing it, barely by a thought of the Mind, we can move the parts of our Bodies, which were before at rest. So that it seems to me, we have from the observation of the operation of Bodies by our Senses, but a very imperfect obscure Jdea of active Power, since they afford us not any Idea in themselves of the Power to begin any Action, either motion or thought. (235)

Though he goes on to conclude that we may think we have an idea of active power from the observation of the impulse of bodies, Locke is more

inclined to claim that we do not literally see active power and that our idea of it is not drawn from an observation of the collision of bodies. The idea of power is most clearly derived from the mind’s observation of its will or thought followed by bodily movement — it is a simple idea of reflection

involving a relation to action or change. If by “‘power’’ Locke means something comparable to what he means by “‘force,”’ force is literally the direct object neither of sight nor of any other sense. Jacques Derrida more explicitly postulates this problem of making the perception of force contingent upon vision: To respect in language this strange movement and not to reduce it in its turn, it would again be necessary to try to go back over this metaphor of darkness and light (of showing and hiding oneself) [du se-montrer et du se-cacher|, the foundational

metaphor of occidental philosophy as metaphysics. The foundational metaphor not just as a photological metaphor — and in this respect the entire history of our philosophy is a photology, the name given to a history of or treatise on light — but already and simply as metaphor: metaphor in general, the passage from one being [étant] to another, or from one signified to another, authorized by the initial submission and analogical displacement of Being to/by being [J’étre sous l’étant], isthe essential gravity [pesanteur] which retains and represses discourse [discours] irremediably within metaphysics. A fate [destinée] which it would be foolish to consider as

the regrettable and provisional accident of a ‘history;’ a lapse, a mistake [/aute]

within history (in historia). In histortam, it is the fall [chute] of thought into | philosophy, by which history is broached [entamée]. Which is to say that the metaphor of the ‘fall’ merits its quotation marks. In this heliocentric metaphysics, force [la force] giving way to eidos (that is to say, to form which is visible for the metaphorical eye), has already been separated from tts sense [son sens] of force, as

the quality of music is separated from itself in acoustics. How can force or weakness be understood in terms of light and darkness?? 3 Jacques Derrida, “Force et signification,” L’Ecriture et la difference 45.

Force 103 On Locke’s own account of sensation and power and on Derrida’s understanding of force, the description of the perception of force and weight in terms relating to sight is deeply problematical. Like the other empiricists, Locke has major difficulties in giving any account of force, will,

and power, not to speak of an account in terms of sight (Berkeley and Hume give up on the project altogether). Derrida sees this incommensura-

bility of sight and force afflicting not just empiricism but the western philosophical tradition in general. If by “force giving way to eidos (that is

to say, to form which is visible for the metaphorical eye),”’ Derrida is claiming that force is excluded from western metaphors for knowing, he is

mistaken — “force,” ‘“‘weight,’” and “strength” are crucial terms in Locke’s analogy between knowing and seeing (metaphors of labor and acquaintance further qualify the purity of visual metaphors). But given that force is present on the visual scene, Derrida’s point still stands: how

can the eye see and be subject to force? ,

Locke’s text offers a way of making sense of part of its mental optics of

power, but the epistemological price he pays for this sense is high. The coherence resides in the juncture of seventeenth-century understandings of

force and Locke’s reduction of vision to tactile sensation which was observed in the previous chapter. As Richard Westfall explains in his extensive study, Force in Newton’s Physics, the concept of force in seven-

teenth-century natural philosophy was a matter of controversy and is often highly ambiguous within the work of one and the same thinker. He nevertheless argues for the general claim that the concept of force as a property of a body in motion dominated seventeenth-century physics but was rejected by Newton for a concept of force as the cause of changes in a

body’s motion. This conceptual revision, however, was invoked by Newton without abandoning the central dynamics model of Galileo and Descartes — the impact of one body against another. There is “a central role for the model of impact in Newton’s vision of dynamics,” Westfall claims.* He continues: ““Newton formulates his concept of force in his analysis of impact, and he never wholly separated his dynamics from that model even when his philosophy of nature had proposed the model of attraction and repulsion, force acting continuously” (476). It is for this reason that in the Principia Mathematica (1687), which Locke reviewed in Le Clerc’s Bibliothéque Nationale, there are two different formulations of force: force conceived as the total continuous force acting on a body for a

period of time is measured by the product of the body’s mass and its change in velocity over the total period (acceleration): (F = ma); force conceived as the instantaneous impulse acting on a body is measured by the product of the body’s mass and the change in its velocity that occurs at + Richard Westfall, Force in Newton’s Physics (London: Macdonald, 1971) 453. Further page references are included in the text.

104 Mind that instant: (F = Avm). It is not so much that these formulations are contradictory as that the concept of instantaneous impulsive force enters into the formulation of continuous force. Because Newton employs force as

Avm in the context of periodically repeating impulses, the factor of changes in time absent from this formulation is implied (490). I. B. Cohen puts this nicely: ‘““Newton arrives at the concept of a continuous force as the limit of a sequence of discrete impulses of ever-increasing frequency.””° The basic terms in which the principal seventeenth-century physicists

and Locke’s colleagues at the Royal Society were writing and thinking about force make sense of the notion of seeing the force of objects where seeing is essentially the effect of impulse. For though Locke in the chapter on power excludes the observation of the impulse of bodies as the ground of the idea of power (which he identifies as the idea of the beginning of action

— thought or motion), his account of perception as the effect of bodily impulse makes impulse the producer of action as thought. Not the perception of impulse, but impulse itself is the beginning or production of action. The idea of particles striking the bodily organs is the idea of the “production” of thought (action) and, so, is the idea of power. On the premise in the chapter on power that the idea of power is the idea of the beginning or production of action (motion or thought), the impulse of particles against the senses 7s power. But when Locke compares the mind with wax and speaks of a “‘Seal not applied with a sufficient force, to make a clear Impression”’ (364), when he invokes “‘force”’ along with “‘pressure”’

“resistance,” and “touch” in the discussion of solidity in Book II, he betrays a notion of force not as impulse itself but, more in line with the physicists, as what is exerted, impressed, or applied in impulse and contact. The eye literally receives this kind of force because “‘eye”’ is a name for a body upon which other bodies impress force. If ‘‘in Newton’s day, a primary meaning of force was the impulsive or momentaneous

action that occurs when one object strikes or is struck by another,” if Galileo, Descartes, Newton, and Huygens sanction understandings of force in terms of impact, if both Galileo and Newton, besides Locke, describe force as what is impressed on a body, as a vis impressa, then the eye

conceived as a sensitive impressed body, as opposed to a disembodied, untouchable spectator, becomes a legitimate candidate for the organ by which the mind perceives force and measures weight.® The eye as an 5 1.B. Cohen, ‘Dynamics: the Key to the ‘New Science’ of the Seventeenth Century,” Acta historiae rerum naturalium necnon technicarum 3 (1967) 108.

© See I. B. Cohen, The Newtonian Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980) 171; Richard Westfall, Force in Newton’s Physics 451; I. B. Cohen, “Dynamics: the Key to the ‘New

Science’ of the Seventeenth Century”’ 81. The notion of sight as uninvolved beholding, as spectating, is compromised by this account of sight as impact. It is this complication of his organizing myth of spectating that Addison himself recognizes in his identification of sight as ‘“‘a

more delicate and diffused kind of Touch” (The Spectator, 411). For an account of Addison’s

Force 105 impressed body is the means of perceiving not the effect of force in the motions of other bodies, but the force impressed or exerted upon it by the objects that strike it. In its resistance to acceleration when particles strike it, the eye gives an index of its mass, but also registers the objects’ force de frappe. These notions of the eye as a tactile sensory organ and of force as

what is impressed in impact grant a degree of coherence to Locke’s implementation of the sight of the force and weight of objects as a representation of knowing. The observation that something corresponding to force is an important property of those ideas of which the mind is conscious also helps to explain ‘‘the return of the impressed.”’ It was noted in chapter 4 that the consist‘ency with which Locke rejects printable, strikable substance as an image of the mind is qualified by his designation of the mental agent as an eye or seeing person. This is because, on the atomistic theory of vision presented in the Essay, the eye 1s essentially a body that is struck and impressed by particles — the eye is a scene of impression. But if this recuperation of an impressed, struck body conflicts with one dimension of Locke’s metaphorical strategies, it coheres with the representation of knowing as the vision of the force and weight of objects which is presented in Book IV of the Essay.

For the eye understood as an impressed, struck body is an organ upon which force may be directly impressed and through which force may be perceived. Such an eye, that is, can do everything the mud wall can which

Locke invokes at the end of the Essay as a representation of the mind responding to probability (it must, however, be noted that here substance

seems to represent the mental site, and people behind the substance represent the mental agent): Let never so much Probability hang on one side of a covetous Man’s Reasoning, and Money on the other; and it is easie to foresee which will out-weigh. Earthly

Minds, like Mud-Walls, resist the strongest Batteries: and though, perhaps, sometimes the force of a clear Argument may make some Impression, yet they

nevertheless stand firm, keep out the enemy Truth, that would captivate, or disturb them. Tell a Man, passionately in Love, that he is jilted; bring a score of Witnesses of the Falshood of his Mistress, ’tis ten to one but three kind Words of hers, shall invalidate all their Testimonies. Quod volumus, facilé credimus; what suits our Wishes, 1s forwardly believed, is, 1 suppose, what every one hath more than once

experimented: and though men cannot always openly gain-say, or resist the force

of manifest Probabilities, that make against them; yet yield they not to the Argument. (715)

Given that force is what is impressed on impact, Locke needs some kind of aesthetics which takes into account this scene of force and impact and which shows the inadequacy of understanding the history of eighteenth-century aesthetics as an abandonment of rhetoric, see Neil Saccamano, ‘“The Sublime Force of Words in Addison’s ‘Pleasures,’”’ English

Literary History 58 (1991) 83-106.

106 Mind strikable body or substance that can register it — the eye, as body, satisfies

this need. The return of impressible substance in the form of an eye in Locke’s representation of the mental agent coheres with the representation of ideas as visible objects which have force and weight and which exist within an enclosed space.

(ii Although Locke’s text offers a way of making sense of its representation of

knowing as the sight of the connection and force of visible objects, this representation itself challenges important parts of his epistemological statement. As has been noted, Locke makes conspicuous use of ‘‘force”’ in describing the mind’s intuitive knowledge of maxims, but he invokes this term, along with “‘weight,”’ most frequently in the chapters on degrees of

assent, and reason. These chapters themselves come after Locke has completed his account of knowledge as being either intuitive, demonstra-

tive, or sensitive, and just after the brief chapters on judgment and probability which announce the new concern with opinion. What is it about probability and judgment (the faculty that is supposed to assess it) that calls for the text of weight and force? Very briefly, it is a question of

quantity: the mind that proceeds rationally sees how the grounds of probability “make more or less, for or against any probable Proposition,

before it assents to or dissents from it, and upon a due ballancing the whole, reject, or receive it, with a more or less firm assent, proportionably to the preponderancy of the greater grounds of Probability on one side or the other” (656). Immediately after, he makes the point by writing, “‘as the conformity of our Knowledge, as the certainty of Observations, as the frequency and constancy of Experience, and the number and credibility of Testimonies, do more or less agree, or disagree with it, so is any Proposition in it self, more or less probable’? (657). This theme of quantity — more and less, amount, lesser and greater, proportion, measure, difference

of degree — is sounded in the title of the chapter that follows that on probability, ““Of the Degrees of Assent,” and persists throughout this chapter in the discussion of assent and probability. If, as Daston claims, Locke’s discussion of probability and degrees of assent lies ‘“‘squarely within the premathematical tradition of probability” and, so, is distinct from the mathematization of probability inaugurated by his contemporaries such as Pascal, Fermat, Huygens, and the Bernoulli brothers, it nevertheless exemplifies what Daston calls “the climate of near quantiphrenia that reigned in the latter half of the seventeenth century.”’’ It is, in part, with expressions of difference in quantity, designations of 7 Lorraine Daston, Classical Probability in the Enlightenment 47.

Force 107 differences not of kind but of degree, that “force” converges in Book IV. As the name of the product of quantities of force and mass, ‘‘weight” also enters this linguistic nexus. Because Locke construes belief in a probable proposition as an amount or degree of belief, and because he understands

that proposition to have an amount or degree of probability, he needs something of which it makes sense to predicate quantity and amount in order to represent this kind of belief and proposition. A photological metaphor based on oppositions such as that between presence and absence

is problematic in this respect since it is not clear that it makes sense to postulate amounts of presence or absence. Because, in both common usage

and seventeenth-century science, force and weight are quantifiable, they . } can cohere with Locke’s descriptions of the degree or amount of assent that is granted to or compelled by a proposition in proportion to the amount of

the proposition’s probability. In addition, force (and weight) are predicated of ideas to allow them to interact with the mental agent which is

represented as a material object which resists or fails to resist other material objects. As what are quantifiable, as properties of which one may predicate a difference of degree, and as what may be both resisted and too strong to be resisted, force and weight enter into Locke’s imagination of the mind and its ideas.

The price Locke pays for his quantitative, dynamic, visual model of knowing is the integrity of various qualitative differences he wishes to maintain. Even though he introduces differences of degree of certainty and

evidence within knowledge, Locke, throughout Book IV, affirms his version of the Platonic understanding of knowledge as a different kind of thing from opinion or assent: “‘the highest Probability, amounts not to Certainty, without which, there can be no true knowledge” (546). That is to say that no matter how much belief in a probable proposition the mind _ may have, this belief cannot constitute knowledge, for knowledge differs in quality from belief. Locke identifies this qualitative difference between the certainty of knowing and the measures of belief as his principal concern in the opening chapter of the Essay: “‘it is therefore worth while, to search out

the Bounds between Opinion and Knowledge; and examine by what Measures, in things, whereof we have no certain knowledge, we ought to regulate our Assent, and moderate our Perswasions”’ (44). The boundary seems to be drawn by the fact that, in knowledge, the mind is compelled to believe and is certain (though in varying degrees) in its belief, whereas in opinion, the mind assesses the probability of a proposition and grants to it a proportionate degree of assent or belief — the mind regulates its assent. In addition, it is solely the perception of the agreement of ideas which issues in the certainty of knowledge; with belief, assent, or opinion, this is not the case. In a passage which recalls Aristotle’s observation that, in the practice of persuasion, “external matters do count for much” (by which he means

108 Mind matters “‘besides demonstration of fact’’), Locke writes that in belief, “‘that

which makes me believe, is something extraneous to the thing I believe; something not evidently joined on both sides to, and so not manifestly shewing the Agreement or Disagreement of those /deas, that are under consideration”’ (655).° Finally, Locke, again like Plato, assigns different faculties to knowledge and opinion: Thus the Mind has two Faculties, conversant about Truth and Falshood. First, Knowledge, whereby it certainly perceives, and is undoubtedly satisfied of the Agreement or Disagreement of any Ideas. Secondly, Judgment, which is the putting /deas together, or separating them from

one another in the Mind, when their certain Agreement or Disagreement is not perceived, but presumed to be so; which is, as the Word imports, taken to be so before it certainly appears. And if it so unites, or separates them, as in Reality Things are, it is right Judgment. (653)

Some of Locke’s own explicit statements exert pressure against these distinctions. In the chapter on probability, for example, he defines the site of the probable as lying “from the very neighbourhood of Certainty and Demonstration, quite down to Improbability and Unlikeliness, even to the

Confines of Impossibility’? (655). He also claims that opinion is not granted, measured, regulated, and proportioned by the mind in accordance with the amount of a statement’s probability, but compelled by this amount: in Book IV, he presents cases in which “it is not in any rational Man’s power to refuse his Assent; but that it necessarily follows, and closes

with such Probabilities” (717). Indeed, throughout Book IV, Locke designates opinion, persuasion, belief, assurance, and assent (as distinct from certainty) both as something which the mind voluntarily allots to a proposition in accordance with the mind’s assessment of that proposition’s probability, and as something which is directly and mechanically compelled in an amount that corresponds with the proposition’s probability. This inconsistency violates Locke’s clear attempt to distinguish between knowledge (certainty) and belief by making the former involuntary and the latter voluntary. As Barbara Shapiro, among others, observes, this attempt fails: The “‘best natural science” for Locke would thus fall into the highest degree of probability. Such probabilities, however, rose ‘so near to a certainty, that they govern our thoughts as absolutely, and influence all our actions as fully, as the most evident demonstration ... we make little or no difference between them and certain knowledge’ [Essay, 1V,16,6]. Probability thus effectively became knowledge. For, if assent is as much compelled to the highest degree of probability as it

is to demonstration, then the distinction between compelled and voluntary 8 Aristotle, Rhetoric 184 (1404a).

Force 109 consent, which was crucial to the old boundary between demonstrated knowledge and probable opinion, has been obliterated.?

This effacement of the qualitative difference between knowledge and opinion in the Essay is not simply expressed by a few of Locke’s explicit claims; it is demanded and served by the entire discourse of impression, vision, quantity, weight, measure, strength, proportion, and force. For these terms work to identify the difference between ideas that are known and ideas that are believed as a difference in degree, a difference in the amount of a certain property: the ideas that constitute probable propositions are represented as material objects which impress force against and

weigh upon the eye; the ideas that constitute propositions which are known (believed with certainty), such as those expressed by maxims (intuitive knowledge) and those which are the conclusions of demonstrative reasoning (demonstrative knowledge), are also represented as material objects which impress force upon the eye. The difference between the ostensible kinds of proposition 1s thus defined by dynamic discourse as a difference in the amount of force and weight each impresses on the eye. Propositions which define intuitive and demonstrative knowledge impress

the eye with more force than probable propositions do. Knowledge as a : mental state is similarly distinguished from opinion, belief, and assent as | mental states, though this subjective side of knowledge is much less explicitly figured in the Essay than the objective side, perhaps because it is so bizarre: the mind that knows is figured as the substance of an eye which cannot resist the force impressed by objects upon it, that is, as an eye which is dented or accelerated; the mind that believes is figured as an eye which,

depending on the amount of force and weight impressed upon it, sometimes resists and sometimes fails to resist the force impressed upon it by objects, that is, as an eye which retains its shape and state of motion or one 9 Barbara Shapiro, Probability and Certainty in Seventeenth-Century England (Princeton: Princeton

University Press, 1983) 42. For earlier statements of this observation, see Richard Ashcraft, ‘Faith and Knowledge in Locke’s Philosophy,” in John Locke: Problems and Perspectives, ed. John

Yolton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969) 209-210; Henry van Leeuwen, The Problem of Certainty in English Thought, 1630-1690 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1963) 141. Douglas Patey and Richard Kroll make the same observation regarding the effacement of the distinction between knowledge and probability without observing that this is contrary to Locke’s explicit statement and what his text indicates he thinks he is showing. See Douglas Patey, Probability and Literary Form 27-34; Richard Kroll, The Material Word 49-79. Daston fails

to see that Locke’s “refusal to join probability with certainty at the extreme point -of the continuum” is compromised on the level of both explicit statement and figurative representation (Classical Probability in the Enlightenment 201). Shapiro points to ‘“‘the erosion of the traditional dichotomy between ‘science’ and ‘probability’ as the crucial development” in epistemology in general from 1550 to 1700 (Probability and Certainty 267); lan Hacking confirms this more general claim in The Emergence of Probability (New York: Cambridge University Press,

1975). For strong treatments of Locke’s difficulties with assent and belief, see James Tully, “Governing conduct” and J. A. Passmore, ‘Locke and the Ethics of Belief,” in Rationalism, Empiricism, and Idealism, ed. Anthony Kenny (Oxford: Clarendon Press,.1986) 23-46.

110 Mind which is dented or accelerated. Some states of belief are represented in precisely the same way as the state of knowledge; the difference between them is represented as a difference in the depth of impression and the rate of acceleration. By representing the difference between believing and knowing and between probable propositions and knowledge as differences of amount, quantity, and degree, Locke’s dynamic terminology contests his explicit identification of these differences as differences in kind. Moreover, in designating one agent that registers the force and weight of all ideas, this terminology also breaks down Locke’s attempt to designate two separate faculties corresponding to knowledge and probability.

Locke recognizes this and, in the chapter where “force” figures most prominently, explicitly names the faculty that comprehends both probability and knowledge: The greatest part of our Knowledge depends upon Deductions and intermediate

Ideas: And in those Cases, where we are fain to substitute Assent instead of Knowledge, and take Propositions for true, without being certain they are so, we have need to find out, examine, and compare the grounds of their Probability. In both these Cases, the Faculty which finds out the means, and rightly applies them to discover Certainty in the one, and Probability in the other, is that which we call Reason. For as Reason perceives the necessary, and indubitable connexion of all

the Jdeas or Proofs one to another, in each step of any Demonstration that produces Knowledge: so it likewise perceives the probable connexion of all the Ideas or Proofs one to another, in every step of a Discourse, to which it will think Assent due. (669)

“Reason” here emerges as Locke’s name for the faculty that bridges the supposedly distinct faculties of Knowledge and Judgment and that assesses and is affected by all ideas, whether they make up knowledge or probability.!° That opinion and knowledge, as mental states, are subsumed under a general category of belief is not to deny the distinctions Locke makes between different kinds of evidence and different kinds of proposition and

a enquiry. That knowing is compelled strong belief does not vitiate the 10 One anticipation in the Essay of the collapse of knowledge and judgment into reason in Book IV is the collapse of the faculties of wit and judgment into a single faculty in Book II: the assemblage of resembling ideas (wit) and the separation of ideas “‘wherein can be found the least difference” (judgment) (156), seem answerable to a single faculty that discerns both the similarity and difference of ideas — the activities of wit and judgment are answerable to a faculty of “Discerning.”” A precedent for this collapse is, as Patey points out, Hobbes who, in his “Answer” to Davenant’s “Preface’’ to Gondibert, allocates to judgment the inquiry into both difference and resemblance (Douglas Patey, Probability and Literary Form 139). Hobbes may here be alluding to Aristotle’s claim at the opening of the Rhetoric (which Hobbes translated into English and had published in 1637): ‘‘truth and likeness of truth are discerned by one and the same faculty” (Rhetoric 5 [1355a]). Finally, Locke could hardly maintain a firm condemnation of the faculty that perceives resemblances given his affirmation of reasoning by analogy in Book IV (560, 615, 665-667).

Force 111 theory of the sciences which Ryle understood to be Locke’s most valuable ~ accomplishment.!! Locke can still distinguish between propositions, such

as those of the natural sciences, which are referred to the existence of something in the world, and propositions, such as those of mathematics and ethics, which consist of ideas which are not referred to any real existence but represent only themselves (are their own archetypes) (564-565). He can, that is, maintain his distinctions, set out in Book ITI, between adequate ideas (‘“‘which perfectly represent those Archetypes, which the Mind supposes them taken from’’) and inadequate ideas (375). But this difference does not correspond to the difference Locke attempts to draw between opinion and knowledge, probability and certainty, judgment and knowledge. For regardless of what ideas represent, they are all the same in being ideas which are connected with other ideas, which have varying degrees of force, and which are perceived by a single agent or faculty. One principal difference in kind Locke draws in Book IV between propositions and modes of enquiry, that is, splits ideas into adequate and inadequate, not into knowledge and opinion. The latter difference is implicitly transmuted into a difference between

amounts of force and weight, one which is related to a difference in strength of belief (this relation is complicated by the force of custom, education, and passion). No idea or connection of ideas transcends the gradations of force and resistance within which belief is constituted and effected. If any ideas or propositions appear to us as being of a totally different kind from others (ones, for example, we designate as ‘‘necessary truths” or ““knowledge’’), Locke’s text teaches us to insist that the force of

ideas and their connections can reach an intensity that allows them to appear to have transcended the scene of force altogether. If any of our beliefs appear to us as being of a different kind from others (ones, for example, we designate as “‘certainties’’), Locke’s text teaches us to insist that the degree or amount of belief can reach an intensity or volume that allows it, also, to appear to have transcended the scene of force. As the duration between strikes against our bodies approaches zero at infinity, we

feel we are not being repeatedly struck but continually shoved; as the speed with which the spectrum of color passes before our eye approaches

infinity, we think we see white; as the intensity of evidence and belief approaches infinity, we feel we have knowledge distinct from probability and certainty distinct from belief. Locke moves us to identify continual force, whiteness, knowledge, and certainty as the fictions we produce as we pass into oblivion to the duration between strikes, the line between colors,

the continuum between possible and necessary truths, and the vast '! See Gilbert Ryle, “John Locke on the Human Understanding,” in Locke and Berkeley: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. C. B. Martin and D. M. Armstrong (New York: Anchor, 1968) 14-39.

112 Mind gradated scale of belief that connects the barest thought with the deepest conviction.

(iv) In the terminology offered by the Essay, much of this could be restated as follows: as mental states, knowledge and belief are forms of persuaston. This

is evident from Locke’s usage of the term “persuasion” in the Essay. Although, in the opening discussion of knowledge in Book IV, he seldom uses the term, he begins to use it frequently when he discusses propositions which are probably true: “the entertainment the Mind gives this sort of Propositions, is called Belief, Assent, or Opinion, which is the admitting or

receiving any Proposition for true, upon Arguments or Proofs that are found to perswade us to receive it as true, without certain Knowledge that it is so” (655). The “Opinions and Perswasions of others,’’ Locke continues, must not be the only grounds of assent (657); it is unavoidable that ‘‘men be perswaded of several Opinions, whereof the Proofs are not actually in thetr

Thoughts’ (658); ‘“‘we have reason to be perswaded”’ of some things (666);

faith has a precedence ‘“‘before other Arguments of Perswasion’”’ (668); even when silenced or baffled, scholastic debaters “care seldom or never convinced” but “‘rest nevertheless perswaded of the truth on their side”

(677); modesty may prevent one from opposing “another Man’s Persuasion”’ (687); one may be “perswaded”’ of the truth of propositions for which there is uncertain evidence (695). These occurrences of the term

clearly ally Locke’s concept of persuasion with the belief, assent, and opinion he claims to be distinct from certainty. This alliance is powerfully reasserted by the explosion of “‘persuasion”’

across the chapter on enthusiasm which was added to the fourth and following editions of the Essay. In addition, Locke’s usage in this chapter attempts to dissociate persuasion from vision and light while allying it with the notions of force, strength, resistance, and degree which define probability and opinion: some men “‘perswade themselves”’ that they love truth (697); the enthusiast who takes away reason to make way for revelation “puts out the Light of both, and does much what the same, as if he would

perswade a Man to put out his Eyes” to see a star through a telescope (698); enthusiasts ‘“‘perswade themselves” that heaven guides them, flatter

themselves ‘‘with a perswasion of an immediate intercourse with the Deity,” and are those upon whose “‘Perswasions and Actions” enthusiasm works powerfully (699); enthusiasts think their “‘Perswasions are right,

only because they are strong in them” (700); the enthusiasts’ “‘strong . Perswasion”’ that a proposition is true does not mean it is from God, and ‘“‘a Proposition which they are perswaded, but do not know, to be true,

whatever they may call it” is not seeing but believing (701); “‘all the

Force 113 Light”? of which enthusiasts speak “‘is but a strong, though ungrounded

perswasion of their own Minds that it is a Truth” (702); the light the enthusiast thinks he has in his mind “‘is nothing but the strength of his own Perswasion”’ (703). Locke’s conspicuous use of “‘persuasion”’ in these chapters of the Essay

demonstrates his understanding of the concept so named as a concept of opinion of varying strengths distinct from knowledge. As such, persuasion comprehends not just belief grounded in probability, and the enthusiast’s

religious belief, but all religious belief, that is, faith. For, as a kind of assent, namely, “‘the Assent to any Proposition, not thus made out by the

Deductions of Reason, but upon the Credit of the proposer, as coming from GOD, in some extraordinary way of Communication” (689), faith is belief, not knowledge. As Tully claims, the chapters on reason, faith, and enthusiasm, which is where “‘persuasion”’ comes into its own, only summarize a consensus reached through the early modern debate over the rule of

faith, ‘‘a consensus ... around the assumption that faith is belief, not knowledge.”’!? Locke’s usage in these chapters also conforms with the equation between persuasion and the probable which marks the western philosophical tradition from Gorgias onwards and which, in the opening chapter of Book I, marks Locke’s announcement of what the Essay is about: ‘“‘it is therefore worth while, to search out the Bounds between

Opinion and Knowledge; and examine by what Measures, in things, whereof we have no certain Knowledge, we ought to regulate our Assent, and moderate our Perswasions’’ (44). As long as knowledge as certainty is distinct from the degrees of strength and force in belief which constitute

assent, as long as the visual clarity of knowledge is distinct from the strength and force of the probable, knowledge is not comprehended by persuasion. But because, as has been observed, Locke’s language locates

knowledge on the scale of belief and postulates an eye that registers strength, weight, and force, knowledge, as a mental state, is identifiable as a form of persuasion. If one precondition of knowing is to believe strongly, then the knower is, at least in one respect, the same as the enthusiast: both

have “strong Perswasion.”’ Locke’s explicit definition of persuasion as strength of belief in conjunction with his representations which imply that certainty, like beliefin highly probable propositions, is strong belief make his account of both believing and knowing an account of being persuaded. That Locke implicitly identifies knowledge, faith, and belief as different forms of persuasion takes on important consequences if it is related to what he says about these matters in A Letter Concerning Toleration. As in the Essay,

Locke here identifies faith and religious belief as persuasion: “‘all the Life and Power of true Religion consists in the inward and full perswasion of 12 James Tully, “Governing conduct” 28.

114 Mind the mind; and Faith is not Faith without believing’’ (26); “‘true and saving

Religion consists in the inward perswasion of the Mind, without which nothing can be acceptable to God.” As persuasion, religious belief is effectively addressed not by “outward force’? but by strong argument, oratory, exhortations, admonitions, and eloquence — in short, belief as persuasion is properly addressed by persuasion as rhetoric: But it is one thing to perswade, another to command; one thing to press with Arguments, another with Penalties. This Civil Power alone has a right to do; to

the other Good-will is Authority enough. Every Man has Commission to admonish, exhort, convince another of Error, and by reasoning to draw him into Truth: but to give Laws, receive obedience, and compel with the Sword, belongs to none but the Magistrate. And upon this ground I affirm, that the Magistrate’s Power extends not to the establishing of any Articles of Faith, or Forms of worship, by the force of his Laws. For Laws are of no force at all without Penalties, and Penalties in this case are absolutely impertinent; because they are not proper to convince the mind. (27) Oh that our Ecclesiastical Orators, of every Sect, would apply themselves with all the strength of Arguments that they are able, to the confounding of mens Errors! But let them spare their Persons. Let them not supply their want of Reasons with the Instruments of Force, which belong to another Jurisdiction, and do ill become a Churchman’s Hands. Let them not call in the Magistrate’s Authority to the aid of their Eloquence, or Learning; lest, perhaps, whilst they pretend only Love for

the Truth, this their intemperate Zeal, breathing nothing but Fire and Sword, betray their Ambition, and shew that what they desire is Temporal dominion. (34-35) We have already proved, That the Care of Souls does not belong to the Magis-

trate: Not a Magisterial Care, I mean, (if I may so call it) which consists in prescribing by laws, and compelling by Punishments. But a charitable Care, which consists in teaching, admonishing, and persuading, cannot be denied unto

any man. (35) .

Any one may employ as many Exhortations and Arguments as he pleases, towards the promoting of another man’s Salvation. But all Force and Compulsion are to be forborn. Nothing is to be done imperiously. No body is obliged in that matter to yield Obedience unto the Admonitions or Injunctions of another, further than he himself is perswaded. (47) 13 John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration 27. See also 29, 34, 35, 38, 43, 47, 48, 54. The designation of both religious belief and the proper way of changing it as “‘persuasion’’ is conspicuous in the text which marks Locke’s break with his early conservatism and which he wrote soon after he had moved in with Shaftesbury in 1667: “An Essay Concerning Toleration.”” Ashcraft goes so far as to say that “the dominant concept in the ‘Essay’ is that of ‘persuasion,’ a concept that had no place at all in Locke’s early writings, since it was irrelevant both to the individual’s religious convictions and to the relationship between the magistrate and his subjects” (Revolutionary Politics and Locke’s ‘‘Two Treatises of Government” [Princeton:

Princeton University Press, 1986] 97). The ‘‘Essay’’ is published in John Locke: Political Writings, ed. David Wootton (New York: Penguin, 1993) 186-210.

Force 115 In these passages from A Letter Concerning Toleration, rhetoric is afhrmed

as the effective means of appealing to the belief which Locke calls “‘persuasion”’ — eloquence, oratory, and persuasion are the clearly affirmed alternatives to what he calls ‘‘outward force” as the means of appealing to and correcting religious belief. And this means of persuasion is overtly recommended by Locke to all men, regardless of whether or not they hold civil or ecclesiastical authority, for goodwill and charity are all the authority and commission one needs to engage in the practice of changing the religious belief of others by means of eloquence. Given that belief is persuasion, it is properly addressed by persuasion which, for Locke, includes eloquence, oratory, and argument. What, then, if not only religious belief but the certain belief that constitutes knowledge is also simply a kind of persuasion? “‘All the artificial and figurative application of Words Elo-

hath 1 d”’ Id be legit 6 l ak of

quence hath invented”’ would be legitimate when “we would speak o

Things as they are; ‘all the Art of Rhetorick” would be legitimate “where Truth and Knowledge are concerned;”’ “Oratory” would be legitimate not just in ““Harangues and popular Addresses” and theological

debate, but also in ‘‘Discourses that pretend to inform or instruct’’ (508) — rhetoric, that is, would be legitimate in epistemological discourse. The point here is that given the central claims of A Letter Concerning T oleration, and. the implicit categorization of the mental states of knowledge and opinion as persuasion in the Essay, Locke is committed to affirming what he calls ““Rhetoric,” “Eloquence,” and ‘‘Oratory”’ in discourses where truth and knowledge are concerned. In A Letter Concerning Toleration, the identifi-

cation of religious belief as persuasion is coupled with the explicit affirmation of rhetoric, as opposed to outward force, as the proper means of addressing this belief. If rhetoric is the legitimate means of addressing persuasion, it is the legitimate means of addressing what Locke takes to be knowledge, for the Essay implicitly identifies knowledge as persuasion. '* (v)

The implicit rehabilitation of rhetoric at the intersection of the Essay and A Letter Concerning Toleration is further accomplished in the Essay itself by 14 A full account of rhetoric, force, and truth in A Letter Concerning Toleration would recognize several further complications: as in the Essay, Locke here attempts, at least on a few occasions, to segregate truth and light from the strength and force which are associated with rhetoric (27,

46); the distinction between outward force and persuasion is troubled by Locke’s use of the

former to represent the latter; the way in which the dynamic vocabulary of the Essay compromises the distinction between knowledge and belief may pose some problems for one of

Locke’s arguments for toleration, what Tully refers to as “the sceptical justification of toleration” (7), and G. A. J. Rogers as “the Argument from Ignorance.”’ This is because, as

Rogers points out, this argument depends in part on the difference between belief and knowledge. See G. A. J. Rogers, “Locke and the Latitude-men: ignorance as a ground of toleration,” Philosophy, Science, and Religion in England, 1640-1700, ed. Richard Kroll, Richard

116 Mind aspects of Locke’s account of language. This is evident even in Locke’s condemnation of rhetoric when he claims that ‘‘all the Art of Rhetorick, besides Order and Clearness, all the artificial and figurative application of Words Eloquence hath invented”? is for nothing else but to deceive (508).

, Order and clearness, Locke’s stylistic desiderata, are here placed alongside the figurative application of words as accomplishments within the art of

rhetoric (as they are in the rhetorical works of Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian). Though men may use the art of rhetoric to deceive other men, they may also use it to achieve order and clarity in what they are saying and, so, to instruct others. Moreover, the figurative application of words itself may serve this purpose, as Locke explains in the following passage from the opening chapter of Book ITI: It may also lead us a little towards the Original of all our Notions and Knowledge, if we remark, how great a dependance our Words have on common sensible Jdeas;

and how those, which are made use of to stand for Actions and Notions quite removed from sense, have their rise from thence, and from obvious sensible Ideas are transferred to more abstruse significations, and made to stand for Ideas that come not under the cognizance of our senses; v.g. to Imagine, Apprehend, Comprehend, Adhere, Conceive, Instill, Disgust, Disturbance, Tranqutllity, etc. are all Words taken from the Operations of sensible Things, and applied to certain Modes of Thinking. Spzrit, in its primary signification, is Breath; Angel, a Messenger: And I doubt not, but if we

could trace them to their sources, we should find, in all Languages, the names which stand for Things that fall not under our Senses, to have had their first rise _ from sensible /deas. By which we may give some kind of guess, what kind of Notions they were, and whence derived, which filled their minds, who were the first Beginners of Languages; and how Nature, even in the naming of Things, unawares suggested to Men the Originals and Principles of all their Knowledge: whilst, to give names, that might make known to others any Operations they felt in themselves, or any other /deas, that came not under their Senses, they were fain to borrow Words from ordinary known J/deas of Sensation, by that means to make others the more easily to conceive those Operations they experimented in them-

| selves, which made no outward sensible appearances; and then when they had got known and agreed Names, to signify those internal operations of their own Minds, they were sufficiently furnished to make known by Words, all their other Jdeas; since they could consist of nothing, but either of outward sensible Perceptions, or

of the inward Operations of their Minds about them; we having, as has been proved, no Jdeas at all, but what originally come either from sensible objects without, or what we feel within our selves, from the inward Workings of our own Spirits, which we are conscious to our selves of within. (403-404) Ashcraft, and Perez Zagorin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992) 230-252. For an important reminder that the moral and religious skepticism of the Renaissance need not work in favor of toleration but in fact was often cited to justify persecution, see Richard Tuck, “Scepticism and Toleration in the Seventeenth Century,” Justifying Toleration, ed. Susan Mendus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988) 21-35.

Force 117 This passage is an empiricist elaboration of Cicero’s claim, in the third book of On the Orator, that “the metaphorical employment of words was begun because of poverty” and that “‘when something that can scarcely be conveyed by the proper term is expressed metaphorically, the meaning we desire to convey 1s made clear by the resemblance of the thing that we

have expressed by the word that does not belong.”!° For Locke here asserts that many words which were originally used to stand for ideas derived from the sensation of outward objects were and still are used to stand for ideas which are derived from the mind’s perception of its own operations (ideas of reflection). That is to say that many terms have been transferred from a sensible idea to an abstruse idea, taken from a sensible

idea and applied to an idea of a mode of thinking, borrowed from a sensible idea and used to stand for an idea of a mental operation. And these transfers and borrowings seem to have been demanded by the facts that the first terms were terms for ideas of sensation and that there were no spare terms which might have been used to designate ideas of reflection.

Since tropes are defined in terms of this kind of borrowing and transference, it is reasonable to say that Locke is here simply claiming that all terms which stand for ideas of reflection are, or at least originally were, tropes. Leibniz, in his great commentary on the Essay, New Essays on the Human Understanding [Nouveaux Essais sur l’entendement humain}, makes this point in

- more detail. Though Theophile, generally understood as Leibniz’ spokesman in this dialogue, claims that etymology provides “‘not the origin of [abstract] notions, but the history of our discoveries,” he agrees with Philalethe, Locke’s spokesman, that “‘the terms of Theology, Morality, and Metaphysics are originally taken from material things [choses grossteres].”'© Theophile then goes on to consider “‘this analogy between sensible and insensible things which has served as the foundation of tropes”’ (277). The example he considers is ‘‘that provided by the use of prepositions, like

to, with, from, before, in, out, by, for, on, towards, which are all taken from place, distance, and movement, and then transferred to all sorts of changes, orders, inferences [suztes], differences, and situations [convenances|” (277). For Theophile, Locke’s recognition of the sensible origin of

terms for all abstract ideas means that all these terms are products of an historical process of tropological transference: they are terms which were

first used to refer to sensible things and then used to refer to those insensible things with which they were perceived to be analogous. As he '5 Cicero, On the Orator, transl. E. W. Sutton and H. Rackham (1942; London: William Heinemann, 1976) 2: 121-123 (III,xxxviii, 155). '6 Gottfried Leibniz, Nouveaux Essais sur l’entendement humain 276-277. Further page references are

included in the text. When Philalethe observes that people often use the same word to mean different things, Theophile again recognizes that he is talking about tropes (260, 341).

118 Mind puts it later in explaining his etymological tracings, “metaphors, synecdoches and metonymies transferred [ont fait passer] words from one signification to another, in such a way that the route [pzste] of this transference

can not always be traced” (283). This understanding of Locke’s statements about abstract terms as a claim that all abstract (that is, psychological, metaphysical, theological, philosophical) language is either itself tropological, or at least the product of a tropological history, was not limited to Leibniz but was central to the eighteenth-century etymological search for the origins of thought.!’ The important thing here is that, in the passage from the Essay, Locke does not cite the tropological nature and history of all terms for ideas of reflection as grounds for condemning them; on the contrary, he claims that these borrowings and transfers helped “make known to others’’ ideas of reflection, made “‘others the more easily to conceive” the speakers’ perceptions of their own minds, made “known by Words”’ ideas other than those derived from sensation (403-404). That is to say that Locke is here granting a positive epistemological function, a pedagogical function, to at

least some of those borrowings which, even though fe does not, the rhetoricians and Leibniz name as tropes. In short, he is claiming, as both Aristotle and Cicero do, that some tropes instruct. By the late 1690s, when he wrote Of the Conduct of the Understanding, a long piece which he intended

to add as a chapter to the Essay but which was published only in the posthumous works of 1706, Locke makes this claim more directly. Although he directs some criticism against similes, metaphors, and other “deceitful ornaments of speech,” he also claims that similes “‘may be a good way and useful in the explaining our thoughts to others,” and that figured and metaphorical expressions do well to illustrate more abstruse and unfamiliar ideas which the mind is not yet thoroughly accustomed to but then they must be made use of to illustrate ideas that we already have, not to paint to us those which we yet have not. Such borrowed and allusive ideas may follow real and solid truth, to set it off when found, but must by no means be set in its place and taken for it.!®

Of the Conduct of the Understanding thus only makes more explicit what is

implicit in the Essay: the legitimization of the “figurative application of '7 For different discussions of this phenomenon, see Michel Foucault, The Order of Things (1966;

New York: Vintage, 1973) 78-124, and Hans Aarsleff, The Study of Language in England, 1780-1860 (1967; Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983). Richard Kroll, in The Material Word, argues that Restoration culture in general recognized and affirmed the tropological (especially the synecdochal and metonymic) dimension of language. In “‘Seascape with Fog: Metaphor in Locke’s Essay,” Journal of the History of Ideas 54 (1993) 1-18, Philip Vogt __. urges that Locke’s account of reasoning by analogy in Book I'V of the Essay is a justification of metaphorical usage in scientific and epistemological discourse. 18 John Locke, Of the Conduct of the Understanding, ed. Thomas Fowler (1882; New York: Lenox

Hill, 1971) 72-73.

Force 119 Words” in relation to what, in the Essay, Locke identifies as the principal function of language: the “Communication of Thoughts” (405). This legitimization is accomplished in a different way when, throughout Book III of the Essay, Locke designates the function of words as “‘excitation,” besides ‘“‘standing for” and “‘signification.” In the second chapter, “Of the Signification of Words,”’ he presents the most frequently quoted one-liner of Book ITI: “Words in their primary or immediate Signification, stand for nothing, but the Ideas in the Mind of him that uses them” (405). But if words

stand for the speaker’s ideas, they excite ideas in the hearer: Words by long and familiar use, as has been said, come to excite in Men certain Ideas, so constantly and readily, that they are apt to suppose a natural connexion between them. But that they signify only men’s peculiar /deas, and that by a perfectly arbitrary Imposition, is evident, in that they often fail to excite in others (even that

_ use the same Language) the same /deas, we take them to be the Signs of... And let me add, that unless a Man’s Words excite the same Jdeas in the Hearer, which he

makes them stand for in speaking, he does not speak intelligibly. (408) |

On the previous page, Locke explains this notion of linguistic excitation: Concerning Words also it is farther to be considered. First, That they being immediately the Signs of Mens /deas; and, by that means, the Instruments whereby Men communicate their conceptions, and express to one another those Thoughts and Imaginations, they have within their own Breasts, there comes by constant use, to be such a Connexton between certain Sounds, and the Ideas they stand for,

that the Names heard, almost as readily excite certain Ideas, as if the Objects themselves, which are apt to produce them, did actually affect the Senses. Which is manifestly so in all obvious sensible Qualities; and in all Substances, that frequently, and familiarly occur to us. (407)

The power of language to invoke ideas in us as the world impinging on our senses does is later articulated as the capacity of words to make the world present to others: “‘besides Persons, Countries also, Cities, Rivers, Mountains, and other the like Distinctions of Place, have usually found peculiar Names, and that for the same Reason; they being such as Men have often an Occasion to mark particularly, and, as it were, set before others in their Discourses with them” (410). Because men have “‘by a long _ and familiar use’’ annexed certain ideas to words, they imagine a necessary connection between them, suppose their meaning is always under-

stood, think it past doubt that “in the use of those common received sounds, the Speaker and Hearer had necessarily the same precise Jdeas,”’ and finally presume that ‘‘when they have in Discourse used any Term, they have thereby, as it were, set before others the very thing they talk of” (503). Locke’s assertion that frequently neither the speaker nor the hearer understands the meaning of common terms which are taken on trust does not preclude his description of the power of such terms to excite the mind as the world itself does.

120 Mind Such passages are quite remarkable if they are placed in the context of classical and Renaissance rhetorical tradition. In a passage from On the Orator where he lists the figures of thought and the figures of speech, Cicero claims that “‘a great impression is made by dwelling on a single point, and

also by clear explanation and almost visual presentation of events as if practically going on” or, as Rackham translates the passage as it occurs in Quintilian’s treatment of the figures in Book IX of The Institutes of Oratory,

“great effect may be produced by dwelling on a single point, and by setting forth our facts in such a striking manner that they seem to be placed before the eyes as vividly as if they were taking place in our actual presence.” Quintilian goes on to consider “‘the figure which Cicero calls ocular demonstration [sub oculos subtectio|’”? and which he himself classifies as

“vivid illustration [evidentia]” in his earlier account of ornament and embellishment in Book VIII of the Jnstztutes. It is in Book VIII, as well as

in the account of how to state facts in Book IV, that one encounters the term enargeia (Evapyeia) which Quintilian uses to designate a vivid illustration that “thrusts itself upon us’’ and that achieves the full effect of oratory by displaying the facts ‘‘in their living truth to the eyes of the mind.” Vivid illustration, or enargeia, makes the auditor/reader feel that he/she actually sees and hears or, more generally, that he/she actually senses what is being described. Quintilian’s account of enargeia recalls Longinus’ account of imagery as “‘passages in which, carried away by your feelings, you imagine you are actually seeing the subject of your descrip-

tion, and enable your audience as well to see it,’ and of the kind of polyptoton (interchange of tenses) which turns “the passage from mere narrative into vivid actuality.’ Cicero, Longinus, and Quintilian all recall Aristotle’s use and explication of energeia (EvEpyeia) with which enargeia

becomes conflated in rhetorical tradition. Because an audience “‘likes words that set an event before their eyes,” Aristotle recommends metaphor, since that is what “‘puts the event before our eyes” and ‘‘puts the thing directly before us.” This language of energeta (liveliness or actuality) Aristotle goes on to explain as a use of expressions “‘that show things in a state of activity,” and that represent them “‘as active.”’ These statements in

central classical rhetorical texts on the capacity of language to make us actually sense, or sense as actual, what is described are the grounds of extensive speculation on these matters in medieval and Renaissance rhetorical tradition.!9 '9 The Cicero passage is from On the Orator 2: 161 (IIT,lii,202). Quintilian quotes this passage in

the Institutes of Oratory, transl. H. E. Butler (1920-1922; London: William Heinemann, 1979-86) 3: 363 (1X,i,27); for his discussion of ocular demonstration, see 3: 397 ([X,ii,40). For the term enargeia (defined as ‘‘palpability [evidentiam]’’) in the discussion of the statement of

facts, see 2: 83 (IV,ii,63-66); the term also surfaces in Quintilian’s discussion of vivid illustration (3: 245 [VIII,iii,61}). See 3: 261 (VIIL,iii,89) for the reference to ‘‘energeia, or vigor” which “derives its name from action and finds its peculiar function in securing that

Force 121 Given that the capacity of language to excite ideas in us as our sensation of the world itself does is central to discussions in rhetorical tradition of energeia, enargeia, ocular demonstration, vivid illustration, figures of speech,

imagery, and figures of thought, Locke’s discussion of this capacity in |

connection with customary linguistic usage is remarkable. For he is reassigning a property which, in rhetorical tradition, is attributed to oratorical and literary usage, to words in standard, customary usage. It is now the repetition of usage that establishes both common linguistic usage

and the power of language to excite ideas which have the vividness, intensity, actuality, or force of ideas excited by the world itself. One dimension of persuasive and tropological' power now resides in the most

constitutes it. |

common linguistic usage by virtue of the repetition (custom) which That dimensions of tropological power inhabit common usage might have been cited by Locke as just one more reason for his rejection of common usage in favor of an exact philosophical usage which traverses Book III. But Locke’s critique of the epistemological deficiencies of common usage is highly unstable. For it is not philosophical usage but common usage which commonly appears as the favored alternative to “the language of the Schools” (452) attacked throughout the Essay. Not philosophical use but “‘common use ... limits the signification” of words (408, 479). Moreover, “‘the ordinary Words of language, and our common use of them, would have given us light into the nature of our Jdeas, if they had

been but considered with attention” (474). The “all-knowing Doctors”’ and their “‘learned Gibberish”’ are contrasted with “‘the unscholastick States-

men,” ‘“‘the illiterate and contemned Mechanik,”’ and “other wellmeaning and wise Men, whose Education and Parts had not acquired that acuteness, [and who] could intelligibly express themselves to one another; and in its plain use, make a benefit of Language” (495). One must follow ‘““common use”’ to convey truth (506) and, even though common use may be imprecise, men must also take care to apply their Words, as near as may be, to such Ideas as common use

has annexed them to. For Words, especially of Languages already framed, being no Man’s private possession, but the common measure of Commerce and Communi-

cation, ’tis not for any one, at pleasure, to change the Stamp they are current in; nor alter the /deas they are affixed to; or at least when there is a necessity to do so, nothing that we say is tame.” Longinus’ discussion of imagery and polyptoton occurs in On the Sublime, transl. T.S. Dorsch (New York: Penguin, 1965) 121, 134. Aristotle discusses energeta in the Rhetoric 207-212 (1410b-1412b). For accounts of Renaissance discussions of this issue, see

Terence Cave, The Cornucopian Text (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979) 27-34, 130-134; Linda Galyon, ‘“‘Puttenham’s Enargeia and Energeta: New Twists for Old Terms,” Philological Quarterly

60 (1981) 29-40. For a Restoration instance of the recognition of the capacity of tropes and figurative language in general to place a scene before our eyes, see Dryden’s letter to Howard prefaced to Annus Mirabilis.

122 Mind he is bound to give notice of it. Men’s Intentions in speaking are, or at least should be, to be understood; which cannot be without frequent Explanations, Demands, and other the like incommodious Interruptions, where men do not follow common Use. (514)

The preference for common linguistic usage over the language of philosophers, scholastics, Platonists, doctors, and Epicureans, in conjunction with Locke’s conception of the rhetorical resources of common usage, commits him to a discourse which is common, epistemologically privi-

leged, and rhetorically empowered. Because it does not condemn the power of figurative language but simply relocates at least part of it in standard linguistic usage, Locke’s account of linguistic excitation is another instance of the complicated displacement (as opposed to banish-

ment) of rhetoric accomplished in post-Renaissance science and philosophy. As such, it is another facet of the affirmation of rhetoric as persuasion which is explicit in the Letter Concerning Toleration and implicit

in the Essay’s designation of knowledge and belief as persuasion and its assertion of the pedagogical function of figurative language. This affirmation is strengthened by Locke’s appropriation of one of the

standard representations of figurative language and mind from those “Books of Rhetorick” he, at one point, openly rejects. In classical rhetorical texts and philosophical texts which discuss it, the eloquent, rhetorical, figurative, persuasive word is commonly represented as a material

object which strikes and either dents, stuns, or moves another material object which represents the mind. Socrates in the Symposium frightened of being struck dumb as a stone by the Medusa’s head of Gorgias’ eloquence, Aristotle describing the audience persuaded by “‘deviations from ordinary usage”’ as “‘hearers [who] are struck by what is out of the way, and [who] like what strikes them,” Quintilian defining the figure as what “‘adds force and charm to our matter,” Longinus referring to the “‘persuasive quality” of the figures he describes as striking, shocking, and forcing the mind —

these are only a few of the classical instances which set a precedent for similar Renaissance figurings of persuasive rhetoric.7° 20 Symposium, transl. Michael Joyce, Plato: The Collected Dialogues, ed. Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961) 550 (198b); Aristotle, Rhetoric 185 (1404b); Quintilian, Institutes of Oratory 349 (I1X,i,2); Longinus, On the Sublime 127.

For the centrality of terms of force to rhetorical tradition, see, for example, Debora Shuger, Sacred Rhetoric: The Christian Grand Style in the English Renaissance (Princeton: Princeton Univer-

sity Press, 1988), and Brian Vickers, Classical Rhetoric in English Poetry (London: Macmillan, 1970) 83-121. It is important to note that persuasive language is also represented in rhetorical tradition as someone or something that is charming, coddling, and enticing — it is both a Paris

who abducts and a Helen who charms or who, as Locke puts it in his comparison between “Eloquence” and “‘the fair Sex,” offers the pleasures of deception (508). The force of persuasive rhetoric, that is, is understood not only as force de frappe, but also as the power to seduce

, and please men. One important difference between these representations is that people may be struck by another object regardless of what they believe and desire, whereas they may be

Force 123 Locke’s most widely cited representation of rhetoric in its action on the

mind is as a woman deceiving and, so, pleasing a man. But on three occasions, Locke resorts to the model of impact offered to him by the rhetorical tradition: [concerning different ways of expressing propositions] But every thing does not hit alike upon every Man’s Imagination. (8)

This [Judgment] is a way of proceeding quite contrary to Metaphor and Allusion, wherein, for the most part, lies that entertainment and pleasantry of Wit, which strikes so lively on the Fancy, and therefore so acceptable to all People; because its

Beauty appears at first sight, and there is required no labour of thought, to examine what Truth or Reason there is in it. (156) the Reason why sometimes Men, who sincerely aim at Truth, are imposed upon by such loose, and as they are called Rhetorical Discourses, is that their Phancies

being struck with some lively metaphorical Representations, they neglect to observe, or do not easily perceive what are the true /deas, upon which the Inference depends. (675-676)

In these passages, Locke represents the figurative word as a material object and the mind (its fancy) as a second material animate object which is struck by the first. By invoking this classical representation of figurative language and mind, Locke identifies the figurative word in the way that his mental optics of power identifies the idea — in one representation of the Essay, both ideas and figurative words are material objects which, on

impact, impress force upon another material object. And if figurative expressions and ideas are the same kind of thing, their effect on the mind is

the same: as material objects strike, impress force upon, and move other material objects, so both figures and ideas persuade the mind, that is, make it believe and know. Something extraneous to ideas, namely, figurative language, may thus operate in both belief and knowledge (which is

simply strong belief). As well as the pure idea, rhetorical discourse, metaphor, and allusion may bring about the mental state which the Essay identifies as knowledge and constitute the object which the Essay identifies as the known. Though Locke condemns the figurative word, his representation of it as something that strikes the mind makes it indistinguishable from ideas and thus opens the possibility of its agency in the constitution of seduced, charmed, and enticed only if there are desires and passions within them to which an appeal may be made. In the first case, the power of rhetoric does not depend on those beliefs, passions, and desires which constitute what Aristotle calls “the sorry nature of an audience” (Rhetoric 184 [1404a]), whereas, in the second, it does. Another way of putting this is to say that, as a male, persuasive force is contingent only upon the substance of the auditor but, as a female, it is contingent upon its desire. To be absolutely unpersuadable in the face of male persuasion, the auditor would have to be bodiless; to be absolutely unpersuadable in the face of female persuasion, the auditor would have to be either without desire, or in complete control of it.

124 Mind knowledge as a mental state and the known. In addition, this representation demands that the mind be conceived as an agent that can register force; as such, it coheres with the discourse of impression, vision, and force which pervades Book IV.

It is not, however, only figurative language which is identified in the Essay as an entity which, like ideas, can impress force on the mind and enter into the formation of persuasion. This is evident in the difficulty Locke has in segregating the force of ideas from language of any kind throughout Book IV: he is obviously straining in his attempts to maintain the distinction between mental and verbal propositions (574-579), to exclude the act of assent (which is supposed to be the faculty exercised about truth delivered in words [653] or what necessarily follows from strong probability [685]) from knowledge (591), and to maintain the distinction between judgment (the faculty exercised about the truth of things) and assent. As he claims at the opening of the chapter on truth in general, it is very difficult to treat of the truth of thought and the truth of words separately, “‘because it is unavoidable, in treating of mental Propo-

sitions, to make use of Words: and then the Instances given of Mental Propositions, cease immediately to be barely Mental, and become Verbal.” Moreover, “most Men, if not all, in their Thinking and Reasonings within themselves, make use of Words instead of Ideas; at least when the subject of their Meditation contains in it complex Jdeas”’ (574). The incursion of not just figurative expressions but language in general into the force of ideas is further defined by the explicit attribution of force

to the latter (though it should be noted that Locke does not explicitly identify the mind as the agent which perceives this force). References to the force of a name (567), the force of a question (570), and the force of maxims and axioms (593, 605) anticipate the designation of language in the chapter on degrees of assent: “‘any Testimony, the farther off it is from the original Truth, the less force and proof it has’’; a testimony ‘“‘cited”’ by hundreds of people who were not themselves witnesses to what is testified “is so far from receiving any strength thereby, that it is only the weaker;”’

the further testimony is ‘from the Original, the less valid it is, and has always less force in the mouth, or writing of him that last made use of it, than in his from whom he received it” (663-665). And in the following chapter on reason, besides referring to the metaphorical representations of rhetorical discourse which strike the fancy, Locke predicates force and

strength of arguments and discourses. If perceiving “‘the strength or weakness, coherence or incoherence of the Discourse” depends on a perception of the agreement or disagreement of ideas, it is still the discourse which is the site of force (676). And it is “in debate’? that men “drive others and force them to submit their Judgments” by Argumentum ad [gnorantiam (requiring the adversary to admit what he alleges as a proof, or

Force 125 to assign a better) (686). In melding language in general with ideas and assigning force to both, Locke identifies language as part of the cause and content of persuasion.?! By describing the effect of figurative language on the mind in terms of

impact, blurring the difference between words and ideas, and assigning force and weight to language, Locke’s discussion of language thus bears

out his representation of the mental agent as something that registers force. This discussion also strengthens the rehabilitation of figurative language which follows from the conjunction of certain claims in the Essay and A Letter Concerning Toleration, and which is more overt in Of the Conduct

of the Understanding. For since both figurative words and ideas are represented as material objects which can dent or accelerate another material body, and since degrees of belief are represented as the denting or acceler-

ation of an eye or material body, both ideas and figurative words are capable of producing belief, including that strong degree of belief which Locke sometimes calls “‘certainty”’ and “‘knowledge.”’ Moreover, in assert-

ing the pedagogical value of terms borrowed from sensible ideas and applied to abstract ideas, Locke asserts the pedagogical value of tropes. Given that not just oratory but also literature is defined, in part, by tropes, Locke thus aligns both of them with discourse that instructs. And to the extent that he privileges common usage over any other linguistic usage,

Locke licenses a power which the rhetoricians standardly located in figurative language and called, among other names, “‘energera’’. Although

Locke’s own pervasive metaphorical discourse in the Essay stands condemned by his explicit attack on rhetoric, it is thus also sanctioned by other dimensions of this work’s discussion of the figurative application of words.

That Locke sanctions the figurative application of words in discourses where truth is concerned may appear to violate the linguistic protocol of the new science with which Locke allied himself; in fact, it is consistent with it, at least as it is stated by Thomas Sprat. In his condemnation of rhetoric (which appears to have been the model for Locke’s condemnation in the Essay), Sprat claims that he should wholly incline to the opinion 21 It should be noted that while, at the end of Book II, Locke announces “the Nature, Use, and Signification of Language’”’ as the business of Book III, at the opening of Book III he claims it is

‘the use and force of Language as subservient to instruction and Knowledge” he is concerned to understand. Locke makes good on this claim in the tiny chapter “Of Particles’ when he

explains “‘the significancy and force they [particles] have,” and “their use and force in language” (472-473). But instead of ascribing to particles a power or force over the mind, Locke makes them into simply a mark of the power that animates the mind: “they are all marks of some Action, or Intimation of the Mind; and therefore to understand them rightly, the several views, postures, stands, turns, limitations, and exceptions, and several other Thoughts of the

Mind, for which we have either none, or very deficient Names, are diligently to be studied” (472). The force of the particle resides in its ability to signify the actions and postures of the mind conceived as a human body.

126 Mind “that eloquence ought to be banish’d out of all cevil Soctetzes,” if he did not find that it is a Weapon, which may be as easily procur’d by dad men, as good: and that, if these should onely cast it away, and those retain it; the naked Innocence of vertue, would be upon all occasions expos’d to the armed Malice of the wicked. This is the chief reason, that should now keep up the Ornaments of speaking, in any request: since they are so much degenerated from their original usefulness. They were at

first, no doubt, an admirable Instrument in the hands of Wise Men: when they were onely employ’d to describe Goodness, Honesty, Obedience; in larger, fairer, and

more moving Images: to represent T7uth, cloth’d with Bodies; and to bring Knowledg back again to our very senses, from whence it was at first deriv’d to our understandings.??

Although, as Sprat goes on to point out in his “just Anger,” tropes and figures have brought mists and uncertainties on our knowledge and it is vain to inveigh against them, he also recognizes that some tropes have a privileged relation to the grounds of knowledge: “our very senses.”’ It 1s because of this privileged relation tropes have with sensation that Sprat must qualify his condemnation of the former. Locke does not claim that all our ideas and knowledge derive from our senses — ideas of reflection and the knowledge grounded in them do not derive from sensation, though the mind may need some ideas of sensation in order to have any ideas of its own operations. But in the passage on the sensible origin of terms for ideas of reflection, he does imply that both ideas of sensation and terms for these ideas come before ideas of reflection and their terms — that is why men needed and were able to borrow terms for ideas of sensation and use them as terms for ideas of reflection. Like Sprat, Locke grants a kind of priority

to ideas of sensation and their terms; he, too, ends up making qualifications to his condemnation of the figurative application of words, 22 Thomas Sprat, History of the Royal Society, ed. Jackson I. Cope and Harold Whitmore Jones (St.

Louis: Washington University Studies, 1959) 111-112. See also Sprat’s approval of wit that proceeds “from things that enter into all mens Senses” (416). On the dangers of reading Sprat’s History as a statement of the protocol of the Royal Society and the new science, see Michael Hunter, ‘“‘Latitudinarianism and the ‘ideology’ of the early Royal Society: Thomas Sprat’s History of the Royal Society (1667) reconsidered,” in Philosophy, Science, and Religion in England, 1640-1700 199-218. Shapin and Schaffer observe that Boyle and the experimentalists

condemn not so much tropes as language about the causes of observable events, theoretical language, ad hominem argument, and uncompromising unqualified forms of assertion (Levtathan

and the Air-Pump [65—76]). Brian Vickers has also argued that the new scientists were not against rhetoric but the way their opponents abused it. See “The Royal Society and English Prose Style: A Reassessment,” Rhetoric and the Pursuit of Truth (Los Angeles: William Andrews

Clark Memorial Library, 1985) 3-76. For an understanding of the Essay’s conversational rhetoric, condemnation of disputation, and virtuosi ethos as dimensions of Locke’s alliance with

the new science, see Peter Walmsley, ‘‘Dispute and Conversation: Probability and the Rhetoric of Natural Philosophy in Locke’s Essay,”” Journal of the History of Ideas 54 (1993) 381-394, and “‘Locke’s Cassowary and the Ethos of the Essay,’ Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 22 (1992) 253-267.

Force 127 mainly in connection with discourse designed to instruct others. In both texts, the rehabilitation of tropes in some discourses where knowledge is concerned is demanded by the privilege of sensation in conjunction with the fact that some tropes bring the abstract back to the senses. Finally, that Locke banishes not rhetoric but swords from discourse in which epistemological criteria are relevant enforces the recognition of the central Roman practitioner and theoretician of rhetoric as one of Locke’s central precursors. As commentators on Locke’s political writing have observed, Cicero’s emphasis on labor as the basis of the usefulness of inanimate things, his identification of the preservation of private property as a principal raison d’étre of political communities, his justification of the overthrowing of tyrants, his notion of a community of all mankind, and his notion of nature and what is natural to man align him with central tenets of Lockean political theory. And though, as the author of On Invention, On The Orator, Brutus, The Orator, and Topics, he would have to be one of those authors of “‘Books of Rhetorick,”’ one of its “established Professors” (508)

of whom Locke complains in the Essay, Cicero still underwrites crucial premises of Lockean epistemology. The implicit categorization of know-

ledge and belief as persuasion in the Essay restates a central tenet of Cicero’s probabilistic epistemology of the Academica which, in On Duties, Cicero summarizes by claiming “‘where other men say that some things are

certain and others uncertain, we disagree with them and say rather that some things are persuasive and others not’”’ (65). ““Our Academy,” he later remarks, “‘grants us great freedom, so that we may be justified in defend-

ing whatever seems most persuasive’ (108). And the affirmation of eloquence “‘where Truth and Knowledge are concerned”’ is congruent with Cicero’s powerful assertion of the value of rhetoric in the republic. The Cicero who is named and quoted on the title-page of, and elsewhere in, the Essay is not simply Cicero the theologian, statesman, lawyer, and philosopher; it is also Cicero the. rhetor for whom the fulfillment of all of these roles demands eloquence.”? 23 The passages cited are from On Duties, ed. M. T. Griffin and E. M. Atkins (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991) 65 (II,7), 108 (111,20). For various formulations of the importance of Cicero to Locke, see Raymond Polin, La Politique morale de John Locke (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1960); Robert Cumming, Human Nature and History: A Study of the Development of Liberal Political Thought 134-137; Neal Wood, The Politics of Locke’s Philosophy

29-30; Richard Aaron, John Locke (1937; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971) 8. Raymond Klibansky claims that Locke appears to have made a study of Cicero’s On Duties the year before writing A Letter Concerning Toleration. See Epistola de Tolerantia/A Letter on Toleration, Latin text

ed. Raymond Klibansky, English translation J. W. Gough (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968) xliii. Also, Locke asserts the importance of speaking well, where this means speaking in accordance with the Ciceronian idea of eloquence, in his educational writings. See Some Thoughts Concerning Education, in The Educational Writings of John Locke, ed. James Axtell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968) 296-299.






De Man on Locke

The character [ethos] of the speaker is a cause of persuasion when the speech is so uttered as to make him worthy of belief; for as a rule we trust men of probity more, and more quickly, about things in general, while on points outside the realm of exact knowledge, where opinion is divided, we trust them absolutely. This trust, however, should be created by the speech itself; and not left to depend upon an antecedent impression that the speaker is this or that kind of man. It is not true, as some writers on the art maintain, that the probity of the speaker contributes nothing to his persuasiveness; on the contrary, we might almost affirm that his character is the most potent of all the means to persuasion.

: Aristotle, Rhetoric i)

In Part II, the project of identifying Locke’s figurative representation of mind in the Essay issued in several observations concerning the relationship between rhetoric and Lockean epistemology. The foremost of these is that Locke’s own epistemological discourse is pervasively figurative: terms which are commonly used to refer to men, eyes, labor, material substance,

acceleration, resistance, property, intercourse, and enclosed space are used by Locke to describe the mind and its actions; terms which are commonly used to refer to women and material objects of various kinds and sizes are used by Locke to describe ideas. This figurative discourse of mind is remarkably consistent and systematic in some ways and inconsistent in others; its implications confirm some of Locke’s explicit claims but

contest others (a summary of this description and its implications 1s presented at the opening of the concluding chapter). In addition, given Locke’s own usage of the term “‘persuasion”’ and his representation of knowledge and belief as a quantitative difference, the concept of persuasion comprehends the concepts of knowledge and belief. In providing | an account of knowledge and belief, the Essay thus provides an account of 131

132 Trope what it would call “‘persuasion,” where this term means belief of varying strength. And given that in his political writing Locke sanctions rhetoric (the figurative application of words) as a means of addressing persuasion

(belief), he is obliged to sanction rhetoric in at least some discourses concerning truth. Though this contravenes those passages in the Essay which condemn the tropes and figures in discourse concerned with truth, it is consistent with those passages in the Essay (and in other writings by Locke and proponents of the new science) which recognize some forms of linguistic usage as tropological and assert their legitimacy in some discourses concerned with truth, especially those aimed at communicating and instructing. In a widely cited and praised but rarely discussed essay, ‘““The Epistemology of Metaphor,”’ Paul de Man proposes a further way in which the Essay is congruent with rhetorical theory. For he argues that ““when Locke develops his own theory of words and language what he constructs turns out to be in fact a theory of tropes.”’! It would thus appear that Leibniz does not go far enough: whereas he observes that Locke identifies only some terms and cases of linguistic usage as tropological, de Man urges that Locke identifies language as tropological in a more comprehensive and more epistemologically pernicious way. But when de Man proceeds to elaborate on this claim and justify it, it quickly becomes apparent that he lacks the clarity and reasonableness of Leibniz on this issue. Neither are there any good grounds for doing what many of de Man’s readers do when they confront such a lack in his readings of other texts: recuperate it. But in spite of this irredeemable lack, de Man’s writing on Locke is still persuasive. For de Man persuades, in part, by representing himself as a man of probity and appealing to his readers’ emotions. (ii)

De Man proposes to recognize Locke’s theory of tropes not through an understanding of Locke’s explicit statements and intentions, but through a sensitivity to his rhetorical motion: ' Paul de Man, “The Epistemology of Metaphor,” in On Metaphor 27. The essay appeared in Critical Inquiry 5 (1978) 13-30. For approving citations of it, see Ted Cohen, “Metaphor and the Cultivation of Intimacy,”” Sheldon Sacks, On Metaphor 2; Rodolphe Gasché, ‘‘Deconstruction as Criticism,” Glyph 6 (1979) 209; Patricia Parker, “The Metaphorical Plot,” Metaphor: Problems and Perspectives, ed. David Miall (New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1982) 137; Jonathan Culler, On

Deconstruction (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1982) 148; Geoff Bennington, “The Perfect Cheat: Locke and Empiricism’s Rhetoric,” The Figural and the Literal, ed. A. Benjamin, G. Cantor, and J. Christie (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1987); Barbara Johnson, “Gender Theory and the Yale School,” A World of Difference (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987) 37-39. John Richetti’s case for the ideological, repressive, stabilizing, and reassuring force of Locke’s rhetoric, the major case of his chapter on Locke, qualifies his

agreement with de Man. See Philosophical Writing 107. :

De Man on Locke 133 One has to read him [Locke], to some extent, against or regardless of his own explicit statements; one especially has to disregard the commonplaces about his philosophy that circulate as reliable currency in the intellectual histories of the

Enlightenment. One has to pretend to read him ahistorically, the first and necessary condition if there is to be any expectation of ever arriving at a somewhat reliable history. That is to say, he has to be read not in terms of explicit statements

(especially explicit statements about statements) but in terms of the rhetorical motions of his own text, which cannot be simply reduced to intentions or to identifiable facts. (14)

De Man is concerned to observe rhetoric, then, as both a feature and topic of Locke’s text. His observations of the rhetoric of Locke’s own text will “‘to some extent” justify the claim that Locke’s text is about rhetoric, that it in fact constitutes a theory of tropes. It is evident from the start that the qualifier, ‘“‘to some extent,” is called for by a procedure which deals primarily not with the rhetorical motions

of Locke’s text but with its explicit statements. Locke establishes the arbitrariness of the sign as signifier, de Man claims at the outset of his reading, and Locke’s theory of signification is not semiotic but semantic. These claims are justified not by any observation of Locke’s rhetoric, but by a single citation whose meaning is obvious to de Man: “‘sounds have no natural connexion with our zdeas, but have all their signification from the

arbitrary imposition of men” (14). Nor do the rhetorical motions of Locke’s text seem to be the center of concern when de Man moves into his discussion of simple ideas. For an ostensibly straightforward statement of fact, an explicit statement which de Man reads as such, 1s cited as the basis for a shocking inference: ‘The names of simple ideas are not capable of any definitions ...’ (bk. 3, chap. 4, p. 26).

Indeed not, since definition involves distinction and is therefore no longer simple. Simple ideas are, therefore, in Locke’s system, simpleminded; they are not the objects of understanding. The implication is clear but comes as something of a

shock, for what would be more important to understand than simple ideas, the cornerstones of our experience? (15)

Because de Man does not speculate on how the rhetorical motions of Locke’s statement might alter its meaning but reads it as explicit statement, his inference is unwarranted. For it does not follow from the claim that the names of simple ideas are not capable of definition that simple ideas are not the objects of understanding (that is, that simple ideas are not

understood). On the contrary, if another part of Locke’s text is read as straightforwardly as de Man reads this statement, it is clear that ideas are, by definition, the objects of understanding. As Locke writes in the introductory chapter of the Essay, “‘the Word Idea ... being that Term, which, I think, serves best to stand for whatsoever is the Object of the Understand-

134 | ‘Trope ing when a Man thinks, I have used it to express whatever is meant by Phantasm, Notion, Species or whatever it is, which the Mind can be employ’d

about in thinking” (47). In Book II of the Essay, Locke belabors his argument that ideas may be the object of the understanding without a name, much less a definition of that name — all that is required for the

| idea of scarlet, for example, to be the object of the understanding, is sensation. The simple idea of scarlet is understandable not because it has a name, nor because its name is definable, nor because it may be analyzed

into components, but because it can be in, engraved upon, present to, embraced by, worked upon, entertained, and owned by the mind. As has been observed, the obvious figurative profusion at the heart of Locke’s description of mind in the Essay has been a standard basis of objection to his epistemology. But this difficulty does not mean that by “‘understanding an idea’’ Locke simply means being able to define the name of the idea or being able to break it down into simpler ideas. In order to make valid his inference on the basis of his understanding of Locke’s text, de Man needs the additional premise that all ideas which cannot be broken down into

other ideas and whose names are indefinable cannot be the objects of understanding. He does not show how to get this premise, and parts of Locke’s text, read as explicit statement, flatly contradict it. But this objection seems beside the main point which de Man proceeds to argue: Locke shows not the name of a simple idea, but language about the names of simple ideas to be figurative. Citing Locke’s claim that an explanation of motion in terms of passage is not to define motion but to translate

one word for the simple idea of motion (“‘motion’’) into another (‘‘passage’”’), de Man claims that “the discourse of simple ideas is figural

discourse or translation and, as such, creates the fallacious illusion of definition” (15). Even if the fast and loose equation of translation with figural discourse can be made good, the argumentation remains questionable. For, as if to justify further his claim, de Man considers Locke’s second example of a word for a simple idea, “‘light.”” What he in fact does is to invoke a new methodological procedure in order to make a different point.

Etymological derivation is invoked to justify the claim that names of simple ideas translate but do not define the parts of reality which those ideas are supposed to represent: In fact, to understand light is to be able to make this very distinction between the actual cause and the idea (or experience) of a perception, between aperception and perception. When we can do this, says Locke, then the zdea is that which is properly light, and we come as close as we can come to the proper meaning of ‘light.’ To understand light as idea is to understand light properly. But the word ‘idea’ (etde), of course, itself means light, and to say that to understand light is to perceive the idea of light is to say that understanding is to see the light of light and is therefore itself light. The sentence: to understand the idea of light would then

De Man on Locke 135 have to be translated as to light the light of light (das Licht des Lichtes lichten), and if this begins to sound like Heidegger’s translations from the Pre-Socratics, it is not

by chance. Etymons have a tendency to turn into the repetitive stutter of tautology. Just as the word ‘passage’ translates but fails to define motion, ‘idea’ translates but does not define light and, what is worse, ‘understand’ translates but does not define understanding. (15-16)

Why is etymology invoked here, and why is it adequate to silence not only Locke’s various accounts of the meaning of “idea,” but. also the diverse meanings which Locke’s usage throughout the Essay implicitly establishes for the term and which philosophers from Archbishop Stillingfleet to Jonathan Bennett have been concerned to enumerate and comprehend? These questions are squashed beneath the fact that “the word ‘idea,’ of course, itself means light.” It seems as though, besides the act of scrutinizing the choice of examples, the procedure of establishing the meaning of a word’s etymon as the obvious and single meaning of the word, as the meaning of the word, is what de Man means by reading in terms of rhetorical motions. This procedure may, however, be recognized as that of eighteenth-century etymologists such as Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Charles de Brosses, and Horne Tooke. This recognition is worth making since, for these etymologists, the designation of the meaning of an abstract term’s etymon as that term’s real meaning derives its principal justification from the passage quoted in the previous chapter where Locke identifies the sensible origin of all abstract terms (Essay 403). “After Condillac,” Hans Aarsleff writes, “‘this passage became the unquestioned rationale for all etymological searching for the history of thought. It is so fundamental that it must be quoted at length.”? The etymology which de Man suddenly and easily relies upon, then, is not a procedure peculiar to rhetorical reading but one which is central to the practice of eighteenthcentury Lockean etymologists. If it is false that the meaning of an abstract term is the idea of the sensible object from which it derives, then de Man offers no reasonable grounds for claiming that “‘idea’”’ means light. De Man’s etymologizing does not occur as a moment of playfulness but

is presented as hard justification for the claim that “‘passage’’ translates motion, “idea”’ translates light, and ‘‘understand”’ translates understanding. Even if one accepts this justification, it is important to note that the justified claim differs from the initial claim that the discourse of simple

ideas is translation and, so, figural. The reason for claiming that the discourse of simple ideas is figural is that names for simple ideas, such as

the name “motion,” can only be translated into other names and not defined by them. The relation between the name “‘motion”’ and the name 2 See Hans Aarsleff, The Study of Language in England, 1780-1860 31-36, and the entire second chapter on Tooke. For Derrida’s critique of the kind of etymologizing de Man practices here, see L’Ecriture et la différence 203-204.

136 Trope ““passage’’ is figurative, not the relation between the name “motion” and the simple idea of motion which is this name’s meaning (nor the relation between “motion”’ and motion itself). The simple idea of motion is not translated or figured by the names “motion’”’ and “passage,” but is the meaning of both names. To claim, as de Man thinks his etymons allow him

to do, that the name “‘passage”’ translates not the word “motion” but motion itself, and that the name ‘‘idea’’ translates not another name for idea but idea or light themselves is to diverge from the first argument and complicate the notion of a trope: how is it that a word can be both a trope or figuration of a word and of part of reality? What does de Man mean by ‘trope’? These problems are raised because the example of “‘light,”’ which is presented as further evidence for the claim that ostensible definitions of names of simple ideas are translations (figurations), in fact ends up making a different point. What allows it to do so is a principle of etymological substitution which de Man implicitly invokes and uses to establish the meaning of ‘“‘idea”’ as light.

(ii) De Man rightly claims that “‘things indeed get more complex as one moves

from simple ideas to substances” (16). He begins with the claim that substances ‘“‘can be considered in two perspectives: either asa collection of.

properties or as an essence which supports these properties as their ground” (16). This is puzzling because, although Locke distinguishes between the real constitution of a substance (real essence) and the ideas we

have of the properties of a substance (nominal essence), he does not present them as different ways of conceiving or regarding substance. Indeed, the understanding of substance as a collection of ideas of properties always includes the understanding of substance as some underlying subject or real constitution. This is made clear in the chapter on substance in Book II of the Essay, which de Man does not cite: The Mind being, as I have declared, furnished with a great number of the simple Ideas, conveyed in by the Senses, as they are found in exteriour things, or by Reflection on its own Operations, takes notice also, that a certain number of these simple Jdeas go constantly together; which being presumed to belong to one thing, and Words being suited to common apprehensions, and made use of for quick dispatch, are called so united in one subject, by one name; which by inadvertency we are apt afterward to talk of and consider as one simple Jdea, which indeed is a complication of many /deas together; Because, as I have said, not imagining how these simple /deas can subsist by themselves, we accustom our selves, to suppose some Substratum, wherein they do subsist, and from which they do result, which therefore we call Substance. So that if any one will examine himself concerning his Notion of pure Substance in

De Man on Locke 137 general, he will find he has no other Jdea of it at all, but only a Supposition of he knows not what support of such Qualities, which are capable of producing simple Ideas in us; which Qualities are commonly called Accidents. (295)

When the mind conceives of substance as a group of qualities, it can not help but conceive of it at the same time as “some Substratum, wherein they

[the qualities] do subsist.’’ This is why, when Locke discusses ideas of particular substances, he claims that we “‘have always the confused Jdea of something to which they [simple ideas] belong’’; ‘‘the Substance is supposed always something besides the Extension, Figure, Solidity, Motion, Think-

ing, or other observable /deas, though we know not what it is” (297). In this chapter on substance, Locke emphasizes both the necessity (arising from common linguistic usage and the imaginative incapacities of the

mind) and the fallaciousness of the understanding of substance as a substratum or support of properties. In the chapter on general terms in Book III of the Essay, the understanding of substance as a real essence (substratum, underlying real constitution) is again not the alternative to

but the concomitant of the understanding of substance as a group of qualities or properties: the “more rational Opinion” concerning the real essences of corporeal substances “‘is of those, who look on all natural Things to have a real, but unknown Constitution of their insensible Parts, from which flow those sensible Qualities, which serve us to distinguish them one from another, according as we have occasion to rank them into sorts, under common Denominations”’ (418). This is not to say, however, that Locke’s position on substance in these two chapters is consistent. While, in the chapter on substance in Book II, he emphasizes that the postulation of an underlying support or real essence is unwarranted, he regards it as legitimate in the chapter on general terms in Book ITI: “*’tis past doubt, there must be some real Constitution, on which any Collection

of simple /deas co-existing, must depend” (417). De Man neglects this problem in Locke’s account of names and ideas of substance, and grounds his treatment of Locke on substance in a mistaken dichotomy which makes

the conception of substance as a real essence the alternative to the conception of it as a nominal essence. Gold is the example de Man considers for the model of substance as a collection of properties. Where is the trope? It seems that “‘gold”’ is a trope because those who use the term can use it to mean wildly different things. Citing Locke’s claims that fusibility and solubility are ‘“‘‘but properties,

depending on [gold’s] real constitution, and nothing but powers either active or passive in reference to other bodies,’”’ and that ‘‘‘no one has authority to determine the signification of the word gold (as referred to such a body existing in nature),’’’ de Man observes, Properties, it seems, do not properly totalize, or, rather, they totalize in a

138 Trope haphazard and unreliable way. It is indeed not a question of ontology, of things as they are, but of authority, of things as they are decreed to be. And this authority cannot be vested in any authoritative body, for the free usage of ordinary language is carried, like the child, by wild figuration which will make a mockery of the most authoritarian academy. We have no way of defining, of policing, the boundaries that separate the name of one entity from the name of another; tropes are not just travellers, they tend to be smugglers and probably smugglers of stolen goods at that. What makes matters even worse is that there is no way of finding out whether they do so with criminal intent or not. (17)

Again, it seems more accurate to say that de Man is simply reading Locke’s text as explicit statement and making inferences from this reading. This procedure makes him vulnerable to the volume of text which, read as

explicit statement, qualifies and contradicts him. Locke makes it clear throughout Book III that “the free usage of ordinary language”’ is constrained by various pragmatic considerations and linguistic conventions. | This point is made, for example, in the account of why Adam’s children

are constrained in their use of terms coined by Adam (466-471). Moreover, the example of “gold”’ itself shows, and Locke repeatedly states, that the conglomeration or totalization of properties of a substance

is not entirely haphazard nor simply a question of authority but is answerable, to some extent, to observation — the mind combines those ideas

it observes constantly to go together (295-298). That no one has the authority to stipulate which ideas are to constitute ‘he meaning of a specific

term does not deprive us of all means of defining and understanding its meaning in any particular case — to determine what the word ‘“‘gold”’ means when it is used by the chemist, it is sufficient to ask him/her to

enumerate all of the qualities he/she attributes to what he/she calls ‘‘gold.”” The way in which the chemist (and we) would distinguish Ats/her name for gold from his/her name for coal would be to compare the lists of qualities he/she assigns to each name. Locke can imagine kinds of encyclo-

pedic listing of substances because he provides this way of policing and defining boundaries between names (521-523).

Problems of misunderstanding arise in Locke’s scheme of things because, depending in large part on his/her experience, each individual comprehends a list of qualities in his/her use of each name which may (but need not) differ from the list of qualities comprehended under the name by other users of the language. In addition, there is no way of knowing all of the qualities that may be included in any single list: “being ignorant of the real Essence it self, it is impossible to know all those Properties, that flow from it, and are so annexed to it, that any one of them being away, we may certainly conclude, that the Essence is not there’’ (449). One may also find Locke wavering on whether our ignorance of real essences is simply a contingent matter of fact that may be overcome through more comprehensive

De Man on Locke 139 observation, or whether it is the result of a conceptual necessity and, so, unalterable through empirical investigation of any kind (301-303, 645). These problems do not, however, constitute discourse about substance as a scene of wild figuration and smuggling before which we are helplessly ignorant.? The perspective on substance as entity, ground, or essence is what de Man feels requires scrutiny after he has ostensibly shown the tropological intervention in substance understood and named as a collection of prop-

erties. “Substances can be considered as the support, the ground of properties (hypokeimenon),”’ he begins. It has already been noted that, according to Locke, wherever the mind conceives properties it cannot help but conceive a ground of them — the two conceptions go together. This is not to say that the accompanying conception of a ground is an zdea, like the ideas of properties or qualities. In fact, a man “has no other Jdea of it [pure substance] at all, but only a Supposition of he knows not what support of such Qualities, which are capable of producing simple Jdeas in us” (295).

Or, as Locke puts it in Book ITI, “‘as to the real Essences of Substances, we only suppose their Being, without precisely knowing what they are”’ (442).

Even though he misconstrues Locke’s account of the relation between nominal and real essence, de Man might be expected to capitalize on Locke’s incoherent statements about substance as ground which dissolve it into the mind’s supposition of an unknown. Instead, de Man focuses on Locke’s example of “‘man’”’: “‘what essence is

the proper of man? The question in fact amounts to whether the proper, which is a linguistic notion, and the essence, which exists independently of

linguistic mediation, can coincide” (17). What does this mean? How would one know ifa linguistic notion and what is independent of linguistic mediation coincide? What does “‘coincide’”’ mean? As if to answer these questions, de Man proceeds to cite Locke on the difficulty of identifying one quality (such as shape or the ability to reason) as being more necessary

than other qualities to the complex idea signified by the word ‘‘man.” ‘The problem,” de Man writes, “‘is that of a necessary link between the two elements in a binary polarity, between ‘inside’ and ‘outside,’ that is to

say, by all accounts, that of metaphor as the figure of complementarity and correspondence”’ (17). But the problem for de Man initially is that the

names of substances are tropes — he ostensibly changes the model of substance from a collection of properties to the ground of properties to see if this problem persists. The problem then became how a linguistic notion and a nonlinguistic essence “‘coincide.”’ Now it is how inner qualities (the faculty of reason) are linked to outer qualities (shape). This is the problem

of metaphor, where metaphor seems to be a nonlinguistic phenomenon 3 The incoherence of Locke’s views on language is demonstrated by Jonathan Bennett in Locke, Berkeley, Hume.

140 Trope because the link in question here is not a word but substance itself: it seems

that not the word, “man,” but a property of man is a metaphor of other properties of man or his essence. By making a different point from the one he claims to be making, surreptitiously redefining the problem in Locke’s

text, and playing fast and loose with a definition of metaphor, de Man deeply obfuscates this moment of the commentary.

He seems to recall his initial commitment to reading the rhetorical motions of a text when he proceeds to observe that the ethical predicament (to kill or not to kill a monstrous birth), which Locke presents as following from the difficulties of defining humanity, appears in Book III “‘in the guise of a purely logical argument” (18). When the same considerations arise in connection with the changeling in Book IV, de Man claims that what was only an argument in Book III has become an ethically charged issue: “‘the

substitutive text of tropes now has extended to reality’ (18). What substitutive text of tropes? In his discussion of substance as a ground of properties, de Man does not show where any linguistic substitution occurs, nor where any text is constituted. After citing a long passage from Book IV in which Locke argues that no “‘sort of outside is the certain sign that there

is or is not such an inhabitant [rational soul] within,’”? de Man then summarizes his argument to this point: “‘as we move from the mere contiguity between words and things in the case of simple ideas to the metaphorical correspondence of properties and essences in substances, the ethical tension has considerably increased”’ (18-19). But he has not argued that the relation between words and things in the case of simple ideas is contiguous; rather, he weakly argues that simple ideas are not objects of the understanding and then supplants his claim that definitions of names of simple ideas are figurative with the claim that those names themselves are figurative. The assertion that we have moved to “‘the metaphorical correspondence of properties and essences in substances”? must also come as a surprise, because, as has already been observed, the point de Man initially

makes in connection with substance is that the names of substances are metaphorical. Now, however, the linguistic component has entirely disappeared. It is not any word such as “‘gold,”’ ‘“‘man,”’ “idea,” or ““motion”’

which is said to be metaphorical, but a correspondence between parts of reality (properties and essences). But in the long passage from the Essay de _ Man quotes prior to this summary, Locke only says that there is no way of

being certain that a thing with a certain shape has or does not have a rational soul. It is hardly self-evident that in describing the outer shape of a thing in this way, Locke is identifying this shape as a metaphor (though on the definition of metaphor as the figure of complementarity and correspondence, almost anything goes). Even if he is, this claim does not entail the claim that Locke identifies the names of substance (that is, language) as metaphorical, which is the one de Man appears to be making.

De Man on Locke 141 When de Man turns finally to mixed modes, we reach new levels of epistemological crisis: “Abuse” of language is, of course, itself the name of a trope: catachresis. This is indeed how Locke describes mixed modes. They are capable of inventing the most fantastic entities by dint of the positional power inherent in language. They can dismember the texture of reality and reassemble it in the most capricious of ways,

pairing man with woman or human being with beast in the most unnatural shapes. Something monstrous lurks in the most innocent of catachreses: when one speaks of the legs of the table or the face of the mountain, catachresis is already turning into prosopopeia, and one begins to perceive a world of potential ghosts and monsters. (19)

But things are really not so bad. The reason de Man initially gives for treating mixed modes last is the basically correct observation that, unlike simple ideas and substances, mixed modes do not “pertain to entities that

exist in nature” (14). As Locke puts it in the chapter on the names of mixed modes, “‘these Essences of the Species of mixed Modes, are not only made

by the Mind, but made very arbitrarily, made without patterns, or reference to any real Existence. Wherein they differ from those of Substances, which carry with them the Supposition of some real Being, from which they are taken, and to which they are conformable’’ (429). This is not to say that Locke is consistent on this point: he generally speaks of mixed modes as being simply a collection of ideas (in which case it is redundant to say we have ideas of mixed modes), but he sometimes speaks of them as being part of reality (wrestling, for example, is a mixed mode of which we can have

an idea). But the prevailing account of mixed modes is that they are complex ideas which are not modelled on entities that exist in nature. This account fails to support de Man’s description of them as disfigurations of

reality which create entities and alter our perception of reality. Though mixed modes may consist of rearrangements of simple ideas and ideas of substances which pertain to reality, they do not necessarily make us perceive ghosts and monsters, for the mind can make and understand them without any reference to any real existence and without any supposition of there being any real thing which corresponds or conforms to them

~ de Man’s reason for treating mixed modes last deflates his account of them as disfigurations of reality. The consideration of Locke draws to a close with a response to a passage from a later chapter in Book III on the abuse of words where Locke argues that “‘he that thinks the name centaur stands for some real being, imposes

on himself and mistakes words for things” (19). This condemnation of catachresis, de Man argues, “‘by Locke’s own argument, now takes all language for its target, for at no point in the course of the demonstration can the empirical entity be sheltered from tropological defiguration”’ (20). But the word “‘centaur’’ does not stand for some real being (though the

142 Trope mind may mistakenly think it does) and, so, neither it nor understandings of it must tropologically disfigure anything. What the word does stand for

is a mixed mode, that is, an idea which, as Locke writes, the mind has “‘made very arbitrarily, made without Patterns, or reference to any real Existence” (429). But de Man will have none of this, nor any of Locke’s other remedies for linguistic abuse: with the proclamation that the final fifteen-page chapter of Book III entitled “Of the Remedies of the Foregoing Imperfections and Abuses”’ is ‘‘one of the least convincing sections of the Essay,” de Man muzzles Locke’s own response to an ostensibly intoler-

able condition for which only Condillac now appears to offer any assistance.


Readers of de Man will perhaps be familiar with the mounting ethical tension he claims to be tracing in Locke’s systematic treatment of language. The narration of a state of affairs that is getting worse and worse, more and more tense, less and less knowable is a hallmark of de Man’s essays. In this case, he gives the impression that, as Locke moves from simple ideas to substances to mixed modes, a radically negative conceptual necessity is being pursued which invokes ever higher degrees of epistemological crisis and ethical tension. Even within the consideration of simple

ideas the situation is deteriorating, for “‘idea’ translates but does not define light and, what is worse, ‘understand’ translates but does not define

understanding.” Things get “‘more complex”? when we move to substances, matters are getting “‘even worse’’ at the end of the discussion of substance as a collection of properties, and the appeal for help from substance as a ground of properties only reveals that “‘the epistemological

stakes are higher ... But so are the difficulties” (17). Only the considerably increased “ethical tension” discovered at the conclusion of the vain appeal to substance as ground “‘would account for the curious choice of examples selected by Locke when he moves on to the uses and possible abuses of language in mixed modes”’ (19).

These examples sound ‘‘more like a Greek tragedy” than those characteristic of enlightened moderation, but that is what can happen when one thinks about tropes: “‘once the reflection on the figurality of language is started, there is no telling where it may lead”’ (19). But that one cannot foresee where this reflection leads does not make its progress and de Man’s tracing of it haphazard. In an eminently quotable passage, de Man asserts that this reflection Aas to run the course it does: By elaborating his theory of language as a motion from simple ideas to mixed modes, Locke has deployed the entire fan-shape or (to remain within light imagery) the entire spectrum or rainbow of tropological totalization, the anamor-

De Man on Locke 143 phosis of tropes which has to run its full course whenever one engages, however reluctantly or tentatively, the question of language as figure. In Locke, it began in the arbitrary, metonymic contiguity of word-sounds to their meanings, in which the word is a mere token in the service of the natural entity, and it concludes with the catachresis of mixed modes in which the word can be said to produce of and by itself the entity it signifies and that has no equivalence in nature. (19)

Just as de Man places humanity in a “‘predicament”’ at the close of the opening section of ‘“The Rhetoric of Temporality,”’* so, in ““The Episte-

| mology of Metaphor,” he finds the result of Locke’s theory to be bleak: ‘the ensuing situation is intolerable,’”” and de Man can only turn “to the tradition engendered by Locke’s work in the hope of finding some assistance out of the predicament’? (20). When the situation only “becomes more directly threatening’ in Condillac, “‘one feels more than ever compelled to turn elsewhere for assistance and, staying in the same philosophical tradition, Kant would seem to be the obvious place”’ (23). Locke’s own gradual progression from simple ideas to substances to mixed modes has been patiently followed by de Man who, at the same time, documents the worsening of epistemological matters, the heightening of epistemological

stakes, the inexorable progress through the course of tropes, and the gradual rise of ethical tension culminating in an intolerable predicament.

By turning in hope to Condillac and Kant, de Man places the story of Locke’s progress in the larger sequence of the European philosophical tradition, the continuity and progression of which are evident in the fact that it is engendered by Locke. This turn to French and German tradition is again reminiscent of ‘“The Rhetoric of Temporality’”’: “‘some help may be

gained from a broader perspective,” de Man writes in this essay as he prepares to launch from German literature into English and French

literature; “it might be helpful, at this point, to shift attention from English to French literary history,” he later writes (191, 199). And if the “help” de Man gets from Rousseau leads him to articulate the ‘‘authentically temporal predicament”’ of man, so the “‘assistance’”’ he gets from Condillac and Kant leads him to reaffirm Locke’s intolerable predicament as that of post-Renaissance European philosophy. As he indicates in his treatment of Locke, this is the predicament of humanity in general, it is our

predicament: “‘like the blind man who cannot understand the idea of light, the child who cannot tell the figural from the proper keeps recurring throughout eighteenth-century epistemology as barely disguised figures of

our universal predicament’? (16). The stories of Locke’s treatment of language and of modern European philosophy are stories of gradual 4 Paul de Man, ‘The Rhetoric of Temporality,” Blindness and Insight, 2nd. edn., revised (1971; Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983) 208. Further references are to this edition and are included in the text.

144 Trope progression and continuity which de Man patiently follows to their common end in an intolerable but unfortunately universal predicament.

That de Man can identify the universal human predicament in the middle of his discussion of Locke on substance suggests that this end of his _ narratives is not discovered through patient following but imposed. This proves to be the case: Locke does not ‘‘move on” in Book III from simple ideas to substances to mixed modes. De Man implicitly acknowledges this when, at the opening of his discussion of Locke, he claims that Locke’s | ‘‘taxonomy of words will therefore not occur, for example, in terms of parts of speech but will espouse his own previously formulated theory of ideas as subdivided in simple ideas, substances and mixed modes, best paraphrased

in this order since the first two, unlike the third, pertain to entities that exist in nature” (14). To be sure, de Man’s paraphrase is principled and follows from simple ideas through substances to mixed modes. But Locke follows de Man’s order neither in Book II where he presents his theory of ideas, nor in Book III where he presents his theory of words: in Book IT the

order is simple ideas, mixed modes, substance; in Book III the order is general terms (such as “‘man”’ and “‘gold’’), names of simple ideas, names

of mixed modes, and names of substances (again, “‘man’’ and “gold’’).

What allows de Man to tell a story that “‘begins” with simple ideas, ‘“‘moves on’’ to substance, and ‘“‘concludes” with mixed modes 1s a para-

phrasing strategy which takes as its principle the pertinence to real entities. Even on de Man’s own principle of explication, substance could legitimately be treated before simple ideas (as in fact it is in Book IIT). And why

should this principle allow us to establish an order which contests the order of Locke’s text? Why is it stronger than the principles Locke explicitly claims to be following? In Book II, Locke claims that the distinction to be made in moving from simple ideas to complex ideas (ideas

of mixed modes and substances), is that whereas “the Mind is wholly Passive in the reception of all its simple /deas ... it exerts several acts of its own’’ to formulate complex ideas (163). This distinction is also strongly stated in Book III when Locke moves from simple ideas to mixed modes,

but two further distinctions seem to be operative in the ordering of his discussion of words. Unlike names of substances, names of simple ideas and mixed modes always signify both real and nominal essence; unlike names

of simple ideas, names of substances and mixed modes are definable (420-421). Not just pertinence to reality, but the agency of the mind, definableness, and the kind of signification are criteria Locke cites as determining the order in which he treats ideas and their names in Books II and III. Only after de Man has arbitrarily established one of these criteria as the principle of order in Locke’s treatment of ideas and their names, and only after he has implemented this criterion to establish an order which 1s

De Man on Locke 145 a permutation of the orders Locke in fact follows in Books II and III can he tell his tale of mounting complexity and tension. Not Locke, but de

Man elaborates a theory of language as a motion from simple ideas to substances to mixed modes. The appearance of slow and necessary progression, ever deeper tropological deviation, and ever mounting ethical tension is enabled by a prior instant of distortion. This distortion and deceptive narrative constitute the grid on which de Man plots Locke’s theory of language as a theory of tropes. Even if this

grid was more true, its plot would remain incoherent. For what de Man | means by claiming that Book III of the Essay is an implicit tropological theory is a host of propositions which not only disregard standard definitions of the trope as a substitution of words, but postulate a number of different notions of the trope: definitions of names of simple ideas are translations (and so tropes) of other names of those simple ideas; definitions of names of simple ideas are tropes of what those ideas represent (light, understanding, motion); names of substances are tropes of entities; properties are metaphors of properties; there is a metaphorical correspondence between properties and essences; names of mixed modes are tropes

of real entities; language is a trope of reality. Because de Man fails to explain how not just words but ideas and properties can be tropes (of other ideas, properties, and entities), it is difficult to determine what his general claim means and, so, whether it is true or false. The disregard for standard definitions of the trope, the inconsistency between implicit definitions of it,

and the deceptive narrative within which these definitions unfold are minor difficulties compared with the contradictions, non sequiturs, misconstruals, omissions, and impositions which riddle the exposition. (v)

Some of de Man’s best and most charitable readers would not dispute the claim that the rigor, analytical power, or reasonableness (what may be called logos) of rhetorical reading is questionable. In Reading de Man Reading, Carol Jacobs, Neil Hertz, and Rodolphe Gasché describe various breaches in no uncertain terms.° In her account of the relation between

the two parts of “The Rhetoric of Temporality,” Jacobs speaks of de Man’s “blindness” and “inauthenticity” (115, 118). In his consideration of de Man’s reading of passages from Yeats, Shelley, Wordsworth, and Kleist, Hertz refers to a “bizarre footnote” marked by “gratuitous violence’’ (91); ‘“‘strange delusive act[s] of figuration” (95); omissions, sup> See Carol Jacobs, ‘‘Allegories of Reading Paul de Man’; Neil Hertz, “Lurid Figures”; Rodolphe Gasché, “In-Difference to Philosophy: de Man on Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche’’; in Reading de Man Reading, ed. Lindsay Waters and Wlad Godzich (Minneapolis: University of

Minnesota Press, 1989). Page references are included in the text. |

146 Trope pressions, impositions, madness, obsession; “compulsively repeated figures” (100); the “jumbled fashion” in which a sequence of anecdotes in

Kleist’s text is read (103). Gasché is just as severe in his account of de Man’s rhetorical reading of Nietzsche, Kant, and Hegel: de Man makes assertions “‘in flagrant disregard of what Hegel wrote”; he “import[{s] a problematic into Hegel’s text that reflects present rhetorical concerns”’ (270); he disregards, confounds, ignores, and neglects important differences (272); he commits “gross, and almost too blatant, errors,” “flagrant violations’’ (278), “transgressions,” “infractions against the law of inter-

pretation” (278); he invokes “a more than questionable operation of analogy’; he reads Kant “‘in total oblivion of the fact that the Second Critique is a critique and not a dogmatic philosophy, and that the category of causality is applicable to the realism of objects of nature alone”’ (279). Considering de Man’s readings of various literary and philosophical texts,

others have observed lapses which are similar to those which mark his reading of Locke.

The question is whether or not these flagrant violations are to be recuperated as they are by Jacobs, Hertz, and Gasché. For Jacobs, de Man’s blindness and inauthenticity are rigorous because they fall within a necessity that is postulated by de Man himself. Citing de Man’s text, Jacobs claims that it performs “‘what it is unable to avoid,” namely, “‘its necessary ‘interplay with mystified forms of language ... which it is notin... [its] power to eradicate’”’ (115-116). De Man’s blindness and inauthenticity, that is, are

finally beyond reproach (though not Jacobs’ observation) because they are, according to both de Man and Jacobs, constitutive of critical reading. Similarly, Hertz finds much of de Man’s gratuitous violence to be evidence that supports de Man’s own thesis that readers are “‘“bound to repeat the disfiguration of metaphor ... in what appears to be a more violent mode’”’ (94, 104). Gasché, too, finds method in these violations: Still, to become merely outraged at de Man’s activity may well mean to become trapped and ensnared. A step-by-step refutation of all the gross, and almost too blatant, errors that de Man seems to entertain in his readings of philosophy may

blind the critic, and disable him from grasping the uncannily coherent, if not cogent, ‘‘theoretical” project underlying all these flagrant violations. As said, de Man’s work is involved in a rhetorical, nonphenomenal, literary, or linguistic reading of philosophical texts. Yet such a reading focuses on the ‘autonomous potential of language,’ and not, as a philosophical reading, on the transparent meaning that language purports to convey. The shift in focus to the autonomous potential of language, free of all relation to what is signified, causes language to turn opaque. Together with all the discursive differences of meaning, language, if thematized as such, loses all its previous semi-invisibility; it becomes objectified, and acquires an impenetrable opacity. Ultimately such analysis of the autonomous potential of language has no relation whatsoever to the meaning that this language appears to transport. Indeed, a rhetorical reading of a text is not geared

De Man on Locke 147 toward revealing anything regarding the meaning of that text. It is not about a text, and thus cannot be measured against it. For such a reading, all the distinctive discursive moments and levels blend into one undifferentiated and nontransparent mass. (273)

By making recourse to de Man’s general propositions about and conceptions of language, Jacobs, Hertz, and Gasché present de Man’s flagrant violations as more grist for de Man’s mill. Undoubtedly, an appeal could be made to the laws de Man posits (and the ingenuity, seriousness, and charitableness with which his readers have

called on them) to recuperate the “almost too blatant’ errors in his reading of Locke. One might, for example, observe that because de Man engages the question of language as figure, and because “the anamorphosis of tropes has to run its course whenever one engages, however reluctantly or tentatively, the question of language as figure,” de Man’s own exposition must exemplify the anamorphosis of tropes. De Man’s own infractions, that is, could be regarded as instances of the deviancy which, _ according to him, is necessitated by the nature of his question. This move, which is the one Jacobs and Hertz are making, amounts to the following: de Man is right (in his general claims about language, the necessity of error, figuration, and mystification), and even when he is wrong (in his reading of specific texts or postulation of literary history), he is still right (in that his forced readings and mystified historical claims are evidence supporting his general claims about language, or are justified by those general claims). This move is suspect because it bespeaks a view of de Man

as one who can do no wrong. It is also suspect because it uncritically invests so heavily in de Man’s biggest claims about language. In the case of the reading of Locke, the general claim which asserts the anamorphosis of tropes as the necessary consequence of the question of language as figure is not argued for but simply presented as a gloss on Locke’s text. Nor does de Man’s own forced reading of Locke provide much support for the general claim: as simply an example of deviancy, de Man’s forced reading fails to demonstrate that this deviancy is necessary, that it always occurs when one engages the question of language as figure. Gasché’s move is suspect because it takes such drastic measures to make

the save. Even if one concedes that there is such a thing as “opaque language,” language that is “‘free of all relation to what is signified,”’ even

if one would agree to call “language,” or be capable of recognizing as language something which is free of all relation to a signified, this does not seem to be a premise of de Man’s reading of Locke (de Man himself seems

to deny this premise in his essay on Rilke: “‘the notion of a language entirely freed of referential constraints is properly inconceivable’’).® In his

6 Paul de Man, Allegories of Reading 49. :

148 Trope reading of Locke, de Man is continuously relying on the meaning Locke’s language appears to convey, besides relying on the meaning this language can be made to convey by means of etymological reduction. And de Man himself would not want to pay the price for the opacity Gasché proposes as the sanction of his errors, for the price is giving up all claim to reveal

the meaning of a text, to say something about it, to contribute to the understanding of the text and its tradition. Because he does believe that his reading of Locke is about Locke and that it contributes to our understanding of his text, de Man can legitimately conclude his essay with claims about how we should understand and align the major figures in western philosophical tradition. Gasché’s premise of opaque language

would defeat de Man’s ambition of arriving at “‘a somewhat reliable history” which is stated at the opening of “The Epistemology of Metaphor” and which typically emerges in the wake of his close readings. Like

the recuperative gestures of Jacobs and Hertz, that of Gasché is highly

questionable. The result is that the flagrant violations these critics


observe are flagrant violations which are neither redeemable, nor redTo answer the question of why de Man’s violations are committed in the service of a conclusion that postulates an intolerable epistemological condition would require, in part, a study of how this conclusion became de rigueur in various critical circles during the seventies and eighties. And there are doubtless all kinds of reasons for scholars believing de Man or

acting as if they believe him. But to the question of what it is about de Man’s text itself that, in spite of its negligence, could command attention,

recuperation, and belief, a response may be given in the form of a summary description of de Man’s rhetorical reading as it is exemplified in

his treatment of Locke. Though rhetorical reading explicitly claims to attend to the rhetorical motions of a text and read against or regardless of a text’s explicit statements, it commonly relies on these explicit statements and the meaning they appear to convey. In addition, rhetorical reading

calls upon certain etymological procedures in order to establish the meaning of certain terms. It thus hides the extent to which it is allied with

thematic reading and what Derrida calls ‘etymological empiricism, hidden root of all empiricism.’’’ Besides investing in these interpretive procedures, rhetorical reading invokes certain narrative techniques: it permutes textual orders in order to tell a story. In his commentary on Locke, de Man fixes the deck at the outset in order to establish a particular order in Locke’s treatment of words which enables a narration of ever mounting ethical tension, epistemological difficulty, tropological disfiguration, and linguistic complexity. The plot of Locke’s text, as de Man 7 Jacques Derrida, L’Ecriture et la différence 204.

De Man on Locke 149 narrates it, is that of a slow but sure progression with a bang, in the form of an unbearable predicament, at the end. This narrative merges with a subtle self-portraiture and affective appeal

in such a way as to constitute the rhetoric of rhetorical reading as persuasion. It is not just that de Man ostensibly finds and narrates a specific plot, but that he implies that he is trying to avoid this plot. As opposed to imposing his conclusions, de Man implicitly but surely designates them as

intolerable predicaments which, with “help” from a new conception of substance, a passage from Condillac, or even a Kantian speculation, he hopes he may avoid. The result is what Aristotle would recognize as one of the three means of persuasion, ethos, by which he means the character of the speaker as it is created in the speech itself: de Man is patient in slowly

following Locke’s ordered treatment of language and in investigating possible escapes from the implications of this treatment; he is hopeful, at

least until the end, that he can avoid these implications; he does not brashly assert his conclusion but 1s humble in repeatedly confessing the need

for assistance; he is valzant (besides learned) for trying to escape via Condillac and Kant; he is strong for admitting and enduring a predicament which, like that of Prometheus, is intolerable; he is ultimately, as Frank Lentricchia observes, authoritative, but not in an arrogant way, since this authority moves out of submission, suffering, and understanding.® The possibility for what Aristotle calls pathos, an emotion in the audience which inclines it to believe what it hears and reads, is opened by this scene of de Man’s suffering and endurance. The emotion to which this scene appeals is compassion, a compassion which can only be deepened and strength-

ened when the rhetorical reader claims that his condition is in fact our condition, the universal human condition. Markedly deficient as an appeal to and form of logos, de Man’s exposition of Locke is animated by an ethos and pathos which push a particular kind of reader to believe that

the truth, however problematical it may have become, is what it speaks. | The kind of reader subject to this mode of persuasion is one who tends to believe people who, though in pain, are yet hopeful, humble, patient, and valiant, and one who experiences compassion for others (who are suffering

like all other human beings, including him/herself) as grounds for believing what they say. The reader who is subject to de Man’s persuasive

power, that is, is one in whom specific passions and moral virtues are assimilated with truth.

This identification of the persuasive dimension of de Man’s writing supports Ellen Rooney’s characterization of contemporary literary theory as a pluralistic discourse animated by the desire to persuade, a discourse

which postulates “‘a universal community in which every individual 8 Frank Lentricchia, After the New Criticism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980).

150 Trope (reader) is a potential convert, vulnerable to persuasion, and then require[s] that each critical utterance aim at the successful persuasion of this community in general, that is, in its entirety.”’ But it also points to the

limitations of her view that de Man’s persuasive force resides in the absence of overt polemic and in the impersonal, precise, technical way in which he identifies particular tropes and logical aporias. In claiming that de Man persuades by means of logos — “logical seductions, seductive reasonings”’ (162), a rhetoric which “‘springs its seductive epistemological trap on every reader’ — Rooney passes over the fact of how weak de Man’s logos often is and fails to register the persuasive thrust of de Man’s ethos and pathos. Tobin Siebers, on the other hand, observes the ethos and pathos of de Man’s writing, but does not, as Aristotle and Nietzsche would, understand

them as a rhetorical resource. What he calls de Man’s “martyred language’ is empty of persuasive power, of the will to persuade. For Rooney,

de Man’s writing is persuasive but empty of passion and probity; for Siebers, it is full of passion and probity but inert. The insights of both need to be combined: de Man’s writing is imbued with a particular passion and

probity which, within the contemporary literary academy, constitutes a significant degree of persuasive power. That this particular passion and probity should mark the work of one who appears to be threatening the foundations of Christian humanism and should charm some of his proponents is hardly surprising. As Nietzsche observed, “‘those who have abandoned God hold that much more firmly to the faith in morality.’ In response to some objections which have been and may again be made to this claim, a few further points need to be made. First, it may be argued

that de Man’s general lessons about passion and irony (evident, for example, in his essay on Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy) should prevent

one from taking his ethical and affective idioms seriously — de Man’s errors are not, finally, errors, and his ethical, affective appeal is not, finally, ethical, affective appeal. Again, this way of reading de Man demands an uncritical acceptance of some of his own claims and ultimately postulates a kind of system which assures that he can be neither wrong nor implicated in any kind of persuasive strategy beyond dogos. In addition, it may be wondered, assuming that de Man is ironic in his stance of humility, fortitude, and hope in his treatment of Locke, whether he is also ironic when, at the end of “‘Literary History and Literary Modernity,” he commits himself to “the much more humble task of reading and understanding a literary text.” Is he also being ironic in the opening essay 9 See Ellen Rooney, Seductive Reasoning: Pluralism as the Problematic of Contemporary Literary Theory

(Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1989) 1-2, 162; Tobin Siebers, The Ethics of Criticism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988) 121; Friedrich Nietzsche, Nachgelassene Fragmente 1885-1887, vol. 12, Sadmtliche Werke, Kritische Studienausgabe 255. The Nietzsche passage appears in The Will to

Power, trans]. Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale, ed. Kaufmann (New York: Random House, 1967) 16.

De Man on Locke 151 of Allegories of Reading when he claims that the concise theoretical expo-

sition of his question is beyond his powers and, so, “retreats” into a pragmatic discourse of examples? Is he being ironic in the ‘“‘Preface”’ to The Rhetoric of Romanticism in confessing his melancholy, his sense of failure,

his lack of qualification, his personal shortcomings, his repeated frustration, his resignation, his mode of refuge, his attempts, his claim to help Romantic studies?!® It is difficult to see why one would understand these personal confessional moments as ironic moments; they rather appear to be simply more direct and explicit representations of the particular. per-

sonality which is conjured in de Man’s writing on Locke and which 1s attested to by so many of his colleagues and students.!! And even if de Man’s self-representations are ironic, even if the ethos of his writing is one

all-pervading figure of irony, there may still be readers who do not apprehend it as such and who, therefore, may still experience it as grounds for belief in what de Man claims. Second, it may be thought that this claim about de Man’s persuasion 1s

rather cynical and condescending since it seems to suggest that, for example, the editorial board of Critical Inquiry that accepted de Man’s essay on Locke and ran it as a lead essay in an issue was moved by its ethico-affective side and not by any substance in the argument. But this chapter only argues that, given that the editors of Critical Inquiry were in fact persuaded by what de Man says and did not publish his essay for

reasons besides their belief in it, their belief may im part have been answerable to de Man’s ethos and pathos. It would argue that their belief in him may not have been as firm had he been a less accomplished storyteller,

had he come across in his article as, say, a vulgar, arrogant, rude, and impatient person. To think that de Man and some of his readers transcend the pressures of ethos and pathos and, in the act of reading, are answerable solely to logos would only be a mode of idealization of which de Man

himself would presumably have been critical. And to claim that some readers of de Man are subject to the force of the ethos and pathos of his writing is only to claim that they are not beyond what Aristotle calls ‘“‘the

sorry nature of an audience,”!? and that, therefore, like the rest of humanity, they are vulnerable to the force of all three means of persuasion. It is only to claim that, like the judgment of western philosophers as it is

understood by Nietzsche, the judgment of some contemporary literary theorists is answerable, in some measure, to passion, moral prejudice, and the rhetoric that addresses them. Observing this rhetoric is hardly cynical and condescending, unless, that is, it is cynical and condescending to think 10 See “Literary History and Literary Modernity,” Blindness and Insight 165; Allegories of Reading 9, The Rhetoric of Romanticism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1984) vii-—ix.

1!’ See, for example, Yale French Studies 69 (1985). 12 Aristotle, Rhetoric 184 (1404a).

152 Trope that some readers of de Man and the editors of Critical Inquiry do not dwell

beyond good and evil. ,

Third, this chapter claims neither that all claims made by critical : writings marked by ethos and pathos are false, nor that what makes de Man’s claims about Locke false is that his writing is marked by particular affective and ethical idioms. The claims are rather that de Man’s claims about Locke’s text are false, that what makes them false is the fact that Locke’s text is not as he says it is, and that de Man’s writing is persuasive, in part, because of its ethos and pathos. The claims made in this chapter,

combined with the observation that this chapter, too, is marked by a particular ethos and pathos, thus do nothing to refute the claims it presents about de Man. What would refute them is a demonstration that the logos of

this chapter is flawed, where this would consist in a demonstration that Locke’s text is as de Man says it is and is not as this chapter claims it to be,

a demonstration that de Man’s text is not characterized by a certain kind of ethos and pathos, a demonstration that none of the persuasive power of de Man’s writing resides in its ethos and pathos, or a demonstration that some

of the inferences made in this chapter are illegitimate.

Fourth, this way of describing the central claims of this chapter and how they are refutable assumes that there 1s a clear distinction between reason, passion, and moral prejudice, as if some inferences are reasonable and others are not, as if Locke’s text exists as a reality or matter of fact, as if some claims about this reality are true and others are false, and as if the truth or falsity of such claims depend on whether or not they correspond in some way with this reality. Such presuppositions may be thought to

violate the critique of truth, reason, and objectivity which is accomplished by, among others, Nietzsche and Derrida and which de Man himself would seem to have affirmed and reinforced. A reading of de Man and the texts he writes about which proceeds on such presuppositions, it

may be objected, is thus fundamentally flawed, since it is oblivious to de Man’s main point and inconsistent with his basic assumptions. But Nietzsche hardly damns those who believe in the subject, reality, and categories of reason; on the contrary, he sometimes points to the unavoidability of these beliefs. In a passage from his late notes on the concept of

the ego in particular and reason and reality in general, for example, he writes, In the end, must not all philosophy bring to light the presuppositions [Voraussetzungen| upon which rest the exercise of reason [die Bewegung der Vernunft]? Our belief in the I, as in a substance, as in the only reality, in accordance with which we grant reality to things in general? The oldest ‘realism’ at last comes to light, at the same time as the entire religious history of mankind recognizes itself [s¢ch wiedererkennt] as the history of the soul superstition [Seelen-Aberglauben]. Here is a

limit [Schranke]: our thinking itself involves this belief (with its distinctions of

De Man on Locke 153 substance/accident, deed, doer, etc.); to let it go [fahren lassen] means no longer being able to think.'°

Our thinking itself involves the belief in the soul, substance, accident, deed, doer, and, as the “‘etc.”’ suggests, a host of other categories of reason.

This means that as long as one reasons and thinks, one believes in such things regardless of what one may believe about their origins, regardless of whether or not one is convinced by Nietzsche’s account of how one got these beliefs and how certain concepts are formed, regardless, that is to say, of whether or not one is convinced by Nietzsche’s critique of metaphysics.

This point is made by Derrida when, throughout the essays in Writing and Difference, he insists on a claim he makes in the opening essay on structuralist literary criticism: ‘our discourse [dzscours] irreducibly belongs

to the system of metaphysical oppositions.”” This means that western speaking, writing, and thinking (to give discours its fullest sense), abide by

oppositions such as that between truth and falsity, the sensible and the intelligible, the inside and the outside, light and darkness, the sign and the signified, reason and madness. It is for this reason that those who claim in their discours to be simply escaping or destroying western metaphysics are in a fundamental sense deluded: Foucault’s history of madness, Levinas’ metaphysics, and Artaud’s theatre of cruelty, as forms of western discours,

are all revealed by Derrida to belong to and confirm the metaphysical system they claim to be escaping and destroying. Because one must, in speaking and thinking, abide by this system of oppositions, one cannot in any simple, straightforward way, at least in the realm of discourse, break from, destroy, escape, or reverse it. This fact is what drives Derrida to define his own critique of metaphysics in the more subtle and challenging terms of “‘agitation,”’ ‘‘sollicitation,” ‘‘réststance,”’ and “‘stratagéme.”’ These are

the terms to which he resorts in his attempt to describe how he thinks and writes critically about something to which, simply by virtue of thinking and writing, he belongs. '* That this chapter proceeds on the premise that Locke’s Essay exists as a matter of fact, that some claims about this text are true and some are false, and that what makes such claims true or false is the reality of Locke’s text thus does not violate the critique presented by Nietzsche, Derrida, and others. It confirms it, since part of this critique is the assertion that, as long 13 Friedrich Nietzsche, Nachgelassene Fragmente 1885-87, vol. 12, Sdémtliche Werke, Kritische Studienausgabe 317 (The Will to Power 269).

14 See Jacques Derrida, L’Ecriture et la différence 34. The point is made at length by Stanley Fish in the essays under the rubric, “Consequences,” in Doing What Comes Naturally. As he puts it in his

introduction, “antifoundationalist thought deprives us of nothing; all it offers is an alternative account of how the certainties that will still grip us when we are persuaded to it came to be in place” (26).

154 , Trope as one thinks and reasons about a text, one must work on such premises (the violation of the critique would consist in thinking, or claiming that one could think, independently of certain beliefs and conceptual systems). In his writing on Locke, de Man, too, confirms it. For though he is not ostensibly concerned with the intentions and explicit statements of the Essay, he is concerned to identify and describe the rhetorical motions of Locke’s text; to work towards “‘a somewhat reliable history”’ (14); to bring

out “the contradictory structure” of Locke’s text; to identify “‘the rhe-

torical structure’ of Locke’s text; to demonstrate the error of those “‘historian[s] caught in received models of periodization” (27); to “account for the fact that patterns of historical periodization are at the same time so productive as heuristic devices yet so demonstratively aber- | rant” (28); to recognize ‘‘the proliferating and disruptive power of figural language”’ (28); and so on. Like this chapter, de Man’s writing postulates Locke’s text as a reality, a matter of fact, which may be recognized and accurately, reliably described. In addition, de Man’s writing postulates readers of Locke’s text who fail to recognize what it really is and what it really means, who fail to confront a major dimension of Locke’s text which

de Man is observing (one reason they fail is that they are caught in received models of periodization). That is to say that both this chapter and de Man’s writing on Locke postulate /ogos, where this is reason and matter of fact, distinct from ethos and pathos. In so doing, these texts confirm the assertion of Nietzsche, Derrida, and other antifoundationalists that one is always bound to a logos, and they recognize this /ogos as the only legitimate grounds for determining what is true and what is false. Finally, granted that de Man’s writing on Locke belongs to a logos, it might still be argued that, like Derrida’s writing, it resists this Jogos in some way. It might be argued that the fact that de Man identifies the being he is

describing as a “motion” or “power” as well as a “structure” is an indication that he is resisting the postulate of Locke’s text as a being, a thing, a matter of fact. And it might be argued that de Man’s flagrant violations of fact and reason documented in this chapter are symptoms of his strategy of resistance. But de Man gives no explicit indication in this _ essay that, like Derrida, he is concerned to resist the concepts to which his discours commits him. And that one identifies the text one is reading as

different kinds of thing hardly means that one is engaged in general metaphysical critique. Moreover, to understand de Man’s violations as symptoms of such a critique would be to construct de Man once more as one who can do no wrong: he would be right when he describes a text in a

way which appears to be accurate, and he would be right when he describes a text in a way which appears to be inaccurate, for inaccuracy would be a symptom of strong metaphysical critique which abolishes the notion of being presupposed by the notions of right and wrong. Unless one

De Man on Locke 155 is willing to regard all of de Man’s errors as evidence of metaphysical critique, there are no good reasons for claiming that, in his essay on metaphor, he is resisting the logos to which, by virtue of his thinking and writing, he belongs. But even if his errors are recuperated in this way, the consequence would not be that the claims made in this chapter about his reading of Locke are untenable. For the falsity of de Man’s claims about Locke’s text would remain as a necessary component of a procedure directed towards discrediting the understanding of Locke’s text as a being which, by virtue of its characteristics as a being, makes some claims about it true and some claims about it false. That is to say that the falsity of de Man’s claims about Locke’s text would be both presupposed and made

inconceivable by the recuperation of de Man’s errors as symptoms of a critique of truth and being. The claim that de Man’s claims about Locke are false would thus still be true, though in a provisional sense.


Locke and Nietzsche

This Enlightenment [Aufkldrung] we must now carry further forward, — unconcerned with the ‘great revolution’ and the ‘great reaction’ against it which have taken place, indeed, which still exist: they are no more than ripples in comparison with the truly great tide in which we drift, in which we want to drift!

| (i) , Nietzsche, Morgenréte

The point of the previous chapter is not that Book ITI of the Essay does not implicitly describe some terms and linguistic usages as tropes, but that de

Man misrepresents this description; Locke’s implicit understanding of

specific usages and terms as tropes is more accurately explained by Leibniz. As was observed in chapter 5, Leibniz’ spokesman in New Essays on Human Understanding, Theophile, straight-forwardly identifies Locke’s account of the sensible origins of abstract terms as a history of tropological usage. Theophile similarly comments on Locke’s observations concerning the use of one term to mean different sets of ideas: this abuse being so common not only amongst the schoolmen [savans] but also in

high society, I think it is committed more out of bad custom and inadvertence than malice. Ordinarily, the different meanings [szgnifications] of the same word have some affinity; this allows one to pass for the other, and we do not take the time to consider what we say as carefully as might be wished. We are accustomed to tropes and figures, and some elegance or false brilliance easily imposes upon us. (341)

This is only a version of Theophile’s earlier claim in connection with the application of a name to undetermined and variable ideas: The affectation of elegance and bons mots has also contributed a lot to this problem with language. For words are easily given a meaning [sens] a little different from their ordinary meaning by means of Tropes [par une maniere de Trope| with the aim 156

Locke and Nietzsche 157 of expressing thoughts [pensées] in an attractive and pleasing way. Sometimes the meaning is more general or more narrow, in which case there is a synecdoche. Sometimes it is transferred [transferé] in accordance with the relation between the things whose names are exchanged: in metonymies this relation is one of combination [concours]; in metaphors it is one of comparison. And then there is Irony which uses one opposite [opposé] in place of another. This is how these changes are called when they are recognized, but they are rarely recognized. (260)

Leibniz understands a trope to be a term used to signify an idea or set of ideas it is not ordinarily used to signify. He also observes that Locke claims that terms are often used to signify a set of ideas which differs from the set

of ideas they ordinarily signify. This understanding of tropes and Locke underlies Leibniz’ claim that, in describing cases of careless usage and

punning, Locke is again describing tropes. :

It is also possible to understand Locke’s account of that usage in relation to which he implicitly describes tropes as an account of other tropes. If the term “‘gold”’ is commonly used to signify a set of ideas of three properties (color gold, malleability, solubility in certain liquids) and if the substance

gold has more than these properties, then one can reasonably say that “gold,” as it is commonly used, is a synecdoche (where synecdoche is understood as the substitution of a word whose meaning consists of ideas of some of the properties of a thing for a word whose meaning consists of ideas

of all of the properties of that thing). Or, if the term “gold” is commonly used to signify ideas of the effects of a substance (ideas of its properties) and not an idea of the substance itself which is supposed to be the cause of these properties, then one might say that “gold,”’ as it is commonly used, is a metonymy (where metonymy is understood as the substitution of a word used to mean the idea of an effect for a word which is or could be used to mean the idea of the cause of that effect). Locke’s account of the ordinary usage in relation to which, as Leibniz observes, he implicitly describes tropes, then, may in some cases be reasonably understood as an account of other tropes. This does not, however, mean that Locke implies that all language is tropological, that, as de Man puts it in “The Epistemology of Metaphor,”’ Locke’s condemnation of the trope of catachresis “‘takes all language for its target” (20). For, at least in classical rhetorical tradition, the trope is, by definition, a divergence from nontropological linguistic usage. In the Poetics, for example, Aristotle defines metaphor as ‘“‘the application of the name of a thing to something else,” and then refers to it as a “‘use of alien terms: by

‘alien’ I mean ... anything other than the standard terminology.” In his comprehensive cataloguing of the tropes in Book VIII of the Jnstatutes, Quintilian provides a general definition: “By a trope is meant the artistic alteration of a word or phrase from its proper meaning to another.” After he discusses the tropes (metaphor, metonymy, antonomasia, metalepsis,

158 Trope synecdoche, catachresis, allegory, and hyperbole), Quintilian attempts, at the opening of Book IX, to distinguish between tropes and figures. The distinction is not very clear, but Quintilian at one point writes that “the

name of trope is applied to the transference of expressions from their natural and principal signification to another, with a view to the embellishment of style or, as the majority of grammarians define it, the transference of words and phrases from the place which is strictly theirs to another to which they do not properly belong.”’ And considering onomatopoeia, antonomasia, metonymy, periphrasis, hyperbaton, hyperbole,

synecdoche, catachresis, metaphor, and allegory under the heading of ‘Figures of Diction,”’ the author of the Ad Herennium claims that they “‘all

have this in common, that the language departs from the ordinary meaning of the words and is with a certain grace, applied in another sense.” These passages give some indication of the terminological inconsistency and debate over the definition and classification of the tropes and figures in the classical rhetorical texts. But they also indicate that the tropes (where these are taken to be metaphor, metonymy, antonomasia, metalepsis, synecdoche, catachresis, allegory, and hyperbole) are commonly defined as deviations from some kind of nontropological, nonfi-

gurative usage which is defined in terms of ordinary meaning, natural meaning, principal meaning, or proper place.! That the trope is defined as a deviation from some kind of nontropological usage means that it is impossible to identify any term or usage of a term

as a trope unless a nontropological term or usage can be identified; it means that whenever any term or usage of a term is identified as a trope, some term or usage (actual or possible) which is nontropological has also been identified. Thus, Locke’s account of common usage may be understood as an implicit description of tropes only on the presupposition that there is or could be a nontropological usage. One can take Locke to be

identifying as a trope “gold” in its common usage only if one also postulates a word which is or could be used to mean all (or at least more) of the ideas of properties or the idea of the cause of the properties, and which can be displaced by words which signify ideas of some of the properties or ideas of effects. That is to say that an understanding of Locke on common usage as an account of tropes still postulates a usage, either actual or possible, in which words signify ideas of real essence and ideas of ! See Aristotle, Poetics, transl. Gerald F. Else (1967; Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1977) 56-61 (1457b—1459a); Quintilian, Institutes of Oratory 3: 301 (VITI,vi,1), 3: 349-351 (LX,i, 1-6); Ad Herennium, transl. Harry Caplan (1954; London: William Heinemann, 1981) 333 (IV,xxxi). Paul Ricoeur observes that although Aristotle defines metaphor in relation not to proper usage but to common usage, his definition still serves as the basis for a conception of metaphor as a usage defined in relation to proper meaning and usage, a conception which dominates post-Aristotelian rhetorical tradition. See La Métaphore vive (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1975) 27, 63-67.

Locke and Nietzsche 159 all properties — it is only in relation to this usage that it is possible to understand Locke’s account of common usage as an account of tropologi-

cal usage. If one can not distinguish between essence and property, between some properties and all properties, then one can not identify something that 1s defined in terms of the difference between essence and property, and the difference between sets of properties; if one does not postulate a word which is or could be used to mean the idea of essence or the set of ideas of all properties, one cannot postulate a word which, by definition, is a substitution for such a word. The nontropological usage in relation to which some cases of tropological usage are defined may hence itself be identified as tropological, but only in relation to another usage which is nontropological — in the game of identifying tropes, at least as they are standardly defined in rhetorical tradition, there is no getting away from the assumption of a nontropological usage. But it is important to note that this nontropological usage may be defined in different ways. In his account of the application of a name to variable ideas, Leibniz postulates the nontropological in the form of “ordinary meaning”’ which presumably derives from common, ordinary usage: it is in relation to a common, ordinary usage, or the meaning that a term has in this usage, that Leibniz defines the four tropes. If Leibniz did not postulate the nontropological in the form of ordinary meaning,

the meaning terms have in ordinary usage, he could not identify any usages as examples of tropes, since, for him, the trope is a word which is used to mean something a little different from what it ordinarily means. Now, as has been seen, this ordinary usage in relation to which Leibniz

defines tropes may itself be identified as tropological: the ordinary meaning of “gold’”’ may itself be only part of the whole meaning of “gold,” where the whole meaning of “gold” would consist of ideas of all of its properties. If this is the case, the term “gold” in ordinary usage is a

synecdoche in relation to a nontropological usage defined in terms of whole meaning. Again, this identification of a usage of a term as a trope presupposes a usage that is nontropological. But whereas in the first case the nontropological is postulated in the form of ordinary meaning, the meaning a term has in common ordinary usage, in the second it is postulated in the form of whole meaning, where this consists of ideas of all of

the properties of the substance gold (and might be the meaning of the term in the usage of someone who knew all of the properties of gold). That is to say that though both of these identifications postulate a nontropological usage in relation to which the tropological 1s identified as such, they postulate the nontropological in different forms. The understanding of the ordinary usage and meaning (in relation to which Locke defines tropes) as a trope hence would not mean that all language is tropological. It would only mean that a different form of the nontropological has been

160 Trope postulated, one in relation to which common usage is identifiable as tropological.

Nor does the fact that any given nontropological usage may be identified as tropological imply an infinite regress into different tropological usages. That one version of the nontropological in relation to which the tropological is defined may be tropological is no argument for the claim that all versions of the nontropological are tropological. For this to follow, an additional premise would be needed: if one version of the nontropological is identifiable as tropological, all versions are. But what grounds are there for asserting this? Unless this additional premise is made good, the

fact that one version of the nontropological in relation to which the tropological is identified is itself tropological does not entail that all. versions of the nontropological are tropological. One may, of course, challenge all postulations of the nontropological. One may, that is to say, object to the notion of the ordinary meaning of a

term, where this is asserted to be the meaning people who use the term most commonly assign to it, or the meaning that a term, by convention, has, or the meaning that is most frequently intended by those who use it. And one may argue that there can be no such thing as whole meaning, where this is asserted to be a meaning which in some way corresponds to

the essence, totality, or reality of what the term refers to. But it is important to understand, first, that different notions of the nontropological carry different epistemological and ontological baggage. Thus, that one objects to one notion of the nontropological on epistemological or ontological grounds does not mean that one will object to all notions of the nontropological. One may, that is, object to the nontropological posited in

the form of whole or proper meaning, but not to the nontropological posited in the form of common or conventional meaning. Second, if one debunks all forms of the nontropological, the consequence will not be that

all language is tropological; on the contrary, the consequence of this debunking will be that zo language is identifiable as tropological, since the trope is, by definition, a usage which differs from some nontropological usage. If there is no way of identifying the nontropological, there is no way of identifying something which is defined as a divergence from the nontropological.

Finally, these observations bear on a claim which asserts the equivalence of all language with a particular trope: metaphor. The claim that all language is metaphorical, one which has become a common-place in some quarters, is more problematical than is generally recognized. For this claim presupposes the existence or possibility of a nonmetaphorical language in relation to which the metaphorical is defined; it presupposes the existence of something the existence of which it denies. There must be a

nonmetaphorical language, or its possibility, if all language is in fact

Locke and Nietzsche 161 metaphorical; if all language is metaphorical, if there is no possibility of nonmetaphorical language, it would be impossible for any language to be metaphorical. The claim that all language is metaphorical can thus be neither simply true nor simply false; rather, if it is true, it is also false. As

such, it is an example of what has traditionally gone by the name of “paradox,” and its implications for epistemology and metaphysics are hardly self-evident.

The claim that all language is metaphorical is paradoxical; it is not self-evident that this paradox challenges western metaphysics and epistemology (whatever that may be); the nontropological is always postulated by any identification of the tropological; that one version of the nontropological is identifiable as tropological does not mean that all versions are; the critique of all versions of the nontropological is also a critique of all versions of the tropological — these claims may appear to descend from uncritical humanist commitments, a dogmatic denial of poststructuralist thought, what de Man in one of his late essays calls “‘the resistance to theory.” But as claims which simply follow from definitions of the trope in classical rhetorical tradition, definitions which not just Locke and Leibniz,

but also, as will be observed, Nietzsche respect, they have no such pedigree. They are simply the consequence of the fact that, as Derrida puts it, “metaphor remains in all its essential features a classical element of

philosophy, a metaphysical concept.’ (11)

Thus far in Part III, the main points concerning Locke are that he implicitly describes particular kinds of linguistic usage as tropological, and that this was recognized by Leibniz and other eighteenth-century readers

of Book III of the Essay. What is more important, at least from some perspectives, is that the structure of tropological substitutions is articulated by Locke in his account of ideas in Book IT. This articulation is not

surprising given that, as Murray Cohen claims, Locke’s philosophy of language, and early eighteenth-century linguistics in general, assert “not the isomorphism of words and things, but the correlation between the structures of language and the activities of man’s mind.’? This isomor2 See Paul de Man, ““The Resistance to Theory,” in The Reststance to Theory (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986) 3-20; Jacques Derrida, ‘‘La Mythologie Blanche,” Marges de la philosophie 261. For an abbreviated version of part of this critique of the claim that all language is metaphorical, see Maudemarie Clark, Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy (Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press, 1990) 69-70. Clark also presents an incisive critique of de Man’s understanding of this claim as it is made in the early Nietzsche essay, “On Truth and Lie in an Extramoral Sense” [“‘Uber Wahrheit und Liige im AuBermoralischen Sinne’”’]. 3 Murray Cohen, Senstble Words: Linguistic Practice in England: 1640-1785 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977) 42.

162 Trope _ phism or homology between the structure of language and the structure of

mental activities is enabled by ‘‘the way of ideas’: because ideas are distinct, producible, iterable, arrangeable entities, they, like words, can and do function as signs and therefore fall within the third branch of knowledge Locke defines in the final chapter of the Essay as “onpetmtikh, or the Doctrine of Signs’ (720). Just as some structures of language are describable as tropological structures, then, so are some structures of ideas. Besides being analogues to property, women, paintings, reflections, and moving material objects, ideas are analogues to linguistic signs and are therefore capable of forming structures analogous to those of tropes.

This claim revises one forwarded by M. H. Abrams and his student, Harold Bloom, in their accounts of the relationship between classical rhetoric and empiricist psychology. Discussing the contribution of empiricist psychology to eighteenth-century critical theory, Abrams claims that

“it should be remarked that there was less absolute novelty in this contribution to criticism than appears at first. Much of the procedure was, very simply, to translate the existing commonplaces of traditional rhetoric

and poetic into the novel philosophical vocabulary of mental elements, faculties, and events.” Bloom is essentially restating this observation, though with an awareness of the rivalry that existed between the new psychology and the old rhetoric, when, in an essay published twenty years after the appearance of The Mirror and the Lamp, he asserts the following: “when the Associationists — Locke, Hume, Gay, Hartley, Tucker being

the progression of its founders — developed their psychology, they founded it (perhaps unconsciously) on the topics or commonplaces of rhetoric, precisely because they wished to usurp the place and function of rhetoric.’ Now, the topics are defined by Aristotle in the Rhetoric as the “elementary form” of arguments used to persuade (which Aristotle calls ‘“‘enthymemes’’). Knowing the topics, according to Aristotle, helps one to find and invent arguments for the specific case at hand. One could hence consult the general topic of grammatical inflection to get the following argument: ‘‘‘the just’ does not always mean ‘beneficial,’ otherwise ‘justly’ would always mean ‘beneficially’; but it is not in fact desirable to be justly put to death.”’ And one could consult the topic of definition to argue, like Socrates, that “‘any one who believes in the existence of a work of a god must needs believe in the existence of gods” from the definition that the divine “‘must be either a god or the work of a god”’ (163). Aristotle lists four general topics (possible/impossible, past fact, future fact, and size) which are then broken down into twenty-eight specific topics (opposites, inflections, correlative terms, more and less, time, turning of opponent’s

utterance against him/her, definition, ambiguity, division, induction, existing decision, part and whole, consequences, contrary alternative, inside and outside, proportion, identity, choice, motive, incentive, the

Locke and Nietzsche 163 incredible, inconsistency, slander, cause and effect, cause of action, comparison, previous mistakes, and meaning of names). Generally, the topics are the different ways in which one moves from proposition to proposition — they correspond to kinds of argument.

As will be seen, some of the specific relations implicitly identified by Locke as the principles directing the mind’s movement from one idea to another are identified by Aristotle as topics or principles which govern the rhetorician’s movement from one proposition to another. Locke’s implicit identification becomes explicit when Hume designates contiguity, resemblance, and causation as the principles of ideational association. There are hence some grounds for describing, as Abrams and Bloom do, the connection between empiricist ideational psychology and classical rhetoric in terms of the topics. But several of the relations listed by Aristotle as topics

are also cited by him and later rhetoricians in their definitions of the tropes. Because these relations also define tropes and because Locke’s idea is more like a word than a proposition, the structures Locke describes in Book

IT of the Essay are more precisely described as tropes rather than topics. It should also be noted, however, that in Book IV Locke does describe how

tropologically structured substitutions can occur on the level of propositions: maxims, which are in fact derived from particular claims, may come to be regarded as the foundations of those claims (591—608).* Some of the passages considered in Part I describe substitutions of ideas

which are structured like the substitutions of words to which rhetorical tradition has so meticulously and, in cases such as Puttenham’s Arte of English Poesy, imaginatively assigned names. In the chapter on the association of ideas, Locke writes that, besides the “‘natural Correspondence and Connexion’’ of some ideas, there is another Connexion of Jdeas wholly owing to Chance or Custom; /deas that in themselves are not at all of kin, come to be so united in some Mens Minds, that

tis very hard to separate them, they always keep in company, and the one no sooner at any time comes into the Understanding but its Associate appears with it;

and if they are more than two which are thus united, the whole gang always inseparable shew themselves together. (395)

Throughout the rest of the chapter, Locke emphasizes that ideas which are

connected through custom, chance, and education become inseparable and always appear together in the mind. But he also suggests that these * See Abrams, The Mirror and the Lamp 157; Bloom, “‘Poetic Crossing: Rhetoric and Psychology,” The Georgia Review 30 (1976) 508. For Aristotle’s comprehensive discussion of the topic, see his Topics, transl. W. A. Pickard-Cambridge, vol. 1, The Works of Aristotle, ed. W. D. Ross (Oxford:

Clarendon Press, 1928-1952); for his discussion of it in the context of his rhetorical theory, which is quoted above, see his Rhetoric 143-147 (1392a-1393b), and 159-172 (1397a-140la). Cicero’s treatment is in his Topics, transl. H. M. Hubbell (Cambridge: Harvard University

Press, 1949) 377-459. It should be noted that besides explicitly condemning tropes, Locke also

164 Trope ideas can become indistinguishable from one another, that the mind can take one for another, that one can be substituted for the other: a man who has been injured by another man “never thinks on the Man, but the Pain and Displeasure he suffered comes into his Mind with it, so that he scarce distinguishes them, but has as much an aversion for the one as the other’; a man who suffered pain in any place or saw his friend die in a room ‘confounds’ the ideas of pain and place “in his Mind”’ (398); ‘‘where will you begin to rectify the mistakes that follow in two Jdeas, that they [Men] have been accustom’d so to join in their Minds, as to substitute one for the other, and, as I am apt to think, often without perceiving it themselves?” (401). In Locke’s account of association, there is clearly some tension between accounts of the mind regarding a number of ideas as a single idea,

considering some ideas as the constant accompaniments of others, and confounding or substituting one idea for another idea. But the possibility of the substitution of an idea of pain for an idea of the cause of that pain or an idea of what is temporally contiguous with that pain (ideas of a specific

man or place) is the possibility of a metonymy of ideas. If, in the trope metonymy, the name of one thing is substituted for the name of its cause or what is contiguous with it, so in association, the zdea of one thing (pain) may be substituted for the zdea of what is contiguous with or what caused it

_ (aman or room).° Locke’s treatment of perception is another indication of how his “way of

ideas” involves implicit descriptions of tropological structures. In the passage from ‘“‘Of Perception” which, in the second and following editions of the Essay, introduces the Molyneux problem, Locke writes, We are farther to consider concerning Perception, that the Ideas we receive by sensation, are often in grown People alter’d by the Judgment, without our taking notice of it. When we set before our Eyes a round Globe, of any uniform colour, zv.g. Gold,

Alabaster, or Jet, tis certain, that the /dea thereby imprinted in our Mind, is of a flat Circle variously shadow’d, with several degrees of Light and Brightness coming to our Eyes. But we having by use been accustomed to perceive, what kind of appearance convex Bodies are wont to make in us; what alterations are made in

the reflections of Light, by the difference of the sensible Figures of Bodies, the Judgment presently, by an habitual custom, alters the Appearances into their explicitly condemns the topics. See Wilbur Samuel Howell, Ezghteenth-Century British Logtc and Rhetoric (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971) 293-296.

5 According to Quintilian, metonymy indicates an invention by substituting the name of the inventor, a possession by substituting the name of the possessor, that which is contained by substituting the name of that which contains, and cause by substituting the name of effect. Quintilian also classifies some cause/effect substitutions under synecdoche, since this trope makes us “realize many things from one, the whole from the part, the genus from the spectes, things which follow from things which have preceded, or, on the other hand, the whole procedure may be reversed.” See Institutes of Oratory 3: 311-318 (VIII,vi,23).

Locke and Nietzsche 165 Causes: So that from that, which truly is variety of shadow or colour, collecting the Figure, it makes it pass for a mark of Figure, and frames to it self the perception of a convex Figure, and an uniform Colour; when the Jdea we receive from thence, is only a Plain variously colour’d, as is evident in Painting. (145)

The key term here is “alter,” and, as usual, the key term is the one Locke plays on: judgment alters ideas received by sensation and alters appearances into causes; the difference of sensible figures makes alterations in the reflections of light. Locke’s own text is no exception to his observation in Book III, that it is difficult to find ‘“‘a Discourse written of any Subject, especially of Controversie, wherein one shall not observe, if

he read with attention, the same Words (and those commonly the most material in the Discourse, and upon which the Argument turns) used sometimes for one Collection of simple /deas, and sometimes for another”

(492). This kind of play on key terms is what makes it difficult to understand clearly the process Locke is describing. But one reasonable way of understanding it is as an activity of mind by which ideas of cause and effect are transposed. For in Locke’s example, the idea of sensation

the mind has imprinted upon it is the idea “of a flat circle variously shadow’d,” or of ‘‘a Plain variously colour’d’’; the idea formed by the

judgment is the idea of “a convex Figure, and an uniform Colour.” Whether by mutating the idea of sensation or taking it as a sign (making it pass for a mark) of the idea of judgment, the mind ultimately frames or has imprinted upon it the idea of judgment. Though the process by which the transformation occurs is not designated as substitution, this 1s the end result: ideas of judgment take the place of ideas of sensation, and the mind takes these ideas of judgment as ideas of sensation. As Locke

puts it after the inserted Molyneux example, ‘we take that for the Perception of our Sensation, which is an Jdea formed by our Judgment”

(146). What invokes this taking and displacement is a repeated perception of various ideas of sensation, that is, a customary contiguity of ideas (of color, two-dimensional shape, three-dimensional figure). Locke specifies this contiguity as a causal relation. Because the colored sphere is the cause of ideas of the colored plain (the sphere causes appearances), the idea of the sphere is the idea of the cause of sensation, and the idea of a colored plain is the effect of this cause (not the zdea of an effect, but

the effect itself). The displacement of ideas of sensation by ideas of judgment in this case is hence the substitution of ideas of cause for an ideational effect. In the rhetorical figure metonymy, the name of a cause (an inventor) may be substituted for the name of an effect (an invention); here, the idea of a cause takes the place of the idea which is the effect of that cause. The structure of the substitution of ideas parallels the struc-

ture of a substitution of words that constitutes a particular trope, and

166 | Trope this structure is a model for the general error of confounding ideas of judgment with ideas of sensation.®

It may be felt that this understanding of Locke’s text is suspect as an instance of what Hans Kellner has recently described as the inflated descriptive and explanatory power granted to tropes in contemporary humanistic studies.’ But both its accuracy and historical legitimacy are enforced by Leibniz in the New Essays. When Philalethe proposes that “‘the

ideas, which come by sensation, are often altered by the judgment of the mind of adults without their noticing,’ Theophile responds, “‘there is nothing so true.” Raising the issue of how painting deceives us, Theophile continues: When, then, a painting deceives us, there is a double error in our judgments, for first we place cause for effect [nous mettons la cause pour l’effét], and believe we see directly [tmmediatement] that which causes the image; in so doing, we resemble a little a dog barking at a mirror. For we actually [proprement] see only the image, and we are affected only by the rays. And since the rays of light require time (if only the least amount) it is possible that the object could be destroyed during this

interval and no longer exist when the ray reaches the eye, and what no longer exists could not be the object present to the sight. Secondly, we are mistaken again when we place one cause for another [lorsque nous mettons une cause pour l’autre|, and believe that what comes from only a flat painting is derived from a body [est dertvé d’un corps}, so that in this case there is, at the same time, a metonymy and a metaphor

in our judgments; for the very figures of Rhetoric become sophisms when they impose on us [passent en sophismes lorsqu’elles nous abusent]. This confusion of effect

with cause, real or apparent, often enters into our judgment elsewhere. Hence it is

_ (that we believe) that we sense our bodies or what touches them, and that we move our arms, by a direct physical influence, which we judge to constitute the interaction [commerce] of soul and body; whereas, in truth, in this way we sense and

change only what is in us. (134-135) 6 In the section, “Association,” in Of the Conduct of the Understanding, Locke explicitly invokes the

notion of substitution when he recalls this passage from the Essay: in order to cure misleading associations of ideas, one

must nicely observe the very quick and almost imperceptive motions of the mind in its habitual actions. What I have said in another place about the change of the ideas of sense into those of judgment may be proof of this. Let any one not skilled in painting be told when he sees bottles and tobacco pipes, and other things so painted, as they are in some places shewn, that he does not see protuberances, and you will not convince him but by the touch: he will not believe that, by an instantaneous legerdemain of his own thoughts, one idea is substituted

for the other. How frequent instances may one meet with of this in the arguings of the learned, who not seldom, in two ideas that they have been accustomed to join in their minds,

substitute one for the other; and, I am apt to think, often without perceiving it themselves. (89) It is noteworthy that Locke here seems to consider the substitution of ideas of judgment for ideas of sensation as a form of association of ideas. 7 Hans Kellner, ‘The Inflatable Trope as Narrative Theory: Structure or Allegory?” Dracritics 11 (1981) 14-28.

Locke and Nietzsche 167 In this remarkable passage, Leibniz announces his recognition of Locke’s account of the alteration of ideas as an account of rhetorically structured substitution. While Leibniz offers a slightly different explanation of how the tropes are constituted on the level of judgment, his observations make

evident that an understanding of Lockean alteration as figuration can claim legitimacy in more than the contemporary fascination with tropology.

Besides marking Locke’s discussion of mental processes such as associ-

ation and perception, detailed descriptions of the ordering and disordering of ideas occupy a central position in his account of specific ideas such as time, space, power, body, infinity, and substance. A remarkable

feature of this account is that the ideas which are its ostensible subject tend to disappear in the process of the exposition. The problem then becomes that of explaining what ideas we do have, how we come by them, and why they make us think we have ideas we do not in fact have. As happens so frequently in Hume’s A Treatise of Human Nature, the reve-

lation of the fictionality or nonexistence of the main character in what begins as a narrative of conceptual construction triggers a genealogy of mental error and bad metaphysics. Within these genealogies, empiricism articulates a complex scene of alteration, substitution, taking, mistaking, considering, and compounding which corresponds to the scene of tropes. The idea of infinity provides a good example of this. Finite and infinite “being by the Mind look’d on as modifications of Expansion and Dur- | ation,” Locke asks how it comes by ideas of infinite length and infinite duration: Every one, that has any Idea of any stated lengths of Space, as a Foot, finds, that he can repeat that /dea; and joining it to the former, make the idea of two Foot; and by the addition of a third, three Foot; and so on, without ever coming to an end of his additions, whether of the same Jdea of a Foot, or if he pleases of dou-

bling it, or any other /dea he has of any length, as a Mile, or Diameter of the Earth, or of the Orbis Magnus: for whichsoever of these he takes, and how often soever he doubles, or any otherwise multiplies it, he finds, that after he has con-

tinued this doubling in his Thoughts, and enlarged his /dea, as much as he pleases, he has no more reason to stop, nor is one jot nearer the end of such Addition, than he was at first setting out; the power of enlarging his /dea of space by

farther Addition, remaining still the same, he hence takes the Idea of infinite Space. (210-211)

As “‘alter’’ obfuscates the account of the relation between ideas of sensation and ideas of judgment in perception, so ‘‘take’’ intervenes in this

- account of infinity. What does become clear as the chapter proceeds is that ‘‘take”’ cannot mean distinctly perceive, for there is no clear idea of infinite space, infinite time, and infinite number to be perceived. Though the repetition of any idea of time, space, or number is said to “leave in the

168 Trope Mind an Idea of an endless room for more’ (213), this idea cannot constitute the idea of infinity: For our idea of Infinity being, as I think, an endless growing Idea, but the Idea of any

Quantity the Mind has, being at that time terminated in that /dea, (for be it as great as it will, it can be no greater than it is,) to join Infinity to it is to adjust a standing measure to a growing bulk; and therefore I think it is not an insignificant

subtilty, if I say, that we are carefully to distinguish between the Jdea of the Infinity of Space, and the Jdea of a Space infinite: The first is nothing but a supposed endless Progression of the Mind, over what repeated /deas of Space it pleases; but to have actually in the Mind the /dea of a Space infinite, is to suppose the Mind already passed over, and actually to have a view of all those repeated Ideas of Space, which an endless repetition can never totally represent to it, which carries in it a plain contradiction. (213-214)

The mind has no idea of an infinite space. Neither does it have an idea of the infinity of space. For the idea of the infinity of space is here reduced to

‘nothing but a supposed endless Progression of the Mind, over what repeated Ideas of Space it pleases.”’ Just as Hume finds that the ostensible idea of the necessity or power that unites cause and effect is nothing but the determination of the mind to pass from one to the other, so Locke finds that the idea of infinity is nothing but the mind’s repeating and sense of its power to repeat. Because Locke explicates the idea of infinity in terms of ideas of parts

(ideas of finite lengths, durations, and numbers) and the power of the mind to repeat or multiply its ideas of parts, it is possible to construe this explication as an account of synecdoche. The mind never has an idea of infinity, but has ideas of finite parts. These ideas of parts, in conjunction with the idea of its own power to repeat endlessly these ideas, is what gives

the mind a “very obscure, and confused” idea of infinity (214), “a growing and fugitive Idea, still in a boundless Progression, that can stop no

where’”’ (216), an idea “still imperfect and incompleat” (218), an idea

which “lies in Obscurity, and has the indeterminate confusion of a Negative /dea, wherein I know, I neither do nor can comprehend all I would, it being too large for a finite and narrow Capacity: And that cannot but be very far from a positive compleat /dea, wherein the greatest part, of what I would comprehend, is left out, under the undeterminate intimation of being still greater” (218-219). If synecdoche is the substitution of a word used to designate a part for a word used to designate the whole of which that part is a part, then all ideas of number, space, and time may be said to stand in a synecdochal relation to the idea of infinity: the ideas the mind takes to be its idea of infinity are only ideas of finite

parts of a whole which is intimated through the idea of the power to repeat. This synecdoche of ideas differs from standard synecdoches, however, in that infinity cannot be conceived or designated as a whole in

Locke and Nietzsche 169 the way that, say, a ship may be named and conceived as the totality referred to by “‘sail.’’ Infinity is, for Locke, more than any conceivable whole or totality, so that ideas of space, time, and number (which are always ideas of finite space, time, and number) are ideas of parts of not a whole, but of what is more than any conceivable whole. The chapter on the idea of infinity thus ultimately abolishes its subject and explains the mistaken belief in it in terms of ideas of finite parts and the power to repeat. By the time Locke gets to the chapter on the complex ideas of substances, it is evident that its subject, too, is about to vanish. For

in the final chapter of Book I, Locke claims that “there is another /dea, which would be of general use for Mankind to have, as it is of general talk as if they had it; and that is the Jdea of Substance, which we neither have nor can have, by Sensation or Reflection” (95). The chapter on complex ideas of substances in Book II accordingly opens with the claim that he who will examine himself concerning the notion of substance in general will find ‘he has no other /dea of it at all, but only a Supposition of he knows not

what support of such Qualities, which are capable of producing simple Ideas in us” (295). Locke again asserts that we “Shave no distinct Jdea of [substance in general] at all,” and appeals to ‘“‘every one’s own Experience” in order to make his point that, in the case of particular sorts of substances, no one “has any other clear /dea, farther than of certain simple Ideas coexisting together’ (296). He goes on to claim that “‘we have no

clear, or distinct Idea of that thing we suppose a Support,” but seems hesitant to eradicate entirely the idea of substance as substratum: he still refers to a “supposition,” allows for unclear and obscure ideas of substance, and, in the case of particular substances, claims we “have always the confused Idea of something to which they’ [simple ideas] belong, and in which they subsist” (297). Though approximating an outright liquidation of the idea of substance, Locke’s language repeatedly lets up and thereby

grants this idea a ghostly habitation in the mind. | The idea of substance as substratum or support of properties, then, does not quite not exist. One reason. why the mind thinks that it does exist, as

was observed in the previous chapter, is that the mind is incapable of

conceiving, imagining, or apprehending otherwise: : The Mind being, as I have declared, furnished with a great number of the simple Ideas, conveyed in by the Senses, as they are found in exteriour things, or by Reflection on its own Operations, takes notice also, that a certain number of these simple Ideas go constantly together; which being presumed to belong to one thing, and Words being suited to common apprehensions, and made use of for quick dispatch, are called so united in one subject, by one name; which by inadvertency we are apt afterward to talk of and consider as one simple /dea, which indeed is a complication of many /deas together; Because, as I have said, not imagining how these simple /deas can subsist by themselves, we accustom ourselves, to suppose

170 Trope some Substratum, wherein they do subsist, and from which they do result, which therefore we call Substance. (295)

Out of its imaginative failing when repeatedly confronted with a combin-

ation of several ideas, the mind takes no idea at all or an obscure and confused idea as an idea of something from which the properties of which it has ideas flow (perhaps because it is difficult to see how the mind could

take no idea as an idea, Locke postulates a supposition and a confused obscure idea). Another way of describing this process is to say that the mind takes no idea as an idea, and takes ideas of properties as ideas of effects, results, products, accidents, or properties of that of which it has no idea.® But if, in fact, the mind has no idea of a subject in general which causes properties, or in which properties inhere, neither does it have any idea of an effect, accident, result, or property — these ideas presuppose the

idea of a subject of which something is an effect, cause, accident, or property. Just as the concept of the sign is determined as the concept ofa sign of something, so the concept of a property is determined as a property of something.? The mind takes no idea (nothing, or possibly a confused idea) as an idea, then, and takes ideas it does have (for example, the idea of the color gold) to be ideas it does not and can not have (ideas of an effect, result, accident, or property of some cause, substratum, substance, or subject). More generally, the mind takes nothing for something and something for nothing.

Strictly speaking, then, no ideational substitution occurs here. The mental activity being described is not analogous to a substitution of words,

but to the delusion of seeing nothingness as words, and words as nothingness. In giving airy nothing a local habitation and a name, in apprehending more than it strictly comprehends, in positing a bringer of joy every time it apprehends a joy, the mind is not so much substituting some ideas for others as deluding itself in thinking it has an idea. If there are no ideas the mind can substitute or take for other ideas, the possibility for a congruence between the tropological arrangements of words and arrangements of ideas vanishes. But there is clearly a metonymic process at

work here, since Locke’s references to repetition, custom, and what happens “afterward” imply a temporal sequence of linked mental events: the perception of a set of ideas, as opposed to a real essence, is implicitly established as part of the antecedent or cause of the mind’s supposition of substance. Not a substratum, but ideas observed constantly to go together (in conjunction with a mental incapacity) precede and provoke the mind’s supposition of a subject that supports properties. The ideas which in fact 8 That Locke conflates the notion of cause/effect with that of substance/property is also evident in the chapter on names of substances in Book III where he refers to the support of properties as their cause (442, 450). 9 Jacques Derrida, “‘Sémiologie et grammatologie,” Positions 23-50.

Locke and Nietzsche 171 are (part of) the immediate cause of the supposed idea of substance, are taken by the mind as effects of the support it supposes; this support, the supposition of which is in part caused by ideas constantly observed to go together and the mind’s own incapacities, is taken by the mind as the cause of those ideas. Because Locke implicitly explains mental processes in terms of conditions which lead the mind to behave in a certain way, he ends up describing a form of metonymy: the mind takes a set of ideas to be ideas of the effects (properties) of a cause (substance); these ideas are not, in fact,

ideas of the effects of a cause; they rather cause the mind to postulate a cause (substance) of the properties of which it has ideas. To use a sentence from one of de Man’s essays on Nietzsche, ‘‘what had been considered to be a cause, is, in fact, the effect of an effect, and what had been considered to be an effect can in its turn seem to function as the cause of its own cause.”!© Such a causal explanation is not scandalous for Locke, as it would be for Hume, because, in the chapter on causality which shortly follows that on substance, Locke finds it legitimate to speak of ideas of cause and effect. It nevertheless evades the critique of notions of cause and effect which the discussion of substance approximates: that the mind has no idea of the cause of any set of properties (and, so, no idea of properties of any substantial cause) does not prevent Locke from construing a causal account of mental processes. Because he reinvests in concepts which his own exposition to some extent questions, his account of the order and disorder of ideas constitutes an account of a specific trope. In his explanations of specific ideas (or non-ideas) such as the ideas of infinity and substance, then, Locke may be seen to extend the kind of analysis he provides for mental processes such as the association of ideas and sensory perception. This analysis basically consists in an account of how the primary entities postulated by “the way of ideas” are altered, omitted, taken, mistaken, compounded, displaced, reversed, and substituted within mental space. Because these entities are seen by Locke to fall with words under the general category of signs, his descriptions of their

alterations can correspond in important respects with the accounts in rhetorical tradition of alterations of words. This definition of the tropological structure of various ideational arrangements is not peculiar to Locke but is elaborated by major figures in the empirical philosophical tradition. Berkeley, though obviously critical of several positions taken by Locke, 1s

just as clearly allied with him in his treatment of ideas as signs that constitute a language. It is hence possible to read his early essay on vision as an implicit exposition and critique of figurative signification on the level

of ideas. And when Hume in the Treatise claims that the principles governing the association of ideas are resemblance, contiguity, and caus0 “Rhetoric of Tropes (Nietzsche),” Allegories of Reading 107. Further page references are included in the text.

172 Trope ation, it is apparent that his account of the taking and mistaking of ideas which effect a bad metaphysics of causation, solidity, space, time, and identity is allied with rhetorical classifications of the taking and mistaking of words. Hume acknowledges this but, ever deferential to the claims of custom over reason, declines to elaborate: But tho’ resemblance be the relation, which most readily produces a mistake in ideas, yet the others of causation and contiguity may also concur in the same influence. We might produce the figures of poets and orators, as sufficient proofs of

this were it as usual, as it is reasonable, in metaphysical subjects to draw our arguments from that quarter.!!

That the empiricists do not implement the highly refined vocabulary of the rhetorical tradition in their descriptions of mental activity should not prevent the recognition of the congruence between what have commonly been taken to be hostile traditions of thought.

(ii That a sentence from de Man’s essay on Nietzsche can serve as an accurate

restatement of Locke’s account of substance calls for a reassessment of Nietzsche’s rhetorical critique of conceptuality and, ultimately, the relations between empiricism, Nietzsche, and de Manian deconstruction. In order to state precisely this reassessment, it will be useful to consider the context of the sentence from de Man which has been appropriated. The sentence occurs early in the fifth chapter of Allegortes of Reading, ‘“‘Rhetoric

of Tropes (Nietzsche),’” where de Man is commenting on the following late Nietzsche note (which, in some editions, is published under the title The Will to Power [Der Wille Cur Macht)): The phenomenalism of the ‘inner world’

the chronological reversal {Umdrehung], so that the cause enters consciousness later

than the effect.

we have learned that pain is projected to a part of the body where it is not situated we have learned that sensory perception, naively thought to be conditioned by

the outer world, is much rather conditioned by the inner world; that we are always unconscious of every real action [eigentliche Aktion] of the outer world ... The part of the outer world of which we are conscious is belatedly born [nachge-

boren| after the effect exerted upon us from without, is projected after the fact [nachtraglich] as its ‘cause’...

In the phenomenalism of the ‘inner world’ we reverse [kehren ... um] the chronology of cause and effect. 't David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, ed. L. A. Selby-Bigge, revised by P. H. Nidditch for 2nd edn. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978) 61.

Locke and Nietzsche 173 The basic fact [Grundthatsache] of ‘inner experience’ is that the cause is imagined

after the effect has occurred ... The same goes for the succession of thoughts [Ab/folge der Gedanken} ... we seek

the reason for a thought before we are conscious of it: the reason then first enters consciousness, and then its consequence ... Our whole dream life is the interpretation of general feelings [Gesammigefiihlen] in terms of possible causes: and in such a way that we first become aware of a state of affairs when its invented causal chain [erfundene Causalitatskette] has entered CONSCIOUSNESS ...

the entirety of ‘inner experience’ depends on the fact that a cause is sought and

imagined [vorgestellt] for an excitation of the nerve centers, and that only the discovered cause enters consciousness: this cause is by no means adequate to the real cause [wirklichen Ursache], — it is a groping on the basis of previous ‘inner experiences’ — i.e. of memory. But memory also contains the habits of the old interpretation, i.e. of the erroneous causalities [irrthiimliche Urstchlichkeiten] ... so ,

that the ‘inner experience’ still has to bear within it the consequences of all previous false causal fictions [falschen Causal-Ftktionen|

our ‘outer world,’ as we project it at every moment, is transferred and irrevocably bound to the old error of the ground: we interpret it in accordance with the schematism of the ‘thing’ pain in a single case represents [darstellt] hardly at all just the bare case, but much rather a long experience of the consequences of specific injuries, including the errors in assessing these consequences ‘Inner experience’ enters consciousness only after it has found a language which the individual understands ... i.e. a translation [Ubersetzung] of one state of affairs into others with which he is familiar —

‘to understand’ simply means: to be able to express something new in the language of something old and familiar'?

This is the passage de Man is considering when he writes the sentence that restates Locke’s account of substance. But the main point de Man wants to make about this passage is that the process of mental substitution and reversal is conceived by Nietzsche as a linguistic event: What is here called ‘language’ is the medium within which the play of reversals and substitutions that the passage describes takes place. This medium, or property of language, is therefore the possibility of substituting binary polarities such as before for after, early for late, outside for inside, cause for effect, without regard for the truth-value of these structures. But this is precisely how Nietzsche also defines the rhetorical figure, the paradigm of all language. (108)

After citing a passage from Nietzsche’s early notes on rhetoric in which Nietzsche does indeed define metonymy in terms of the substitution of

binary polarities, de Man observes “practically the same text that, in 1872, explicitly defines metonymy as the prototype of all figural language, 12 Friedrich Nietzsche, Nachgelassene Fragmente, 1887-1889, vol. 13, Sdamtliche Werke, Kritische Studienausgabe 458-460 ( The Will to Power 265-266).

— 174 Trope describes, in 1888, a metaphysical construct (the phenomenalism of consciousness) as susceptible of being deconstructed as soon as one is made aware of its linguistic, rhetorical structure’’ (109). The implications of this observation are clear: what de Man at the opening of his essay refers to as

“the neglected and inconspicuous corner of the Nietzsche canon dealing

with rhetoric” turns out to be a way of access to Nietzsche’s general reflection on the relationship between literature and philosophy. In a statement which reiterates claims from the opening chapter of the book about Proust and what “‘can be shown”’ about Nietzsche’s metaphysical critique (15), de Man concludes that the pattern of argument here directed against the concept of consciousness is the

same pattern that underlies the critique of the main categories that make up traditional metaphysics: the concepts of identity, of causality, of the object and the

subject, of truth, etc. We can legitimately assert therefore that the key to Nietzsche’s critique of metaphysics — which has, perhaps misleadingly, been described as a mere reversal of metaphysics or of Plato — lies in the rhetorical model of the trope or, if one prefers to call it that way, in literature as the language most explicitly grounded in rhetoric. (109)

De Man’s accurate restatement of a late Nietzsche passage in which Nietzsche implicitly identifies the structure of metaphysical constructs as rhetorical, then, is what may also function as a restatement of Locke’s explication of the idea of substance. This means that the articulation of the rhetorical structure of specific concepts and mental processes is a point of fundamental congruence between the texts of Locke and Nietzsche. This inference is confirmed by the clear continuity of several early Nietzsche passages with the previously cited passages from Locke. Though de Man is correct in observing that the critique of metaphysical constructs in the late Nietzsche is based on a recognition of their structures as those of specific rhetorical tropes, it should also be remembered that this explicit critique of metaphysical constructs accompanies discussions of rhetorical figures in the early 1870s. Whereas the explicit naming of the structures of specific

processes and constructs as tropes is absent in the late Nietzsche, it is

pronounced in the work of the early 1870s. Take, for example, the following passage from the first part of what has become known as The

Book of the Philosopher [Das Philosophenbuch): ,

It is on tropes [7ropen], not unconscious reasonings [unbewuPte SchliiBe], that our sensory perceptions [Stnneswahrnehmungen] rest. Identifying like with like — dis-

covering some similarity [AAnlichkeit] between one thing and another is the fundamental process. Memory [Gedéchtnis] lives by this activity and continually exerts itself. Confusion [Verwechslung] is the originary phenomenon — This presupposes the act of seeing forms [Gestaltensehen]. The image in the eye regulates our

recognition [Erkennen], rhythm our sense of hearing. We would never achieve a

Locke and Nietzsche 175 representation of time [Zeitvorstellung] by means of the eye alone, nor a representation of space [Raumvorstellung] by means of the ear alone. The sense of causality

( Kausalitatsempfindung| corresponds to the tactile sense [ Tastge/fihl]. | At first we see images in the eye only iv us, we hear sound only in us — from there to the admission [Annahme] of an outer world [Aufenwelt] is a big step. Plants, for example, have no sense of an outer world. The tactile sense and the visual image [Gestchtsbild| simultaneously give two sensations side by side; because they always appear together, they awaken the representation of a connection [ @usammenhanges]| (through Metaphor — for not all things which appear together are connected).!%

Perhaps the alteration of ideas of sensation by ideas of judgment described by Locke is what Nietzsche means by ‘‘unbewufte SchliiBe,” and what he wants to distinguish from tropes. But Nietzsche himself describes tropes in terms of “‘Schliife’’: after referring to Thales’ confusion of one

predicate with a sum of predicates as “metonymy. A false reasoning [ Metonymia. Ein falscher SchluB],” he presents a new section: Logical thought [logische Denken], scarcely exerted by the Ionians, develops very slowly. False reasonings [falschen Schliife] are better comprehended as Metonymies, i.e. rhetorically and poetically comprehended. All rhetorical figures (i.e. the essence of language) are logically erroneous reasonings [logische FehlschliBe]. It is with them that reason begins! (132)

In a later section on definition, Nietzsche concludes, ‘‘therefore, in the essence of synthetic judgment [2m Wesen des synthetischen Urteils] lies a Metonymy, 1.e. it is a false equation [falsche Gletchung]. I.e. synthetic reasonings are illogical [die synthetischen SchliiBe sind unlogisch}” (142). A “‘Schluf”’ is a trope,

for Nietzsche, when it is false or illogical. The process described by Locke is false or illogical in the sense Nietzsche means because the mind identifies its ideas of a ‘‘flat Circle variously shadow’d” with the ideas of light and shape it has previously had in conjunction with ideas of convex bodies. This identification is the precondition for the subsequent reversal of cause and effect (judgment “‘alters the Appearances into their Causes” [145]). If Locke describes the mind in the process of following through a “‘Schlu,”’ his explication of it in terms of mistaken identification and reversal makes

it one of those “‘falschen Schliife” in terms of which Nietzsche defines ‘Tropen.”’ In addition, the awakening of a representation of a connection [erwecken de Vorstellung eines Kusammenhanges| described by Nietzsche here is

clearly akin to the supposition of substance or cause which Locke describes as the act of the mind when it is confronted with ideas observed constantly 13 Friedrich Nietzsche, The Book of the Philosopher [Das Philosophenbuch/Le Livre du Philosophe),

transl. Angéle K. Marietti (Paris: Aubier-Flammarion, 1969) 134. The material in this book appears, though in different order from that of the Kréner edition which Marietti follows, in the Colli-Montinari Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 7, 417-520, 545-559; vol. 1, 873-890. Further page references to Das Philosophenbuch are to the Marietti edition and are included in the text.

176 Trope to go together. But whereas Locke avoids any designation of this process in tropological terms, Nietzsche emphatically labels it as metaphorical. Nietzsche’s account of knowledge in terms of abstraction and categorization also restates Locke: The oversight of the individual [das Ubersehn des Individuellen] gives us the concept [Begriff], and with this our knowledge [Erkenntnis] begins: in classifying [Rubnizteren|, in the establishment of kinds [Gattungen]. To which, however, the essence of things does not correspond: it is a cognitive process [Erkenninisprozess], which does not reach the essence of things. Several separate traits [emzelne Ziige] determine a

thing for us, not all of its traits: the identity [Gleichheit] of these traits invokes us [veranlaBt uns] to comprehend many things under one concept [ Begriff]. We produce beings [Wesen] as bearers of properties [Trager der Eigenschaften] and abstractions [Adstraktionen] as causes of these properties. That a unity [Einheit], a

tree, for example, appears to us as a multiplicity of properties, of relations, is anthropomorphic in two respects: first, this demarcated unity ‘tree’ does not exist; it is arbitrary to cut out [herauszuschneiden] a thing in this way (according to the eye, according to form); this relation is not the true, absolute relation, but is again tainted by anthropomorphism [anthropomorphisch gefarbt]. (140)

Locke, too, argues that only a limited number of ideas of qualities constitute our idea of a substance such as gold or a tree, and that the mind invents a (real) essence or substratum as the bearer, cause, subject,

or support of qualities. But he does not label this procedure as an ‘“‘anthropomorphism,”’ a term which Nietzsche uses heavily in a cluster of

sections from The Book of the Philosopher to refer to all substitutive processes the human animal performs in its understanding of the world. When de Man, writing in a late essay on the third section of The Book of the Philosopher (“On Truth and Lying in an Extramoral Sense” [‘‘Uber Wahrheit und Liige 1m Aufermoralischen Sinne’’|), claims that “‘far from being

the same, tropes such as metaphor (or metonymy) and anthropomorphisms are mutually exclusive,” he is baldly neglecting Nietzsche’s per-

vasive use of the term as a general designation of the transpositions | [ Ubertragungen] Nietzsche classifies as metaphor and metonymy. Com-

menting on the same listing of tropes in ““On Truth and Lying in an Extramoral Sense’’ which is scrutinized by de Man, J: Hillis Miller rightly observes that ‘“‘the opposition between the similarities of metaphor and the contiguities of metonymy is undone by the fact that both

are anthropomorphisms. Both are products of that power man has to project himself toward the mysterious X or to put himself under it as its illusory foundation.”” Though de Man qualifies his assertion of exclusivity by claiming that “‘anthropomorphism is structured like a trope,” he

still fails to recognize that the tropes described in The Book of the Philosopher are regarded by Nietzsche as anthropomorphisms. In the context of this early work, Nietzsche’s designation of knowing as an

Locke and Nietzsche 177 anthropomorphism is tantamount to a general designation of it as a type of “Obertragung,” or “‘rhetorische Figur.” '4 One could point to several other passages from The Book of the Philosopher

to show that Nietzsche observes the rhetorical structure of various concepts and mental processes, and explicitly names them as tropes. His

account of the notions of time, space, and causation are particularly striking examples.'? These observations make clear that descriptions of specific tropes in the early Nietzsche, which de Man sees recurring in the late work as deconstructive descriptions of metaphysical constructs, also exist as such explicit deconstructive descriptions in the early work (de Man observes this in connection with a passage from “On Truth and Lying in an Extramoral Sense” [111]). Explications of the rhetorical structure of specific concepts and mental processes mark both the early and late Nietzsche, though only in the early work are names of particular tropes persistently invoked. These observations also confirm the implication of the fact that de Man’s text accurately restates Locke on substance: the theory of ideas presented in Book II of the Essay coheres in fundamental respects with a mode of analysis which, as de Man rightly observes, pervades the Nietzschean oeuvre. For Locke’s descriptions of the

structures of specific concepts and mental processes in Book II are, in many cases, tantamount to Nietzsche’s descriptions of them as tropological structures. And though Locke’s avoidance of tropological terms differen-

tiates his explication from that of the early Nietzsche, it brings his text even closer to the late Nietzschean writings from which these terms are also absent. Besides underlying Locke’s account of some works and linguis-

tic usages, the trope is an important notion in Locke’s account of the movement, alteration, compounding, taking, and mistaking of zdeas. This understanding of the order and disorder of tdeas as being homologous with the order and disorder of words is the ground of a powerful complicity between empiricism and Nietzsche. That such a complicity should exist will come as no surprise to readers of '4 Paul de Man, “Anthropomorphism and Trope in the Lyric,” in The Rhetoric of Romanticism 243-244; J. Hillis Miller, “‘Dismembering and Disremembering in Nietzsche’s ‘On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense,’”” Why Nietzsche Now?, ed. Daniel O’Hara (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985) 47. Nietzsche’s use of “anthropomorphism” as a general rubric for specific transpositions such as metonymy and metaphor is evident in Das Philosophenbuch, 92-96, 108-110, 142, 160, 164, 186, 192. It is because the anthropomorphisms Nietzsche is talking about in “Uber Wahrheit und Liige im AuBermoralischen Sinne”’ are transpositions that, after giving the listing of “metaphors, metonymies, anthropomorphisms”’ (182) which de Man scrutinizes, he changes it to “transpositions, metaphors, metonymies”’ (194). As de Man says, “opportunities to encounter technical tropological terms are so sparse in literary and philosophical writings that one can be excused for making the most of it when they occur” (““Anthropomorphism and Trope in the Lyric” [241]). That de Man neglects another listing of tropes in the essay he discusses is a breach of his own principle committed for the sake of effacing evidence which works against his definition of anthropomorphism. 'S Das Philosophenbuch 94-96, 128-132, 190-194.

178 Trope Nietzsche who know that if the empiricists are criticized in The Genealogy of

Morals, they receive high praise elsewhere in the Nietzschean oeuvre. Sarah Kofman, whose early essay on Nietzsche de Man dismisses along with those of Jean-Luc Nancy and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe as “‘preparatory and tentative at best’’ (104), observes elsewhere that, in The Book of the Philosopher, Nietzsche’s ‘“‘operative concepts (forgetfulness, utility, habit) are, then, precisely those of the empiricists.”!® It is clear that the empiricist epistemological critique retains its prestige in the later work as well. In the context of the critique of the concept of causation in the later fragments, for example, Nietzsche is explicit in his recognition of Hume as a precursor: The question ‘why?’ is always the question of the causa finalis, of a ‘what for?’ We have no ‘sense of the causa efficiens’: here Hume is right, habit [Gewohnheit] (but

not only of the individual!) makes us expect that a certain frequently observed event follows another: nothing more!

Moreover, the assessment that ‘“‘Locke and Hume in themselves were too

bright, too clear, i.e. judged according to German value instincts, ‘too superficial,’”’ is the grounds for broad remarks on the dependence of Kant

on Hume, and the belatedness of the German philosophical tradition in general.'’” Besides their exemplification of the courtesy, brightness, skepticism, and Voltairean clarity which Nietzsche took to be the positive side of

eighteenth-century western European culture, it is their implicit rhetorical critique of metaphysical concepts which underlies Nietzsche’s positive appraisal of the enlightened empiricists.

This coordination of empiricism and Nietzsche may be observed without neglecting the differences between them. It is clear that a point of fundamental division is the ontological status of bogus concepts such as substance, cause, and subject. The liquidation of such concepts (construed as ideas) which is obviously underway in Locke is fully accomplished under the weight of Hume’s “no idea without a corresponding impres-

sion.”’ Because central metaphysical constructs simply vanish in the process of the empiricist critique, this critique is compelled to explain why

the mind mistakenly thinks it holds such concepts — after a moment of ideational annihilation, the empiricist critique tends to become the psy-

chology of an ontological error. The case is clearly otherwise with Nietzsche. If his comparison, in The Book of the Philosopher, of the network

of metaphysical concepts to a spider-web approximates the empiricist reduction of it to airy nothing, other images grant this network a much '6 Sarah Kofman, Mietzsche et la métaphore (1972; Paris: Editions Galilée, 1983) 75. '7 The first passage is from the Kritische Studtenausgabe 12: 102; the second is from 12: 340. For remarks on Nietzsche’s agreements with Hume, see Arthur C. Danto, Nietzsche as Philosopher

(New York: Macmillan, 1965) 93-95, 109-110; Richard Kuhns, Literature and Philosophy: Structures of Experience (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1971).

Locke and Nietzsche 179 firmer ontological ground in the mind. In the first part of this work, for instance, Nietzsche describes impressions which are first seized through concepts, then marked, killed, skinned, mummified and, having been transformed into a concept, finally preserved. And in “On Truth and Lying in an Extramoral Sense,”’ the conceptual network does not vanish but is envisioned as the product of industrious work and construction: it is a beehive or columbarium (138, 192). This difference regarding the ontological status of concepts in the mind coheres with a fundamental difference between visions of mental life. For Locke, the supposition of substance is the effect of an inability to conceive and imagine: “‘not imagining how these simple /deas can subsist by themselves, we accustom our selves, to suppose some Substratum’’; the idea to

which we give the name substance is “nothing, but the supposed, but unknown support of those Qualities, we find existing, which we imagine cannot subsist, sene re substante’’; “‘because we cannot conceive’ how qualities could subsist alone, “we suppose them existing in, and supported by some common subject’’; “‘concluding”’ operations of the mind “not to subsist of themselves, nor apprehending how they can belong to Body, or

be produced by it, we are apt to think these the Actions of some other Substance, which we call Spirit’? (295-297). In Book III, Locke adds that men suppose that a real essence belongs to every species in order to avoid

realizing the fact that “the same Word [signifies] different Things in different Men’’ (469). Out of its own ignorance, habits, weaknesses, and incapacities, or, in the case of association, out of chance and custom, the mind transposes its ideas and thinks it has ideas which in fact it does not. For Nietzsche, the building of concepts 1s a site of will, power, and, above all, artistic accomplishment. Though he sometimes describes the constitution of concepts in terms of a physiological necessity, Nietzsche emphatically describes it throughout The Book of the Philosopher as a mode of domination and artistic creation: There is a force [Kraft] in us, which allows the main traits [groBen Ziige| of the reflected image [Spiegelbild] to be perceived with more intensity, and a force which emphasizes [betont] the same rhythm over the actual imprecision [wérkliche Ungenauigkeit|. This must be an artistic force | Kunstkraft] because it creates. Its principal means is to omit, to overlook, to ignore [weglassen und iibersehen und iiberhéren|. Hence,

anti-scientific [antiwissenschaftlich]: for it does not have the same regard [Jnteresse] for all that is perceived [alles Wahrgenommene}.

The word contains [enthalt] only an image, from there the concept [Begriff]. Hence, thought reckons with artistic magnitudes [das Denken rechnet also mit kiinstlerischen GréBen|. (70-72)

Nietzsche’s general interpretation of substitutions and reversals (which both he and Locke observe) as substantial manifestations of an artistic force [Kunstkraft] and the will to dominate [das Streben nach einheitlichem

iso Trope Beherrschen| (102), distinguishes his rhetorical critique from that of Locke.

The distinction between creation out of strength and overfullness of life and creation out of weakness and impoverishment of life, a distinction which is crucial to Nietzsche’s later writings and to his ostensible condemnation of Romanticism, captures an important distinction between the

| (iv)

interpretations of conceptual construction offered by Locke and Nietzsche.

Ifde Man is right in regarding the rhetorical model of the trope as the key to Nietzsche’s critique of metaphysics, Locke’s repeated invocation and description of this model in his analyses of metaphysical constructs would mean that Locke, too, held the key to the Nietzschean critique. But the texts of Locke and Nietzsche, in addition to those of their commentators, make clear that a critique of metaphysics grounded in the rhetorical model of the trope cannot be comprehensive.!® It has already been observed that in describing the various alterations of ideas in the mind, Locke presumes to know the real order of events, the real cause, and the real effect. Only because he presumes to know when what is really an effect is altered into a

cause, or when what is really a cause is treated as an effect, can his expositions be understood as implicit descriptions of metonymic structure where this trope is defined as the transposition of words used to designate cause and effect. This is also clearly the case in the late Nietzsche passage on the phenomenalism of the inner world. Only by overlooking this can de _ Man conclude his section in “‘Rhetoric of Tropes (Nietzsche)’’ on the two Nietzsche passages by lavishly articulating a possible hope which constitutes the impulse for a further intellectual endeavor doomed to end in the negative conclusion that has already been reached and endured: Would it not follow that, since the aberration turns out to be based on a rhetorical substitution, it would suffice to become aware of this in order to undo the pattern

and restore the properties to their ‘proper’ place? If attributes of time and attributes of cause have been improperly associated with each other, one might be able to uncross, so to speak, the polarities that have been exchanged in order to

recover a measure of truth. In the example at hand, we could conceivably eliminate the misleading temporal scheme that led to the confusion, and substitute for the derived cause, mistakenly assumed to have an objective existence in the '8 This general point is made, in various ways and in different contexts, by Rodolphe Gasché, The Tain of the Mirror (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986); Sarah Kofman, Nietzsche et la métaphore; Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, “‘Le Détour (Nietzsche et la rhétorique),” Poétique 5

(1971) 53-76; Maria Ruegg, “Metaphor and Metonymy: The Logic of Structuralist Rhetoric,” Glyph 6 (1979) 141-157; Jacques Derrida, ‘“‘La Mythologie blanche; Suzanne Gearhart, “Philosophy Before Literature: Deconstruction, Historicity, and the Work of Paul de Man,” Duacritics 13 (1983) 63-81.

Locke and Nietzsche 181 outside world, an authentic cause that could be inferred from the critical deconstruction of the aberrant one. Granted that the misinterpretation of reality that Nietzsche finds systematically repeated throughout the tradition is indeed rooted in the rhetorical structure of language, can we then not hope to escape from

it by an equally systematic cleansing of this language from its dangerously seductive figural properties? Is it not possible to progress from the rhetorical language of literature to a language that, like the language of science or mathematics, would be epistemologically more reliable? (109-110)

Nietzsche has already undone the pattern, restored the properties to their proper place, uncrossed the polarities, eliminated the misleading temporal scheme, and substituted an authentic cause for the derived cause. For he has already claimed that the ostensible outer cause, in fact, reaches consciousness later than the effect, that perceptions presumed to be caused by the outside world are, in truth, caused or determined by the inner world, that the mind projects what is really an effect of the outside as

the cause of its consciousness of the outside. It is precisely because Nietzsche has already done what de Man thinks we may only naively hope

to do that, in the passage on the phenomenalism of consciousness, Nietzsche can claim to have learned something, that he can distinguish between the “supposed causal chain [erfundene Causalitits-Kette]” and the ‘real cause [wirkliche Ursache},” that he can distinguish between what we are conscious of and the “real activity of the world [eigentliche Aktion der

Aufenwelt|,’’ that he can assert the “‘basic fact [Grundthatsache]’’ of inner , experience, that he can identify the “‘erroneous causalities [irrthiimliche Ursdchlichkeiten|’? and “false causal fictions [falschen Causal-Fictionen].” Nietzsche, that is to say, is already speaking the language that claims to be epistemologically more reliable. Moreover, only because it recognizes real

cause and effect and how they are reversed can the passage on the phenomenalism of consciousness cohere with the early description of metonymy. For metonymy is defined in the notes on rhetoric the way it is defined by the classicists on whom Nietzsche was lecturing. Metonymy is not a critique of the recognition of cause and effect, but a figure which presupposes this recognition: “‘a third figure is the metonymy, the substitution [ Vertauschung| of cause and effect;” “here, metonymy, the substitution

of cause and effect, is complete.’’!9 Nietzsche’s metonymy, like that defined in classical rhetorical tradition, does not hopelessly scramble cause and effect; it is grounded in the possibility of recognizing and categorizing events and things as cause and effect. If his account of metonymy can also '9 A portion of Nietzsche’s notes on rhetoric appear in the Gesammelte Werke (Munich: Musarion,

1922) 5: 287-323. They were translated into French by Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy as “Rhétorique et langage,’ Poétique 5 (1971) 99-142. The full text of the notes, in German and English, has recently appeared in Friedrich Nietzsche on Rhetoric and Language, ed. and transl. Sander Gilman, Carole Blair, David Parent (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989). This is the text cited here (24, 58).

182 Trope function as an account of the phenomenalism of consciousness, it is | because in his exposition of consciousness Nietzsche presumes to know how mental events are really ordered, how they are really caused, and how

they are transposed. This claim to know the actual order of mental process, moreover, figures in the affirmation of it as a phenomenon of artistic force and the will to power which marks both the early and late Nietzsche.

For he justifies the affirmative conception of the rhetorical model which _ distinguishes him from Locke by outlining how the mind permutes this order in perception and in the constitution of conceptual categories. That is to say that if Nietzsche was here claiming no epistemological privilege for his own language, he could not affirm the figures of consciousness to be figures of will, of Kraft and Kunstkraft, besides figures of knowledge (and of illogical reasoning). Only because the hope has already been fulfilled and the escape already accomplished can Nietzsche himself produce a descrip-

tion in which nasty, poor, brute mental activity is transfigured into exertions of beauty and power.”°

De Man, of course, argues that this is not and can not be the case. After considering a passage from “On Truth and Lying in an Extramoral Sense” in which Nietzsche describes moral virtue originating in lies, de Man emphasizes that “‘the reversal of polarities has not led to a restoration of literal truth’’: The original pairing of rhetoric with error, as we encounter it from the Course on Rhetoric to The Will to Power was based on the cross-shaped reversal of properties

that rhetoricians call chiasmus. And it turns out that the very process of deconstruction, as it functions in this text, is one more such reversal that repeats the selfsame rhetorical structure. All rhetorical structures, whether we call them metaphor, metonymy, chiasmus, metalepsis, hypallagus, or whatever, are based on substitutive reversals, and it seems unlikely that one more such reversal over and above the ones that have already taken place would suffice to restore things to

| their proper order. One more “‘turn” or trope added to a series of earlier reversals will not stop the turn towards error. (113)

Here de Man concedes part of the point that was just made: Nietzsche has already reversed the polarities and reversed the properties that the mind had unknowingly reversed. But de Man takes refuge from the possible

fulfillment of his hope by attempting to maintain that if Nietzsche has (re)reversed the mind’s crossings, he still does not get it right: Nietzsche’s reversal is just one more reversal which is not epistemologically privileged 20 De Man’s neglect of Nietzsche’s account of rhetorical figures as figures of the will to power and , artistic force has been observed by Bloom (“Poetic Crossing” 506) and Jonathan Arac, ‘Aesthetics, Rhetoric, History: Paul de Man and the American Use of Nietzsche,” Why Nietzsche Now? 429. Passages from Das Philosophenbuch which describe Ubertragungen as products

of an artistic force and the will to dominate have already been cited. The explication of the formation of concepts in terms of the will to power pervades the later fragments. See, for example, Aritische Studienausgabe 12: 237.

Locke and Nietzsche 183 over the mind’s reversals. But that de Man has no argument is evident from his own rhetorical softening at this crucial moment of his exposition:

the restoration of truth only “seems unlikely.”” The fact dictating this softening is that “‘the process of deconstruction”’ in Nietzsche’s text is not simply one more reversal. What distinguishes Nietzsche’s crossings from the crossings he analyzes is, first, his explicit claim that crossing is what he

is doing and, second, the explicit identification of his own crossing as a correction of a previous crossing which is identified as erroneous. That is to say that Nietzsche’s ‘‘deconstructions”’ are self-conscious deliberate crossings which claim to correct prior, unconscious, falsifying crossings. That a

case of mistaken multiplication and a case of correcting the mistaken multiplication are both mathematical calculations neither abolishes the possibility of being correct nor degrades the correction into just one more mathematical calculation which is as unlikely to be true as all the rest. Similarly, Nietzsche’s crossings neither abolish the possibility of restoring things to their proper order, nor render themselves as unlikely to be true as

the errors they explicitly identify and claim to correct — Nietzsche’s reversal leads to a restoration of literal truth.

Which is only to say that Heidegger, whose reading of Nietzsche is blithely dismissed by de Man and others as a mistake, is, at least in his

treatment of this issue, right. In his patient treatment of Nietzsche’s identification in the late fragments of truth with illusion and error, _ Heidegger comes to the following formulation: With this we glimpse for the first time in the direction from which that troubling saying [Spruch], ‘truth is an illusion,’ speaks. At the same time, we see that in this saying is preserved [festgehalten] the essence of truth in the sense of correctness [Richtigket], where correctness means to represent the being [ Vorstellen des Seienden]

in the sense of alignment [Angletchung| with that which ‘is.’ For only if truth in its essence is correctness can it be, on Nietzsche’s explanation, in-correctness and illusion. Truth in the sense of the true, of the alleged being [Seienden] in the sense of the constant, stable, and unchanging is then illusion, if the world ‘is’ not a being [setende] but a ‘becoming.’ A knowledge [£rkenninis] which, as true, takes something for ‘being’ [sezend] in the sense of the constant and stable limits itself to being [ Secendes| and nevertheless fails to reach [trifft] the actual [das Wirkliche]: the world

as becoming.?! ,

Heidegger here recognizes that Nietzsche’s claim to observe error, false reasoning, illusion — the claim to observe the mind’s tropological substitutions — commits him to a notion of truth as correctness of representation 2! Martin Heidegger, Nietzsche, 2 vols. (Pfulligen: Verlag Giinther Neske, 1961) 1: 548. Further references are included in the text. The entire work is available in English as Nietzsche, transl.

Joan Stanbaugh, David Krell, and Frank Capuzzi, 4 vols. (New York: Harper and Row, 1987). According to Krell, the text of the passage cited here from the Neske edition is corrupt;

the corrected German text he provides in his notes has hence been followed in the present

184 Trope (one which Heidegger takes to be the concept of truth in western metaphysics). In his discussion of truth as illusion and error (but also valuation), Nietzsche does not abjure the traditional concept of truth but, as Heidegger puts it earlier, ‘“‘presupposes it and posits it more firmly [setzé thn

voraus und setzt thn fester] (534). In the case of his identifications of metonymic crossings, this truth is constituted as the correctness of Nietzsche’s description of a specific succession of causally connected events; in the case of the general identification of truth as illusion, this truth is constituted as the correctness of Nietzsche’s description of the world as chaos and becoming. This latter truth is, as Heidegger also recognizes, the precondition for Nietzsche’s affirmation of the creative, inventive force of reason which Heidegger goes on to call “the poetizing essence of reason [das dichtende Wesen der Vernunft|” and identify as a version

of the Kantian doctrine of transcendental imagination (582-584). Nietzsche’s project of identifying tropological substitutions, then, asserts

the literal truth and invests in concepts such as causation and identity which define tropes such as metonymy and metaphor. But it is important to notice that he also directs his tropological critique against some of those concepts which enable it. This is evident in his account of causation. In Hume, the critique of the concept of causation proceeds under the banner of “‘no idea without an impression.” It is because Hume finds no sensory impression of cause and effect (no impression of a necessary connection between events, or of causal power) that he claims there can be no ideas of cause and effect and goes on to explain why we mistakenly think there are. Nietzsche is essentially restating Hume, though perhaps not only Hume, when, in the late fragments, he claims that “‘all our categories of reason [Vernunft-Kategorien] are of sensual origin: derived [abgelesen] from the empirical world,” and that “there are neither causes nor effects.”’?? But this ontological and conceptual liquidation (there are no causes and there are no concepts of cause) and the genealogy of error it calls forth, like those

of Hume, also include descriptions of metaphorical structures. In the Treatise, Hume explicates the error of believing in the causal power of any object as the case where “‘we transfer the determination of the thought to

external objects, and suppose any real intelligible connexion between

them; that being a quality, which can only belong to the mind that considers them”? (168). In The Book of the Philosopher, Nietzsche similarly postulates a process of transference which he calls “metaphor”’: A sensed stimulus [Rez] and a glimpse [Blick] of a movement, combined [verbunden], gives Causation primarily as an axiom of experience [Erfahrungssatz]: two translation. For Krell’s note and translation (a revision of Stanbaugh’s translation), see vol. 3, The Will to Power as Knowledge and as Metaphysics 64-65. 22 Friedrich Nietzsche, Kritische Studienausgabe 12: 391, 13: 275.

| Locke and Nietzsche 185 things, namely, a determined sensation [Empfindung] and a determined visual image [Gesichtsbild] always appear together: that the one is the cause of the other is a metaphor borrowed [entlehnt] from will and act: a reasoning by analogy. (128)

In his explicit treatment of the concept of causation, a concept which is presupposed by the concept of metonymy, Nietzsche asserts that there is no such concept and, like Hume, presents a tropological account of the error which makes us think there is. The consideration of causation in Nietzsche, which includes observations of metaphorical transferences, thus destroys the concepts which are presupposed by his description of the phenomenalism of consciousness (and by Locke’s descriptions of the concept of substance, the association of ideas, and sensory perception) in terms of metonymy. If there are no real

causes and effects, there are no real metonymies. Similarly, the disappearance of the idea of substance and the description of the metonymic error of thinking there is such an idea destroys the concept of a thing and the concept of identity which are presupposed by the definition of metaphor — if there are no real things, there are no real metaphors. Specific conceptual analyses and tropological accounts of error in Nietzsche liqui-

date the concepts which are presupposed by other specific conceptual analyses and tropological accounts of error. But that different components

of Nietzschean conceptual analysis destroy each other’s conceptual premises does not mean that conceptuality in general is being liquidated, that metaphysics in general is being fundamentally interrogated, or that the concept of truth is destroyed. This is because Nietzschean conceptual analysis is grounded in a theory of images | Bilden], Stimuli [Reizen], and sensations [Empfindungen], which is simply a version of the Cartesian/ empiricist way of ideas. The entire Nietzschean project of annihilating

concepts such as causation and describing the rhetorical structure of particular mental processes proceeds on the premises that chaos is what is real, that this reality produces discrete, representative, sensory perceptions in the body and mind which may be substituted for each other in the way words are, and that truth is a property of those representations which are

correctly aligned with this reality. )

If Nietzsche’s descriptions of the rhetorical structure of particular mental processes and concepts do not constitute a comprehensive critique of metaphysics, neither do those of Locke and the empiricists. The destruction of specific ideas such as the ideas of substance, causation, and identity (the demonstration that they simply were never there to begin with) is distinct from the destruction of the system of western metaphysics and the destruction of the concepts of truth and being. The empiricists’ conception of ideas as substitutable signs is a major precedent for Nietzsche’s tropological critique of specific concepts, but not for the latter’s ostensible project of dismantling western metaphysics. This is one reason why, when other

186 Trope readers of Nietzsche such as Derrida and Deleuze attempt to approach the

Nietzschean critique of metaphysics, they focus not on descriptions of rhetorical structure but on discussions of truth as a woman or the discourse of quanta of power.*? But then these aspects of Nietzsche’s writing, too, may not be unrelated to empiricism, since, as has been observed, Locke represents the ideas that constitute knowledge not only as signs which may

be substituted for other signs, but also as women, and he relies on a discourse of quantifiable force in Book IV of the Essay. 23 See Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche et la philosophie (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1962); Jacques Derrida, Spurs: Nietzsche’s Styles! Eperons: Les Styles de Nietzsche, transl. Barbara Harlow (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978); Jacques Derrida, “‘La Différance,”’ Marges 1-29.

PART IV Conclusion



Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy

Alas, she has an innocent, literal understanding. Wycherley, The Country Wife


The primary observation of Part II (Mind) is that across the voluminous text of the Essay, the mind is figuratively represented as a bipartite entity consisting of a site and an agent. Enclosed space muscles out impressed substance as the principal representation of this site. Impressed substance, which Locke quite consistently treats as the innatists’ figure of the mental site, is not, however, discarded: Locke literally describes the bodily organs as material substance which is struck and impressed by other material particles. Enclosed space figures the mental site, and the substance it displaces becomes the literal being of the organs of sensation. This displacement opens the possibility for, but does not demand, a narrative about the mental agent. The terminology of Two Treatises of Government which pervades the Essay identifies this agent as a man and tells the story of his

labor (or sloth); it specifies his space as a workplace and storehouse and

represents ideas as material objects. The terminology of Restoration comedy identifies this agent as a man and tells the story of his social interactions (or reclusiveness); it specifies his space as a furnished salon or

chamber and represents ideas as women. Since there is a considerable measure of terminological common ground between the discourses of property and acquaintance, these two representations do not stand segregated from each other within the Essay, but exist as different dimensions of a coherent spatial/narrative figure of mind.

Describing the laborer as one who sees the raw material on which he works and the property he stores, and the male entertainer as one who surveys his guests, the optical terminology which also pervades the Essay functions, in part, as a component of this figure of mind. This terminology implicates forms of error and limitation in the stories of mental agency because, over the course of the Essay, the man who sees is described as 189

190 Conclusion being incapable of discerning important details of what is before him and unknowingly dependent upon prior perceptions and judgments. Optical terminology also works to emphasize that the man who sees material and

women is a body, a substance which is struck and impressed by the material world. For, given the atomistic theory of vision which uncomfort-

ably occupies the Essay, the direct comparison of the mental agent to a person who sees delineates this agent as a bipartite entity consisting of bodily organs that are struck by other bodies and a consciousness to which impressions are conveyed and into which they enter as ideas (the direct

comparison of the mental agent not to a person but to just the eye, one variant of ocular imagery in the Essay, delineates this agent as a material substance that is struck by particles). Though Locke’s atomistic account of

sight as a kind of tactile sensation still allows his laboring and desiring mental agent to see what exists and occurs in mental space, it works to recall impact, collision, and impression as part of the representation of mind. Just as Locke’s literal description of women conflicts with the definition they assume as components in his figurative representations of mental activity, so his literal description of vision, in conjunction with the implementation of vision as a representation of thinking, conflicts with his

determination to transfer the discourse of impression and impact from psychological to physiological discourse. Struck substance is explicitly rejected as a representation of the mental site, explicitly asserted as a literal representation of the sensory organs struck by particles, and implicitly affirmed as a figurative representation of the mental agent believing

| and knowing.

| The persistence of struck substance within Locke’s figure of mind coheres with the mental optics of power presented in Book IV. In the final book of the Essay, Locke continues to represent the thinking mind as a man

that owns things and embraces women, but he also represents it as an agent that sees the force of moving material objects. Because vision, on the

atomistic theory of sensation, reduces to a kind of tactile sensation, and because force may be conceived as something that is impressed by one body upon another in impact, vision may be coherently conceived as the reception and perception of force. But only a strikable substance would be capable of this perception. Locke’s figuration of the body in the mind defines such an agent. This agent, however, contests not only the expulsion

of “impression” from the discourse of mind in the Essay, but also the representation of ideas as women and passive, inert, material objects, and the representation of the mental agent as a man who acts. For, in Locke’s dynamic discourse, ideas are neither women nor stable material objects but visible objects of various mass which are moving at various velocities. And, as a struck substance, the mental agent is not an active human being who may come to own things and know women at the end of working days

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 19] and entertaining nights, but is a passive substance which may be moved or dented in the instant that a visible moving object strikes it. The differences between these figures of mind issue in different representations of knowledge. The narratives of labor and acquaintance represent the mind that knows as a man who owns material objects with which he has mixed his labor and a man who is acquainted with the women he has entertained. Knowledge, as a mental state, is represented by both narratives as an achievement following upon an action or interaction of some duration. The representation of the mental agent as something that sees the force of visible objects moving within an enclosed space contests this

narrative representation of knowledge. For it represents the mind that knows as a substance which is accelerated or deformed by the material objects which strike it. Strictly speaking, at least one version of Locke’s discourse of force represents knowing as the failure of the body of the eye to

resist the force with which other particles strike it, its failure to remain inert or retain its shape, its acceleration or mutation. The mind that knows 1s like an accelerated or deformed eye. Knowledge is thus represented not as

a state achieved through activity over time, but as a state induced by a moving material object in the instant of collision (though it is possible for a

body to be accelerated over time). The dynamic discourse of the Essay which defines knowledge as the motion or mutation suffered by one body

as the result of being struck by other bodies contests the figuration of knowledge as that to which men make claim out of exertion over time — the Essay contains both active and passive figurations of knowing. Specific strands of Locke’s metaphorical discourse of mind, then, cohere with and contest others: the spatial representation of the mental scene does not stand as an independent figure in the Essay but fits the descriptions of a mental agent’s labor, vision, and conversation; the specification of the mental agent as an impressed body, though contesting the banishment of the innatist’s ‘impression’? from psychological discourse, articulates the agent that is implicitly posited by descriptions of the mind’s vision of force;

the representation of thinking as seeing details the representation of a mental agent who works, owns, desires, entertains, and embraces; the representation of the mental agent as a body that 1s accelerated or mutated

| by bodies that strike it violates the representation of it as a male body that works and woos over time. Some of the specific ways in which these figurative representations cohere and conflict with each other are defined by Locke’s literal discussions of what he uses to represent the mind: he literally describes the women, eyes, space, force, touching, seeing, and (in Two Treatises) labor he uses to represent the mind. Thus, the coherence in his account of the sight of force derives from his explanation, in the Essay itself, of sight as an essentially tactile sensation; this same explanation of sight, in conjunction with his description of the mental agent as an eye or

192 Conclusion man who sees, works to compromise Locke’s rejection of impression and the collision of bodies from epistemological imagining. As a text which literally discusses the things it uses to represent the mind, Locke’s Essay is further evidence for Kroll’s generalization that “neoclassical texts ...

habitually reveal and examine the terms under which they construct themselves.”’!

It was observed in the introduction that several literary critics postulate generic and literary historical categories such as the sublime, the novel, the eighteenth century, and Romanticism by way of readings of Locke in general and Locke’s description of mind in particular. Even granting that a coherent description of mind could be instrumental in the constitution of literary periodization, it has become evident that Locke’s principal episte-

mological work would complicate such a constitution. For the Essay presents a complex figuration which is both systematic and incoherent. The claim that empiricism articulates one coherent image of mind (or one

representation of the self) and the procedure of making this image a touchstone of major literary historical differentiation hence rest on a crude perception of a central document of empiricism. Defining literary periods in terms of a representation of mind may be legitimate; it is the categorization of a single representation (beyond a bipartite representation) as the Lockean (or anti-Lockean) representation of mind which is mistaken. But the observations of the preceding pages reveal more than the presence and power of simplified accounts of Locke in several literary historical projects. These observations also render egregious a more general premise which was observed to be implicated in those literary histories predicated upon Locke, namely, that philosophy is not a text but a doctrine. This premise underlies the far-reaching claims critics make about empiricism based on scant citations of empiricist texts. By pointing to some of the complexities of Locke’s text, Part II is a critique of the kind of literary history which segregates language from philosophy and then uses the names of philosophy to designate literary tradition.

This is not to deny that readings of empiricist texts may provide a coherent image of mind and a consistent doctrine, nor that such readings were instrumental in the constitution of post-Renaissance literary tradi- |

tion by both writers and critics. The observations presented in Part I], however, will permit an identification of some important characteristics of such readings. The reading of empiricism in some of the English Romantic poets and their critics, for example, emerges as a remarkably overdetermined and severe hermeneutical enterprise: their view of Locke’s radical

segregation of the passive subject from the mechanically active object ignores his powerful figuration (which the Romantics might reasonably ! Richard Kroll, The Material Word 53.

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 193 have called Imagination) of the interaction of subject and object as work and acquaintance. The particular subject/object problematic of Romanti-

cism, that is, constitutes itself, at least in part, by a reading of empiricism | which represses scenes of labor and acquaintance. Recognizing these scenes as representations of mind challenges the kind of dualistic empiricist

epistemology against which Romanticism frequently defines itself. This means that the Romantic abrogation of dualism which is posited by some critics may be aligned with those readings of empiricism which it represses:

Keats building a fane in his mind and dressing its sanctuary “with the wreath’d trellis of a working brain” might, for example, be reasonably recognized as a-version of Locke’s male mental laborer; what the Roman-

tics pervasively refer to as the “marriage” of mind and world might reasonably be recognized as a celebration of what the Essay refers to as “acquaintance.” That 1s to say that Part IT shows that the dualism in relation to which Romanticism is commonly defined is the product of a particular reading of Locke, one which represses precisely those images which Romanticism is then seen to formulate as the abrogation of this


That the Essay is a text, that it fails to issue in a thoroughly consistent doctrine and image would, for one mode of literary historical scholarship, severely discount its value and even call into question the possibility of literary history: how could eighteenth-century poetry and its difference from the Renaissance and Romanticism be designated if not by the terms

‘‘Lockean” and “empiricist,” where these terms refer to a particular doctrine and representation of mind? But, as was observed in the introduction, several visions of post-Renaissance literary history implicitly identify Locke’s empiricism as a multi-faceted statement which, as such,

can be the foundation and analogue of different literary periods. The observation of the complexities of the Essay presented in Part II, then, is only an explicit development of the heterogenization of Locke which is implicitly underway in the work of different literary historians. By quietly identifying different images and doctrines in the Essay, literary historians enable themselves to fulfill a powerful need — the need to name the epochs

of post-Renaissance literature as a philosophy. But the price of this fulfillment is an implicit diversification of the Lockean statement into _ several images and doctrines. The observation of this diversification in’ Part II, then, justifies the use of the term “Lockean”’ as a designation of different literary periods but only because it shows that the term can stand

for different doctrines and representations of mind. Once the heterogeneity of the Essay is recognized, the designation of any literary period simply as ‘‘Lockean’’ is justified but also trivialized — everything may be said to be Lockean empiricism because Locke’s empiricism asserts every-

thing. What gives meaning to the description ‘“Lockean”’ in literary

194 Conclusion history is only a selection from a number of possibilities which different literary histories implicitly recognize and which Part II explicitly states. The reading of Locke’s metaphors of mind in Part II, then, does not destroy those visions of literary history which implement readings of this dimension of the Essay, but simply works to foreground some of the hidden articulations, crudities, and investments of these readings. The mirror and the lamp may be adequate emblems of eighteenth-century and Romantic aesthetics, but the mirror is not the Lockean representation of mind; the later eighteenth-century sublime may be underwritten by a conception of the mind as a vacant space, but vacant space is not the Lockean representation of mind (it is filled, at least after experience, with women, men, property, and other material bodies); mid-eighteenth-century poetry may be a poetry of vision, but the representation of the mind as an eye is not the representation of mind in the Essay; Locke’s description of mind may affirm the premises of eighteenth-century and Romantic aesthetics, but this is because it is an inconsistent description. As an attempt to identify the consistencies and inconsistencies in Locke’s figurative description of mind, Part II is targeting only the easy appropriation of “‘Lockean”’ and ‘empiricist’ as predicates of literary tradition. It reveals the inaccuracies of several standard readings of Locke and situates a more complicated reading of Locke’s epistemological writing in relation to visions of literary history which are left to find a more refined vocabulary.

This reading also permits observations on the more general rubrics which harness the novel to Locke. The great turn inward that is seen to occur in the Restoration and set the stage for the novel’s concern with consciousness, psychological process, and personal identity is qualified by Locke’s powerful representation of the individual mind as a scene of labor, storage, property, collision, and socio-erotic acquaintance. When Locke turns inward, what he finds is a scene of activity which finds its representation in what he sees when he looks outward. In Locke’s own terms, it

may be said that when he reflects, he perceives an analogue to what he perceives when he senses. The turn inward, as it occurs in Locke’s Essay, hence does not find only the isolated consciousness whose identity, in the

chapter on identity added to the second and following editions, is described as unsurely residing in consciousness and memory. Nor does it find only a fiction of selfhood constituted through the way the material _ world impinges on consciousness. Nor does it find only what Tully calls

“the penalized self,’ by which he means “the self whose thought and action is always guided by a concern to be rewarded by the juridical apparatus and to avoid its punishment.’’? It also finds a ready-made agent

whose action 1s describable and conceivable as commercial and social 2 James Tully, “Governing conduct” 71.

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 195 intercourse. This is why Richetti is misleading when he writes that “‘the

radical epistemologizing of thought after, say, Descartes requires the denial or at least the functional dismissal of context. Society and its concerns become effects of consciousness rather than its cause or its accompaniment. What emerges as the genres of philosophical expression shift is a redramatization of thought as private in a new and radical sense, not only nonrhetorical but somehow preverbal in its solitary location and

origins.” On the contrary, with Locke as their poet of the mind, the novelists could represent interiority, consciousness, and psychological process by presenting scenes of work, love, and collision. Descriptions of erotic experience in Fanny Hill, of rooms, cupboards, and closets in Pamela,

of labor, property acquisition, and storage in Robinson Crusoe, then, are readable not as representations of the concrete world from which interiority has become radically segregated, but as figures of that interiority itself. Locke’s version of interiority also bears on a notion which is central to accounts of not just Restoration literature, but of every other period, with

the possible exception of Old English, in the English literary tradition. The fact that secularization is observed to be a central phenomenon of every period of the English literary tradition invites the speculation that it is not an event in literary history; rather, English literary history may be understood as a series of various modes and strategies of secularization. But the very persistence of secularization in literary tradition also raises the possibility that it never really occurs: because, in some fundamental sense, secularization never occurs, each new age can define itself or can be understood as the age in which it does occur. The Middle Ages may hence be understood as the waning of religious consensus, the Renaissance as the rebirth of a skepticism that challenged the church, the Restoration as the definitive expulsion of religion from politics, the eighteenth century as the enlightened critique of religion as superstition, Romanticism as the secular

scripture and natural supernaturalism, the nineteenth century as the disappearance of God, and the twentieth century as the true legacy of God’s death. This possibility of conceiving English literary tradition as a constant but essentially vacuous segregation or liquidation of divinity 1s articulated by the text that most stridently, most ironically proclaims the secular. By identifying the belief in grammar as an implicit religious faith, by conceiving thinking itself to involve the founding belief of the religious history of mankind, by understanding authentic secularization as a state in which one is no longer able to think, Nietzsche offers an account of why secularization never occurs or, if it does occur, why it cannot be known to be and described as occurring.

Given the qualified sense in which secularization is a particular 3 John Richetti, Philosophical Writing 7.

, 196 Conclusion phenomenon or moment in the English literary tradition, one may say that Locke’s figuration of mind is locatable within Restoration modes of secularization. For the persistent substitution of space for substance as a

representation of the mental site works to attenuate the connection between divinity and human knowing. In the story of labor, property, and

- storage which is attached to the spatial picture of mind, God does not directly grant property to man, but only faculties which he must use to get

property. Knowing is not consciousness (reading) of what God directly gives man (impressions on the mind), but ownership of what sensation and

mental work entitle him to claim. In the story of acquaintance which is

attached to the spatial picture of mind, God does not appear at all knowing is secular intercourse. Neither is God explicitly involved in Locke’s dynamic representation of mind. Besides the many explicit ways in

which the Essay is segregating, subordinating, and liquidating divinity, Locke’s figurations of mind are implicitly pushing God out of the picture of knowledge. But it is important to notice that this secularization proceeds not only, as McKeon observes, by separating modes of discourse and assigning each its proper authority and subject, but also by fusing them. If the theological discourse of divine impression and enthusiasm is in some

ways being separated from epistemological discourse, the language of economics, physics, and socio-erotic interaction is being assimilated by it.

The secularizing power of Locke’s Essay resides in strategies of both separation (judgment) and combination (wit).* An appreciation of this wit also calls for a more refined understanding of the relation between Locke’s skepticism and its ostensible novelistic off4 Michael McKeon describes secularization and the rise of the aesthetic as being “thoroughly indebted to empiricist epistemology, most of all for its insistence that the several spheres of discourse are more fully separable from one another than premodern culture had believed.” See “Politics of Discourses and the Rise of the Aesthetic in Seventeenth-Century England,” in Politics of Discourse, ed. Kevin Sharpe and Steven Zwicker (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987) 49. In The Origins of the English Novel: 1600-1740 (65-87), McKeon pursues the theme of separability in its connection with secularization. Joyce Appleby makes the same point in Economic Thought and Ideology in Seventeenth-Century England (Princeton: Princeton University

Press, 1978) 24. Robert Denoon Cumming stresses Locke’s commitment to separate and distinguish in both the Essay and Two Treatises, though he observes in a note that Locke’s epistemological writing is ‘‘riddled with metaphors commending the acquisition of economic independence.” See Human Nature and History: a Study of the Development of Liberal Political Thought

2 vols. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969) 2: 113-148, 144. In Personification and the

Sublime, Stephen Knapp points to Locke as a ground for the post-Renaissance concern to separate literal from figurative language (141). Richard Kroll, on the other hand, emphasizes the practice of wit in Locke and Restoration discourse in general. See The Material Word 57. The observation of the failure of Locke to keep different discourses separate in his own epistemologi-

cal writing is, of course, emphasized by the tradition of philosophical commentary on Locke from Leibniz to Rorty. Finally, any discussion of secularization in Locke would need to accommodate Richard Ashcraft’s observations of the way in which Locke’s Christianity dictates his philosophy. See “‘Faith and knowledge in Locke’s philosophy,” in John Locke: Problems and Perspectives 194~223.

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 197 spring. If the novel is read as the locale of the crisis of individual conscious- . ness trapped behind the veil of ideas, unable to justify its claims to know, forever cut off from outer reality, it may not claim Locke as the uncompromising father of its dilemma. Locke’s text in fact liquidates the problem of skepticism as it is standardly understood, and as many of his own explicit

statements articulate it, because it displaces the picture of mind which enables it (see next section). Because skepticism is reconstituted as the failure to own, become acquainted, and be moved or dented, the novel may be aligned with implicit Lockean skepticism where it postulates this failure. That is to say a comprehensive discussion of the novel in connection with Locke’s skepticism would consider if the novel’s treatment of property, acquaintance, and impact is consistent with or contests Locke’s implicit but pervasive use and definition of them in the context of his epistemological system.

(ii) Besides responding to each other, specific components of Locke’s figurative

description of mind in the Essay are linked with various epistemological statements. As has been observed, this claim is central to the philosophical commentary on Locke. More specifically, a premise of this commentary is that Locke’s epistemological doctrine is dictated by his metaphors and his failure to understand them: “‘a metaphor, interpreted as a fact becomes the basis of his [Locke’s] philosophical system,” as T. H. Green puts it.°

Given that not just the older commentary on Locke but also modern histories of philosophy such as those told by Dewey, Heidegger, Ryle, and

Rorty grant priority to metaphor over doctrine, it would be easy to get away with the claim that Locke’s epistemology is governed by his representation of the mental site as space and his representation of the mental agent as a struck substance, a man who works to get property, and a man who entertains women to get acquainted with them. But that Locke’s imagination of the mental site as space rather than substance is conceptually consistent with, for example, his understanding of ideas as things which are ontologically different from the mind does not necessarily mean that this figure comes first and then demands Locke’s way of ideas. Neither

is it self-evident that because Locke’s discourse of weight and force is consistent in important respects with his troubled assertion of the difference between belief and knowledge as a difference in degree, this dynamic figuration rules this understanding. The kinds of conceptual consistency between some of Locke’s figures and parts of his literal epistemological statement observed in Part II, that is, do nothing to justify the premise of 5 Thomas Green, Locke and Hume 11.

198 Conclusion much of the commentary on Locke (and some of the commentary on western philosophy in general) that metaphor dictates philosophy. If anything, these observations suggest that Locke’s epistemological text is a complicated network within which competing figurative representations and literal statements exert various pressures at various moments against themselves and each other. Part II thus issues not in any claims about the metaphors that rule Locke’s philosophy, but only in claims about certain kinds of conceptual coherence between the two.

If Part II holds in check a standard premise of the philosophical commentary on Locke, it openly contests this commentary’s identification

of Locke’s figurative representation of mind. Though there are several exceptions, the philosophical commentary from Leibniz to Rorty generally does not observe the displacement of substance by space in Locke’s

representation of the mental site; it neglects the way in which Locke’s ocular terminology is contested and ultimately translatable to the vocabulary of touch; it overlooks the incursion of the language of Two Treatises into the Essay; it does not observe the way in which Locke’s representation

of mind is gendered; and it fails to observe the overall consistency with which Locke represents the mind as a site and an agent. Because this commentary is generally mistaken in its assessment of the pervasive figures of the Essay, its account of the engagement of Lockean epistemology with Lockean metaphor is in need of revision. The kind of revision which is in

order may be indicated by a consideration of Rorty’s account of the epistemological implications of what he identifies as Locke’s figure of mind. At one moment in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Rorty quotes

Locke’s claim that “imprinting, if it signify any thing, [is] nothing else, but the making certain Truths to be perceived. For to imprint anything on the Mind without the Mind’s perceiving it, seems to me hardly intelligible.”’ Without noticing that Locke is not here asserting that the mind is an

imprinted substance but trying to make sense of the innatists’ way of speaking, without worrying about the difference between imprinted substance and a mirror, and without worrying about the difference between enclosed space and substance, Rorty comments, it is as if the tabula rasa were perpetually under the gaze of the unblinking Eye of the Mind — nothing, as Descartes said, being nearer to the mind than itself. If the _ metaphor ts unpacked in this way, however, it becomes obvious that the imprinting is of less interest than the observation of the imprint ~ all the knowing gets done, so to speak, by the Eye which observes the imprinted tablet, rather than by the tablet itself. Locke’s success, accordingly, depended upon not unpacking the metaphor, on leaving intact the ambiguity between the quasi-red-and-triangular quasi-object in inner space and knowledge that such an object was there. Whereas Aristotle had not had to worry about an Eye of the Mind, believing knowledge to

be the edentity of the mind with the object known, Locke did not have this

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 199 alternative available. Since for him impressions were representations, he needed a faculty which was aware of the representations, a faculty which judged the representations rather than merely had them — judged that they existed, or that they were reliable, or that they had such-and-such relations to other representations. But he had no room for one, for to postulate such a faculty would have intruded a ghost into the quasi-machine whose operation he hoped to describe. He kept just enough of Aristotle to retain the idea of knowledge as consisting of something object-like

entering the soul, but not enough to avoid either skeptical problems about the accuracy of representations or Kantian questions about the difference between

intuitions with and without the “I think.’® |

In Book IV, Locke is in important ways inconsistent in his account of what the mental agent must be doing in order for it to know. For example, he sometimes claims that knowing is simply the mind’s perception of the

relation between ideas it contains, and sometimes claims that it also involves acts of affirmation or negation (543), acts of joining or separating signs (574), the act or state of assenting (591), and the act of judging (575). But it is not true that a major ambivalence between knowing as the simple

having of ideas and knowing as the mind’s action upon those ideas afflicts | Book IV. This is because Locke’s figurative discourse in this book and the

rest of the Essay unambiguously posits a mental agent which exists independently of the mental site, represented as an enclosed space, and which interacts in various ways with the contents of that space. The metaphors of work, possession, and acquaintance firmly establish knowing

as a mental agent’s engagement with the ideas it has or of which it is conscious; the discourse of force and impact which postulates a passive mental agent nevertheless describes knowing not as the having of ideas (which is represented as the existence of forceful visible objects in enclosed

space) but as the mental agent’s interaction with them (represented as acceleration and mutation). Locke’s metaphors insist that all the knowing does get done by the eye or person that observes and interacts with the content of mental space. And if by “unpacking a metaphor” Rorty means providing a literal epistemological statement which is conceptually consistent with it, Locke seems to unpack his bipartite metaphor in Book II where he literally asserts a mind which has the power to abstract, discern, combine, join, and separate ideas, before any ideas exist in mental space.

That is to say that the agent postulated by Locke’s bipartite figurative representation of mind is consistent with his literal account of a mental agency, in the form of various mental faculties, which preexists and works upon the givens of experience. In addition, given that the mind literally perceives ideas, Locke’s claim in Book IV that knowledge is nothing but the mind’s perception of the agreement or disagreement of ideas is a literal 6 Richard Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature 143-144. Further page references are included

in the text.

200 Conclusion claim which postulates a faculty or agency which is aware of ideas. On both the level of figurative representation and literal epistemological statement, Locke posits a mental agent which acts upon or engages with ideas. Because Rorty misidentifies Locke’s metaphors of mind, he underestimates how definitely Locke introduces a “‘ghost into the quasi-machine

whose operation he hoped to describe,” and he misdescribes Locke’s epistemological statement. An awareness of Locke’s principal metaphors of mind similarly qualifies Rorty’s account of ‘“‘the notion of ‘foundations’ of knowledge as based on

an analogy with the compulsion to believe when staring at an object” (162). The notion of foundations is afforded by the distinction Locke makes in his story of labor between faculties and simple ideas which are possessed without labor, and the ideas and propositions the mind comes to own through labor — the foundations of knowledge could be construed as

these faculties and simple ideas. And if, as Rorty claims, the notion of epistemological foundations is the consequence of any causal account of knowing, any account not of how people justify to others their claims to know but of the mind’s causal relations to objects, then Locke’s figurative

tales will have this consequence. For his account of knowledge is an account not of how the individual justifies his/her claims to other individuals, but of what must occur in order for the mind to know. But it is important to note that Locke’s metaphors of labor and acquaintance do not designate “‘a special privileged class of representations” whose ana-

| logue is an object set before the eye. They designate faculties, besides simple ideas, as the foundation, and the analogue is with what one cannot

avoid entertaining and owning, that is, with inalienable property and unwanted guests. The notion of foundations as “‘objects to be compelled

by” and a “class of representations so compelling that their accuracy cannot be doubted” is confirmed neither by the identification of ideas as

: material and property, nor by the identification of them as women received and embraced by men (for the individual is compelled not to see and believe but to own and entertain). Nor does Locke’s discourse of force in Book IV issue in the notion of a special class of representations which could serve as the foundation of knowledge. As a term which is complicitous with the quantification of the qualitative differences Locke wishes to sustain (between opinion and knowledge, propositions of knowledge and probable propositions, faculties of judgment and knowledge), “force” in fact destroys the possibility of a

privileged kind of proposition and belief which might ground all others. Though propositions may be about different things and be justifiable in different ways, they are represented as being essentially the same: forceful visible objects. ‘“‘Force,’’ and its manifestations as ‘“‘strength’’ and “weight,” work to erode the difference in kind which Locke attempts to

, Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 201 posit and which Rorty mistakenly observes to survive in Locke’s text as the possibility of a foundationalist epistemology. This mistake is largely due to the failure to see that the optical discourse in the Essay both elaborates the figures of labor and acquaintance and reduces to an account of the force,

impact, and substance which define tactile sensation. Locke literally asserts the possibility of a foundation of knowledge which is negated by the specific conceptual affiliations of some of his figures.

An understanding of Locke’s metaphors of mind enforces these qualifications to Rorty’s account of Locke’s epistemology because they challenge his more general understanding, shared by many others, of modern philosophy as a representational epistemology which is answerable to a picture of mind established by Descartes and Locke. Though he occasionally talks about inner space and the tabula rasa, Rorty seems to claim that Descartes and Locke picture the mind. as a mirror which receives

reflections (from something else understood as outer reality) that are surveyed by an inner eye. To know, on this picture, is to see these reflections and to see that they do or do not accurately represent reality. Skepticism, on this picture, is veil-of-ideas skepticism, the argument that given that the mind can only perceive representations (ideas) and not the reality that is represented by them, it cannot tell if its representations are accurate representations of the reality that they supposedly represent. Rorty can claim considerable textual support from the Essay for this view since Locke commonly identifies ideas as representations. And this identification of ideas as representations coheres with Locke’s description of the mental agent as an eye or person that sees. In addition, Locke on several occasions in the Essay explicitly recognizes veil-of-ideas skepticism as a problem and attempts to address it. This does not, however, mean that the Essay propounds the representational epistemology Rorty understands to be the center of post-Renaissance philosophy. For several features of Locke’s representational discourse

itself challenge this epistemology. First, Locke distinguishes between knowledge and real knowledge. Knowledge is achieved not through the mind’s assessment of the accuracy of representations but through its assessment of the relations between representations: “‘where-ever we perceive the Agreement or Disagreement of any of our /deas there is certain Knowledge: and where-ever we are sure those /deas agree with the reality

of things, there is certain real Knowledge” (573). Strictly speaking, Locke’s description of knowledge in terms of representation thus does not work to define knowing as the mind’s assessment of the accuracy of represen-

tations. It is not the mind that has knowledge and certainty, but only the

mind that has real knowledge and real certainty that Locke’s representationalist discourse represents as an eye that assesses the accuracy of representations. Second, within Locke’s general figuration of ideas as

202 Conclusion representations, many ideas turn out to be non-representative or selfrepresentative: All our complex Ideas, except those of Substances, being Archetypes of the Mind’s own

making, not intended to be the Copies of any thing, nor referred to the existence of any thing, as to their Originals, cannot want any conformity necessary to real Knowledge.

For that which is not designed to represent any thing but it self, can never be capable of a wrong representation, nor mislead us from the true apprehension of any thing, by its dislikeness to it: and such, excepting those of Substances, are all our complex Ideas. (564)

Because even within Locke’s general conception of ideas as representations, many ideas are non-representative, neither the mind that has knowledge nor the mind that has real knowledge is always postulated as a person or eye judging representations and their accuracy. In some important respects, Locke’s description of ideas as representations and the mind as a person or eye that sees them does not issue in a representation of the knowing mind as a mind that assesses the accuracy of representations.

It is also important to note various swerves from a representational theory of knowledge which are imposed by the terminology Rorty identifies as that which commits Locke to this kind of epistemology. The ocular terminology which Rorty observes to be part of Locke’s description of knowledge in terms of representation does not demand a description of ideas as representations. Indeed, in Locke’s Essay, ocular terminology is, in part, a component of a figurative discourse which describes the mental agent as a man and which describes ideas not as representations but as

women and material objects (not to mention the fact that this ocular terminology reduces to the terminology of tactile sensation). Moreover, even where ideas are described as representations, it is not always the case that knowing is figured as the mental agent’s perception or sight of inert representations. In chapter 5, it was noted that Locke commonly describes

the mind that knows as the mind that determines both ideas and the relations between them. Because Locke uses this term in the Essay to mean both acts of perception and acts of stipulation and legislation, his account

of the mind’s determination of the agreement or disagreement of its determined ideas fails to issue in a clear representation of knowing as simply seeing, perceiving, or judging inert representations — the term also identifies knowing as an act of will or authority, such as legislating, and the ideas that constitute knowledge as things animated by a will. Finally, representations can take many different forms which may stand in many different relations to any given individual: besides being reflections in a mirror the accuracy of which a person may be concerned to assess, they may be words, statues, or paintings which a person may be concerned to enjoy, own, display, or stash. The important thing about a representation,

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 203 that is to say, may not be the fact that it represents or the accuracy with which it represents, but the fact that it gives pleasure or is a material object which can constitute or be displayed as property. Thus, even given that Locke describes ideas as representations and the mental agent as a person

or eye that can see, it does not necessarily follow that he represents knowing as the perception or judgment of these representations. Indeed, Locke’s discourse of property, combined with the fact that he at one point in the Essay represents ideas in the mind as paintings which may be found in a closet, seems to affirm that what is important about representations is not that they may accurately represent other things but that they may be owned, stored, and enjoyed by a man. If this is so, the mind that knows would be represented as a man who owns or enjoys property in the form of representations — besides ownership, aesthetic enjoyment would be a figure of the mental state of knowledge. There are thus several dimensions of Locke’s representational discourse itself which challenge Rorty’s view that the Essay unequivocally promotes a representational epistemology. But the greatest weakness of this claim is simply that it neglects the pervasive figurative discourses of the Essay which displace the problematic of representation altogether. Within the discourse of property, acquaintance, and force, ideas are not represented as representations, and knowing is not represented as an eye’s assessment of the accuracy of representations. Representational discourse is only one figurative discourse of mind in the Essay, and the literal epistemological statements which cohere with it are only part of the Essay’s literal epistemological statement. To claim, as Rorty and many others (such as Foucault) do, that the Essay affirms a representational epistemology (one which is ambiguous in some ways) is to neglect how other figures and

literal epistemological statements abolish it.’ |

Since the Essay does not propound representational epistemology as Rorty claims, neither does it formulate skepticism in the way he claims. Veil-of-ideas skepticism, which Rorty sees as the form of skepticism afflicting Lockean representational epistemology, is certainly posed by the representational discourse of the Essay; it is also explicitly confronted on a

number of occasions (537, 563, 630). But this form of skepticism is compromised by some of the details of Locke’s representationalism noted above; it is also entirely displaced by forms of skepticism which are posed by the pervasive figurative descriptions of the mind and ideas in this work. In relation to Locke’s representation of knowledge as ownership, skepticism is the argument that a man’s manual labor does not justify his claim to property in material; in relation to Locke’s representation of knowledge

as acquaintance, skepticism is the argument that a man can not become

7 See Michel Foucault, The Order of Things. |

204 Conclusion acquainted with (and the owner of) a woman; in relation to Locke’s representation of knowledge as a change in a body’s form or state of motion, skepticism is the argument that moving material bodies can neither accelerate nor deform another material body by striking it. That is to say that the pervasive figurative discourses of the Essay establish skepticism as a position which conceives of the mind as a man who, in spite of his

labor, owns nothing, a man who, in spite of the parties he hosts, is unacquainted with women, and a material body which, in spite of being

struck by other material bodies, remains unmoved and undented. If Locke’s representational figurative discourse poses veil-of-ideas skepticism, then, the other figurative discourses of the Essay pose property skepticism, isolated man skepticism, and stasis skepticism. It is important to note, however, that though these other kinds of skepticism are built into the Essay by virtue of its figurative representations of mind, Locke never explicitly recognizes and confronts them. He never, for example, explicitly considers a challenge to the view that a man’s labor justifies his claim to

property in material as a challenge to the Essay’s claim for human knowledge. That only veil-of-ideas skepticism is openly recognized and confronted (though in a way which, for many, including Berkeley and

Hume, is inadequate) means neither that it is the form of skepticism afflicting Lockean epistemology, nor that the other forms of skepticism are weak and unimportant — given the way Locke represents the mind, the challenge to the view that a man’s labor justifies his claim to property in material is just as deadly to Locke’s claim to knowledge as is the challenge to the view that a man may see that a representation of the real is accurate even though all he can see are representations of the real. It only means that the other forms of skepticism in the Essay remain implicit, unmet, and, it would seem, unrecognized by Locke. These forms of implicit skepticism considerably displace the veil-of-ideas skepticism which Locke explicitly recognizes and which Rorty, following Locke, mistakenly claims 1s the formulation of skepticism in the Essay.®

The actual text of the Essay may thus be said to assert the picture of mind which is consistent with the hermeneutical, anti-representationalist, anti-foundationalist epistemology which Rorty proposes as the alternative to representational epistemology. When Rorty proposes that “we will say with Quine that knowledge is not like an architectonic structure but like a

field of force’ (181), that we conceive of “‘conversation” rather than “confrontation” as the determinant of our belief (163), and that “coming 8 These observations might be fruitfully related to some of Stanley Cavell’s speculations about possession, jealousy, statues, and skepticism, though Cavell seems unaware of how ownership, acquaintance, acceleration, and deformation are pervasive representations of knowing in central post-Renaissance epistemological texts such as Locke’s Essay. See The Claim of Reason: Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality, and Tragedy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979) and Disowning Knowledge In Six Plays of Shakespeare (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 205 to understand is more like getting acquainted with a person than like following a demonstration” (319), he is unknowingly proposing comparisons which are powerfully asserted in the form of metaphor and allegory in Locke’s epistemological writing. Major dimensions of the figurative discourse of the Essay, that is, have already asserted the herme-

neutical alternative to the representational epistemology which follows from only one part of this figurative discourse. Locke’s Essay is thus a richer textual resource than the philosophical

commentary on it would indicate. Though Locke writes about ideas as representations, he also writes about them in the context of a figurative discourse of mind which has little to do with representations. One major dimension of this discourse is constituted by socio-politico-erotic terminology. This fact confirms the general claim made by sociologists of knowledge such as David Bloor who, in Knowledge and Social Imagery, claims that

“in thinking about knowledge we are thinking about society,”’ and that ‘we think about knowledge by manipulating images of society.”’? In much

of the Essay, Locke writes about knowledge by writing literally about specific situations of labor and conversation. Because, for Bloor, our model of society.is necessarily ‘“‘a simplified picture, an image, or what may be

called an ‘ideology,’ he suggests that ideology governs epistemology: ‘the dimly perceived sense of identity between knowledge and society in fact provides a channel through which our simplified social ideologies make contact with our theories of knowledge. It is these ideologies rather than the totality of our real social experience which might be expected to control and structure our theories of knowledge” (46). Again, one may question the kind of prioritizing that is postulated here. But if the observa-

tion of the discourse of property and acquaintance in Locke is further evidence for Bloor’s claim about how knowledge is represented and understood, his claim about the ideology of social models, in conjunction with these observations on Locke, opens the way for a kind of ideological assessment of Locke’s empiricism: to identify the ideology of the Essay would be to identify the ideology implicit in Locke’s vision of men working to claim property in material goods (that is, the ideology of Two Treatises of Government) and men becoming acquainted with those women whom Locke literally describes as sources of erroneous belief and superstition.

The project of understanding the ideology and politics of the Essay where this would mean understanding what Locke thought it was justifying, what during the Restoration it was thought by others to be justifying, and how it is related to concepts of political theory, would also need to consider several other suggestions made in Part II. Locke’s representation of the mental agent as a manual laborer is an example of how, on 9 David Bloor, Knowledge and Social Imagery (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1976) 45.

Further page references are included in the text. ,

206 Conclusion | the level of figurative epistemological discourse, he is allied with the political movement of the dissenters. This representation may also ally Locke with the Royal Society’s ideological agenda which, as Shapin and Schaffer argue, postulated knowledge as the product of the male experimentalist’s labor in the laboratory (and which is not entirely consistent with that of the dissenters). But so may Locke’s representation of mental action in terms of motion, impact, and sight, since as White observes, the

new science was claiming to explain these things and explain other phenomena in terms of them. The remarkable way in which Locke, on the

one hand, condemns the figurative application of words in discourses where knowledge is concerned and, on the other hand, recommends It is also parallelled in Royal Society statements on rhetoric such as that of Sprat, and is further grounds for understanding the Essay in terms of the larger political agenda of the Royal Society (for, as recent scholars insist,

the Royal Society’s statements on rhetoric are an integral part of its general ideology). Finally, the Essay’s implicit recommendation of eloquence where truth and knowledge are concerned, in addition to the way

in which it subsumes knowledge and belief under the category of persuasion, would seem to align Locke with Ciceronian political thought in ways which are not commonly recognized. This breakdown of the differ-

ence in kind between knowledge and belief which is accomplished by Locke’s discourse of force, however, challenges a premise of some of his arguments in favor of limited toleration and against enthusiasm. Though presented only in skeletal form, these observations would yet need to be taken into account by a comprehensive understanding of the politics of Locke’s epistemological writing.!°


The observations of how Locke describes the mind presented in Part IT lead to insights concerning the diverse ways in which Lockean epistemology is continuous with rhetorical tradition. The figurative description of mind which pervades the Essay first of all disqualifies this work as an instance of the literal, nonmetaphorical expression called for, though not consistently, by Locke himself and various members of the Royal Society. 10 See Richard Ashcraft, Revolutionary Politics and Locke’s “Two Treatises of Government”; Steven

Shapin and Simon Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump; P. J. White, ‘‘Materialism and the Concept of Motion in Locke’s Theory of Sense-Idea Causation,” Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 2 (1971) 97-134; Peter Alexander, Ideas, Qualities, and Corpuscles: Locke and

Boyle on the External World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985); Richard Kroll, The Material Word, and “‘Introduction,” Philosophy, Science, and Religion in England, 1640-1700 \—24;

Brian Vickers, ‘“The Royal Society and English Prose Style: A Reassessment,” Rhetoric and the Pursuit of Truth: Language Change in the Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries (Los Angeles: William

Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 1985) 3-76; Neal Wood, The Politics of Locke’s Philosophy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983).

Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 207 In addition, the figurative representation of the mind as a perceiver of force, strength, and weight works to transmute the difference in kind Locke wants to maintain between knowledge and probability into a difference of degree: the mental states of belief and knowledge are desig-

nated within this representation as states of belief which differ only quantitatively. Because the concept of persuasion as it is articulated in both rhetorical tradition and the Essay itself is the concept of an amount of

belief, or of belief with an amount of force or strength, it comprehends essential elements of Locke’s concepts of belief and knowledge (as mental states). The figurative representation of the mind as a body that perceives the force, strength, and weight of visible material objects thus works to

establish the concept of persuasion as one which subsumes two of the central epistemological categories of the Essay. Because it is represented as a body that can register the power of other

bodies that strike it, the mental agent of the Essay can coherently be described as registering the power of those things which are represented as bodies that strike it, namely ideas and the language of wit, fancy, metaphor, and eloquence. The discourse of “force” in the Essay, that is, also conforms with the representation of figurative language as something that strikes the mind, a representation which marks both the classical theory of __ persuasion and the Essay. And since figurative language is represented in the same way as ideas, figurative language may enter into the constitution

of that which is known and that which induces knowledge as a mental state. Locke further engages with rhetorical tradition by attributing to common usage the power that this tradition assigns to poetry and oratory. As language that can make the listener feel he/she actually senses what is being described, and as language that assumes an epistemological privilege over technical terminology, common usage in the Essay is granted both rhetorical and epistemological prestige — Locke does not banish energeia but locates it in common linguistic usage. This implicit affirmation of rhetorical power which contests the explicit denigration of rhetoric in the Essay is reinforced by Locke’s account of the sensible origins of all abstract terms. Implicitly identifying all abstract terms as tropes or the product of a tropological history, Locke does not condemn them but identifies them as an effective means of communicating ideas. The rehabilitation of rhetoric which is underway in the Essay is made explicit in Of the Conduct of the Understanding where Locke asserts the pedagogical value of tropes, and in A Letter Concerning T oleration where Locke discusses the proper way of altering

religious belief: given that, as a form of persuasion, religious belief is legitimately altered only by immaterial force, and that both ideas and eloquence are forms of immaterial force, eloquence 1s legitimized in theological debate. This argument, in conjunction with the Essay’s designation of ail belief (both certain and uncertain) as persuasion, once again

208 Conclusion permits eloquence to emerge as a legitimate power in all fields of knowledge. The representation of the mental agent as a being that registers force de frappe contests other pervasive dimensions of Locke’s discourse of mind in the Essay but coheres with the various ways in which the terminology

and concepts of rhetorical tradition infiltrate this work. Part III (Trope) presents further observations concerning the ways in which Locke articulates the concept of the trope. Leibniz rather than de Man is the most reliable guide here, for he recognizes that Locke’s account of both words and ideas includes descriptions of tropes. That is to say that

Leibniz recognizes that besides describing abstract terms and various linguistic usages as tropes, Locke also describes specific substitutions of ideas as tropes. In his descriptions of mental activities, such as association and perception, and specific ideas, such as the idea of infinity and the idea of substance, Locke identifies structures of substitution which are homologous with the structures of those substitutions of words which Aristotle, Quintilian, and their descendants call ‘““metonymy,” “‘synecdoche,”’ and

“metaphor.” This observation permits an elaboration of how Locke’s theory of language is tropological: if ideas are the meaning of words, and if ideas themselves are in some cases the result of tropological substitutions, then meaning itself is in some cases a trope. So that even if words were never substituted, and even if every word was always used to stand for or excite the same ideas, Locke’s theory of language would still be tropological in the sense that the meanings of some words would themselves be the product of a tropologically structured substitution (for example, an idea of effect substituted for an idea of cause, and taken as an idea of cause). Locke’s

account of the substitutions of ideas thus works to identify one more

trope. |

respect in which his description of language includes a description of the

The concepts of persuasion and the trope, then, are extensively articulated by Locke and occupy a central position in the Essay. Brian Vickers and Richard Kroll are hence justified in challenging R. F. Jones’ vision of the Restoration as a period centered on the plain style and an uncompromising rejection of rhetoric. The particular way in which this articulation is embedded in the Essay, however, does not support Kroll’s vision of Locke as a spokesman of ‘‘a distinctively neoclassical ideology of contingency” which is defined by a mitigated skepticism, a form of voluntarism, and the fact that “‘all forms of knowledge (including natural philosophy) were commonly known and confessed to be rhetorical.”!! This is because the various forms of continuity between rhetorical theory and Lockean epistemology are fundamentally contested by not only explicit condemnations of rhetoric in the Essay, but also central aspects of Locke’s 1! Richard Kroll, The Material Word 22.

] Locke, literary criticism, and philosophy 209 epistemological statement. ‘The breakdown of the knowledge/probability difference and its subsumption by the category of persuasion is not affirmed by Locke but takes place as a violation of fundamental and explicitly

asserted categories of the Essay. The legitimacy of eloquence in the discourse of what is true is not affirmed by Locke but emerges as the implicit consequence of specific figurations in conjunction with other specific claims in the Essay and arguments in A Letter Concerning Toleration.

The mechanisms governing the association of ideas may be drawn from

the tropes of classical rhetoric but are certainly not asserted as such, perhaps because, as Bloom suspects, the ambition of empiricist psychology

was not to carry on the classical and Renaissance rhetorical tradition but ‘to usurp [its] place and function.’’!? The tropological structure of both

language and perception is not explicitly identified as such but only implicitly defined and strongly marked as the model of error. Because the

persistence of rhetorical tradition in Lockean epistemology is fundamentally contested and repressed, the Essay diverges in a fundamental way

from the literate culture of the Restoration postulated by Kroll. The situation, at least in Locke, is one of radical propositional contradiction, terminological inconsistency, and conceptual contestation which fails to issue in a coherent affirmation either for or against rhetoric. The troubled way in which rhetorical theory lives as empiricism bears not only on accounts of Restoration culture but also on visions of Romanticism. For, as was observed in the introduction, the distinction between empiricist epistemology and Nietzschean rhetoric marks a prominent rift

in the modern understanding of Romanticism. This rift appears to be much less substantial once it is observed that the central statement of Nietzsche’s writing on trope and concept is accomplished by the text of empiricism. This statement is more difficult to recognize and name in the

empiricists because they eschew the rhetorical terminology which is blatant in the early Nietzsche. That it takes Leibniz to tell Locke he is really engaged in a rhetorical critique of conceptuality (that it takes a German writing in French to describe an Englishman as a rhetorician) is

indicative of anxieties and usurpations in British empiricism (and, it would seem, of a particular configuration of nationalities which is visible

in the genealogy of contemporary literary theory). But this should not prevent the recognition of modes of analysis in this tradition which ally it . with what de Man correctly identifies as a major and persistent procedure of Nietzsche. Because empiricism articulates the relation between structures of consciousness and those of language in the same way Nietzsche

does, empiricism provides a form of historical legitimacy (should one require it) for the ostensibly ahistorical rhetorical analyses of some forms of '2 Harold Bloom, ‘‘Poetic Crossing: Rhetoric and Psychology,” The Georgia Review 30 (1976) 508.

210 Conclusion contemporary Romantic criticism. And the vision of Romanticism which claims the rhetorical writings of Nietzsche as an Urtext can also be seen to

be enabled and accommodated by the conceptual annihilations and tropological genealogies of error which empiricism achieves. The recogni-

tion of Lockean epistemology as a precedent of Nietzsche’s rhetorical critique reveals both the crudity of the standard Romantic interpretation of empiricism as a document of skepticism and dualism, and the affinities between empiricism and an interpretation of Romanticism which defines its Urtext as an alternative to empiricism. If the central issue of Romanticism is taken to be the relation between structures of concepts, consciousness, and language, then both An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and

The Book of the Philosopher comment on, and are commented upon by, Romanticism. More generally, Romanticism is conceivable not as a reaction against but as a particular transformation of the Enlightenment. The particular complicity between empiricism and Nietzsche observed

in Part III further challenges prevailing conceptions of the history of western philosophy and literary theory, and works to define the power of a tropological critique of specific concepts. An understanding of Nietzsche’s

empiricism checks the extremely powerful impulse in both continental

philosophical tradition and contemporary literary theory to exclude British empiricism from authentic theory and philosophy. Conversely, it checks the impulse of the Anglo-American philosophical tradition to regard Nietzsche’s oeuvre as fundamentally foreign and irrelevant to the rigor of professional philosophizing. That is to say that rhetorical theory, as the study of persuasion and tropes (tropes frequently being treated as part of persuasive technique), is a principal mediation of Anglo-American and continental philosophical tradition, a mediation which both sides seem bent on denying. As such, rhetorical theory is hardly the ground of a critique of western philosophy. In arguing that the Nietzschean critique of metaphysics is grounded 1n the model of the trope, de Man fails to observe, first, the specific conceptual investments required to construct this model

(though some of these investments are qualified by specific parts of Nietzsche’s rhetorical critique) and, second, the general notion of truth which it presupposes. As both Derrida and Heidegger observe, an uncriti-

cally postulated model of the trope can never be the basis of a metaphysical critique because of these investments and presuppositions. Deconstruction, as a critique of western metaphysics, is distinct from the tropological critique of conceptuality which is central to Nietzsche and

empiricism. |

Appendix These lists are not exhaustive but are meant to justify further some of the claims about Locke’s pervasive figurative representation of mind which are presented in Part II. For a listing of exactly how many times each of these terms occurs in the Essay, see R. M. P. Malpas, ‘An Electronic Text of the Essay,” The Locke Newsletter 21 (1990) 57-110.

1. Occurrences of some of the locutions which describe the mind simply as

some kind of enclosed space (there are frequently more than one occurrence per page, and those cases where Locke speaks of ‘“‘us’”’ or “‘we”’ instead of the mind, memory, and understanding are not included): ideas framed in the mind or understanding: 92, 120, 171, 214, 225, 289, 298, 300, 351, 358, 369, 393, 411, 430, 517, 575, 604, 621. people having ideas or knowledge in the mind, understanding, or memory: 43, 44, 97, 104,

106, 133, 150, 180, 186, 214, 215, 217, 224, 292, 293, 319, 326, 327, 373, 377, 379, 386, 393, 407, 408, 410, 416, 423, 502, 526, 559, 576, 582, 597, 614, 618, 622, 630, 632, 637. ideas or knowledge produced in or introduced, received, admitted, conveyed, brought, entering,

or coming into the mind or understanding: 48, 53, 55, 61, 83, 85, 87, 95, 97, 98, 104-107,

117-119, 120, 121, 127, 128, 134, 136, 138, 140, 142, 143, 145, 149, 150, 151, 152, 154, 157, 160, 162, 163, 166, 171, 182, 183, 185, 223, 226, 295, 373, 389, 396, 425, 428, 441, 514, 515, 523, 536, 538, 555, 603, 631, 632, 635, 638, 691, 701, 702, 712. ideas and other things are or exist in the mind, memory, or understanding: 48, 50, 55, 56, 58,

61, 83, 97, 98, 115, 117, 119, 131, 132, 134, 144, 150, 151, 152, 161, 164, 166, 167, 182-187, 195, 205, 206, 213, 226, 228, 247, 254, 287, 288, 289, 291, 292, 321, 322, 326, 333, 362, 378, 383, 384, 385, 389, 390, 394, 396, 397, 398, 400, 402, 405, 406, 407, 408, 409, 414, 415, 420, 421, 422, 426, 428, 430, 443, 466, 467, 471, 506, 517, 523, 537, 544, 550, 551, 559, 564, 565, 566, 575, 577, 585, 592, 593, 595, 599, 633, 638, 642, 648, 660, 680, 683, 689, 712.

2. Occurrences of some of the locutions which describe the mind as a man

who labors and stores material goods in an enclosed space: 211

212 Appendix the mind that works, labors, and is employed: 105, 112, 113, 129, 149, 151, 152, 155, 156,

526, 538, 544, 593, 640, 646, 650-652, 679, 680, 682, 685. essences or abstract ideas as the workmanship of the mind or understanding: 415, 416, 431,

436, 462. the mind, understanding, or memory as an enclosed space which 1s stocked or in which things are

stored and laid up: 106, 112, 116, 117, 119, 132, 148, 150, 153, 154, 159, 162, 168, 208, 292, 293, 386, 426, 491, 528, 632, 658, 640, 721. language and tdeas as materials: 55, 118, 119, 132, 163, 166, 292, 323, 401; for explicit

assertions of the analogy between the body’s work on materials and the mind’s thought on simple ideas, see 120 and 164.

3. Occurrences of some of the locutions which describe the mind as a scene of acquaintance: acquaintance: 6, 7, 59, 61, 83, 92, 97-98, 106, 108, 113, 153, 202, 277, 306, 317, 416, 419, 427, 452, 453, 487, 515, 521, 522, 548, 557, 570, 574, 595, 596, 603, 610, 636, 649, 663, 710, 721. the furnished mind or understanding: 44, 55, 105-107, 116, 117, 119, 123, 132, 145, 153,

164, 187, 224, 226, 288, 295, 562, 679. the mind, memory, or understanding as a place of lodging: 55, 56, 84, 96, 106, 152, 153, 190, 291, 507, 528, 632. reception/receiving: throughout the entire Essay. ideas entering, being brought, coming, and being admitted into the mind: see list }. the mind and men entertaining and being entertained by tdeas, thoughts, principles, wit, truths,

and propositions: 6, 43, 82, 83, 156, 164, 280, 357, 508, 528, 633, 655, 663, 665, 695, 697, 705. ideas excited in us or in our minds: 146, 160, 407-409, 424, 425, 426, 476, 478, 506, 689, 701. the mind and men embracing ideas, opinions, beliefs, principles, maxims, falsehoods, and truth:

44, 48, 52, 66, 81, 84, 101, 400, 528, 534, 537, 601, 658-660, 695, 705, 711, 718, 719. accompanied and accompanying ideas; gangs and companies of ideas: 150, 163, 229, 289,

338, 395, 396, 397, 437. ideas stripped naked: 567, 574, 670, 676, 700. See also 714 for the representation of the man whose opinions are changed by cogent arguments as a man who disrobes himself and turns “‘himself out stark naked, in quest a-fresh of new Notions.” ideas, doctrines, arguments, reasons, and probabilities prevailing with men and the mind: 94,

621, 658, 686, 691, 714.

4, Examples of Locke’s punning on “‘lie’”’ and “‘lay:” the mind lays up ideas in its memory (377), lays proofs in clear order (669), lays

Appendix 213 naked ideas in due order to see what connection they have (676), and lays up general notions (640); men lay by old terms (291), lay stress upon opinion (76), lay their ideas before the view of others (405), lay by ideas (437), lay about with words (438), lay stress upon words (497), lay together the connection of ideas (530), lay

down propositions (599), lay propositions together (671), lay out their time and pains (707), give their own experience the lie (713), and can believe a lie (703); Locke lays foundations (100), lays open fallacy (677), lays wild fancies before the reader (304), lays open the madness of association under its due name (395), and lays down for an infallible rule (617); chickens lay eggs (323); the entertainment

and pleasantry of wit lies in metaphor and allusion (156); judgment lies in separating ideas (156); truth has been laid by God within man’s grasp (698), and lies on a side of a question (695).

Select bibliography

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Aaron, Richard, 127 Daston, Lorraine, 100-101, 106, 109n

Aarsleff, Hans, 8-9, 118n, 135 deconstruction, 20, 22, 24-28, 172-186, 210; Abrams, M. H., 4-9, 13, 17, 20-21, 162-163 see also de Man, Derrida, Nietzsche

Addison, Joseph, 9, 73, 104n Deleuze, Gilles, 186

Alexander, Peter, 39, 92n, 206n De Man, Paul, xiii-xiv, 161; on Locke,

allegory, 6, 51-52, 158, 205 19-20, 23, 131-157; on Romanticism, anthropomorphism, 176-177 6-7, 21-24; on Nietzsche, 21-24,

Appleby, Joyce, 196n 171-186, 209-210

Aristotle, 46, 110n, 116, 118; on persuasion, Derrida, Jacques, 20, 25, 135n, 148, 170n; on xiv, 107-108, 122-123, 131, 149-151; on metaphor, 15, 73n, 102-103, 161, 180n;

metaphor, 53, 120, 157—158, 208; on on metaphysical critique, 26-28, perception, 18, 32n, 198-199; on topics, 152-154, 186, 210

162-163 De Sade, Marquis, 100 196n, 206n 103, 104, 195, 198, 201 association of ideas, xiii, 5, 6n, 18-20, 59-60, Diacritics, 21-22

Ashcraft, Richard, xvi, 49, 51n, 109n, 114n, Descartes, René, 4, 6, 11, 16, 17, 92n, 100,

163-164, 166n, 179, 208, 209 Diderot, Dénis, 88n

Dryden, John, 55, 70, 121n Bacon, Francis, 11, 56 dualism, 4-7, 9, 21, 23, 192-193, 210 Bate, Walter Jackson, 6

Bender, John, 12 enargeia and energeia, 120-121, 125, 207 Bennett, Jonathan, 17, 31, 135, 139n Eng, Erling, 35-36

Berkeley, George, 17, 88, 103, 171, 204 Enlightenment, 5n, 21, 23, 71n, 133, 156,

Bloom, Harold, 18~23, 162-163, 209 178, 210

Bloor, David, 205 enthusiasm, 5, 9, 79-81, 112-113, 196, 206 Boyle, Robert, xvi, 49, 91n, 126n Epicurus, 91n, 92n, 122. Brisman, Leslie, 22 epistemology, and metaphors of mind, 14-18, 31-127, 131, 189-192, 197-207; and Caruth, Cathy, 8n, 71n rhetoric, 18-20, 23-24, 131-186,

Cave, Terence, 121 206-210 Cavell, Stanley, 204n

Cicero, 19, 116-118, 120, 127, 206 figurative language, see metaphor, metonymy,

Clark, Maudemarie, 161n synecdoche, trope, persuasion, rhetoric Cobban, Alfred, 10 force, seventeenth-century concepts of,

Clark, S. H., 10 Fish, Stanley, 25, 26, 153n

Cohen, I. B., 104 103-104; Locke’s literal account of,

Cohen, Murray, !6] 101-103; of ideas, 95-112, 190-206; of Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 3, 4, 6, 9, 19, words, 115-127, 207

21 Foucault, Michel, xiv, 118n, 153, 203 142-143 Fox Keller, Evelyn, 56

Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, 9, 135, Fox, Christopher, 10 Cowley, Abraham, 67

Crane, R. S., 45 Gasché, Rodolphe, 132n, 145-148, 180n Cranston, Maurice, 72 Gibson, James, 34n, 45 Cumming, Robert Denoon, 5In, 127n, 196n Green, Thomas Hill, 15, 31, 39n, 197 225

226 Index Heidegger, Martin, 17, 27, 135, 183-184, Two Treatises of Government, xvi, 49-52, 55,

197, 210 63-64, 93, 189, 191, 198, 205

Heinzelman, Kurt, 51, 72 Longinus, 120, 122 Hertz, Neil, 145-148

Hobbes, Thomas, xvi, 11, 92n, 110n MacLean, Kenneth, 3

Howell, Wilbur Samuel, 164n Malpas, R. M. P., xv, 211 Hume, David, 11, 17, 18, 31n, 47, 102, 103, Mandelbaum, Maurice, 91n 162, 163, 167, 168, 171-172, 178, 184, McKeon, Michael, !2, 55, 73n, 196

185, 204 Mérian, Jean-Bernard, 88

Hunter, Michael, 126n metaphor, 118, 175, 176, 184-185, 208; classical definitions of, 15, 51, 53, 117,

infinity, 167, 208 120, 157-158, 208; de Man’s definition innatism, 32-41, 43, 45, 52, 53, 55-57, 75, 79, of, 139-140; all language as, 160-161; 83, 189, 191, 198 Locke’s account of, 53, 118, 123; of Iser, Wolfgang, 26 mind, xiv, 4, 8, 10, 13-18, 31-127, 189-206, 211-212

Jacobs, Carol, 145-148 metonymy, 118, 143, 157-158, 164-166,

Jones, R. F., 20, 208 170-171, 173, 175, 176, 181-182, 184, judgment, xiii, 18; Socrates on, 41~43; and 185, 208

wit, 6n, 123, 196; and sensation, 85-87, Miller, J. Hillis, 20-21, 176

164-167; and probability, 98-100, Milton, John, 9, 58-59

106-110, 124, 200 Molyneux problem, 84-88, 93, 101, 164-165 monsters, 59-61, 140-141 , Kant, Immanuel, 20-21, 23, 143, 178, 184, 199

Kellner, Hans, 166 Newton, Isaac, 5, 31n, 95, 103-104 Kofman, Sarah, 178, 180n 161, 171-186, 195; 209-210

Knapp, Stephen, 9, 196n Nietzsche, Friedrich, xiv, xv, 20-24, 150-154,

Kroli, Richard, 20, 23, 92n, 109n, 118n, 192, novel, 11-12, 194-197 196n, 206n, 208-209

Ong, Walter, 41

labor, Locke’s literal account of, 49-50, 93; . Locke’s representation of thinking as, particles, 125n 45-56, 71-72, 131, 189-206, 211-212 Passmore, J. A., 109n Lacoue-Labarthe, Philippe, 178, 180n Patey, Douglas Lane, 73n, 109n, 110n

language, Locke’s theory of, 8, 61-64, Paulson, Ronald, 11-12 116-127, 132-145, 156-161, 207-209 persuasion, Locke’s concept of, 79-81,

Laslett, Peter, 51n, 67n 112-115, 121, 127, 206-209; de Man’s Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, Baron von, xiii, practice of, xiv, 132, 148-152; classical xvi, 31, 65n, 117-118, 132, 156-161, theory of, 122~123, 127, 131, 149-150,

166-167, 198, 208, 209 207

Leighton, Angela, 7 Pfau, Thomas, 22-23

Lentricchia, Frank, 149 philology, 24-25

209-210 174

literary history, xiii, 3-14, 19, 55, 192-197, Plato, 15, 32n, 41-43, 48, 50, 107, 108, 122, literary theory, see deconstruction, de Man, primary and secondary qualities, xiii, 4-5, 6n,

Derrida, Nietzsche 89-90

Lloyd, Genevieve, 56 probability, 99, 100, 105-113, 200, 207, 209

Locke, John property, Locke’s literal account of, 49-50;

A Letter Concerning Toleration, xvi, 72, Locke’s representation of ideas as, 42-52,

113-115, 125, 127n, 207, 209 71~72, 74, 189-206, 211-212

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding,

throughout Quintilian, 116, 120, 122, 157-158, 164, 208

“An Essay Concerning Toleration,” 114n

“Draft A” of An Essay Concerning Human Rajan, Tilottama, 22

Understanding,” 31-32 reason, 34, 35, 38, 45, 49, 97-98, 110, 184

Of the Conduct of the Understanding, 118, 125, Reid, Thomas, 14, 31

166, 207 representational epistemology, xiv, 17~—18,

Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 12n, 141-142, 183-184, 199-205

59n, 127n Restoration comedy, 68-71, 189

Index 227 rhetoric, history of, xiv, 18-20, 23-24, 105n, substance, Locke’s literal account of,

112-127, 206-210; see also metaphor, 136-140, 169-174, 177, 179, 202; Locke’s

metonymy, synecdoche, trope, representation of mind and ideas as, xv,

persuasion 31-43, 48, 49, 52-55, 71, 93-94,

Richetti, John, xiv, 15-16, 73n, 80, 107n, 195 104—106, 189-206; see also tabula rasa

Ricoeur, Paul, 158n synecdoche, 24, 118, 157-159, 168-169, 208 Rogers, G. A. J., 34n, 115n

Romanticism, xiii, 3-9, 18-23, 55, 180, tabula rasa, xiv, 31-32, 34, 35, 48, 73, 198, 201

192-195, 209-210 topics (toper), 18-19, 162-163

Rooney, Ellen, 149-150 touch, 73; Locke’s literal account of, 39,

Rorty, Richard, xiii, 17-18, 31, 55, 73n, 85-93; Locke’s representation of thinking

197-205 as, 82-84, 93-94, 103-106, 190-206

Rousseau, G. S., 10 trope, in Locke’s theory of language, xiv,

Royal Society, xvi, 49, 67, 92, 100, 104, 126, 19-20, 23, 117-118, 125-127, 131-142,

206 156-161, 207-209; in Locke’s theory of

Ryle, Gilbert, 16-17, 73n, 100, 111, 197 ideas, 18-19, 161-172, 208-210; in Nietzsche’s conceptual critique, 24,

Saccamano, Neil, 105n 172-186, 209-210; all language as,

Salvaggio, Ruth, 71n 156-161 ,

secularization, 12, 21, 55-56, 195-196 Tuck, Richard, |16n sensation, Locke’s literal account of, 38-41, Tully, James, 51n, 100, 109n, 113, 115n, 194

76-78, 88-94, 164-167; Locke’s Tuveson, Ernest, 5-6, 10n, 11, 13 representation of thinking and knowing

as, 17, 18, 73-94, 116; see also sight, Vickers, Brian, 20, 23, 122n, 126n, 206n, 208

touch Vogt, Philip, 36n, 118n

Shapin, Steven and Simon Schaffer, xvi, 49,

100, 126n, 206 Walmsley, Peter, 126n

Shapiro, Barbara, 108-109 Wasserman, Earl, 6—7

Shell, Marc, 50-51 Watt, Ian, 11

Shuger, Debora, 122n Weiskel, Thomas, 8, 55 :

Siebers, Tobin, 150 Westfall, Richard, 103 sight, Locke’s literal account of, 39, 84-88, White, P. J., 92, 206

90-93; Locke’s representation of thinking Willey, Basil, 3-4, 11 and knowing as, 7, 8, 10, 17-18, 34—35, wit, xiii, 6n, 69, 110n, 196

40, 53, 73-106, 189-206 women, Locke’s literal account of, 57-67, 93, skepticism, 12, 16, 17, 18, 115n, 197, 105; Locke’s representation of ideas as,

203-204, 208, 210 67-72, 100, 186, 189-206, 211-212;

space, Locke’s representation of mind as, 8, Locke’s representation of rhetoric as,

31-56, 71-72, 75-78, 93-94, 189-206, 122-123

211-212 Wood, Neal, 45, 51n, 127n, 206n

Sprat, Thomas, 67n, 125-126, 206 Wycherley, William, 68, 189 Steadman, John, 65n, 67n

Sterne, Laurence, 10, 31, 52 Yolton, John, 34n, 40n, 73n

Stewart, Dugald, 14, 31 Youngren, William, 10, 34n

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