Locke vs. Hume: Who is the better concept-empiricist?

Ruth Weintraub*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


According to the received view, Hume is a much more rigorous and consistent concept-empiricist than Locke. Hume is supposed to have taken as a starting point Locke's meaning-empiricism, and worked out its full radical implications. Locke, by way of contrast, cowered from drawing his theory's strange consequences. The received view about Locke's and Hume's concept-empiricism is mistaken, !shall argue. Hume may be more uncompromising (although he too falters), but he is not more rigorous than Locke. It is not because of (intellectual) timidity that Locke does not draw Hume's conclusions from his empiricism. It is, rather, because of his much sounder method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-500
Number of pages20
JournalDialogue-Canadian Philosophical Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007


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