The Coherence of Consciousness in Locke's Essay

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Locke has been accused of failing to have a coherent understanding of consciousness, since it can be identical neither to reflection nor to ordinary perception without contradicting other important commitments. I argue that the account of consciousness is coherent once we see that, for Locke, perceptions of ideas are complex mental acts and that consciousness can be seen as a special kind of self-referential mental state internal to any perception of an idea.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-39
JournalHistory of Philosophy Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Consciousness
  • Visual perception
  • Sensation
  • Perception theory
  • Mind
  • History of philosophy
  • Mental acts


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