Instrumental or Immersed Experience: Pleasure, Pain and Object Perception in Locke

  • Lisa Shapiro
Part of the Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 25)


This paper aims to draw out two distinct strands in Locke’s account of our simple ideas of experience: an instrumental and an immersed model of experience. The place of pleasure and pain in sensation is key to the distinction between these two models. After showing this equivocation in Locke’s account, I consider its implications for his account of object perception, or our ideas of particular substances, and suggest that considering these issues in Locke might afford insight into contemporary discussions of the Binding Problem. I conclude by showing how Berkeley and Condillac resolve this equivocation in Locke and considering why Locke himself might have failed to do so.


Simple Idea Sense Organ Sensory Experience Affective Dimension Complex Idea 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa Shapiro
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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