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Locke on Language



John Locke is the first modern philosopher to offer a comprehensive philosophy of language. After discussing Locke's aims and scope, I explore Locke's main linguistic category, signification, and the most prominent interpretations of it, including those of Norman Kretzmann and E. J. Ashworth. I then turn to the nature of the proposition and the question whether Locke can distinguish between the act of forming a proposition and the attitude one adopts toward it.