First and Last Name/s of Presenters

Jakob GatiFollow

Title of Poster or Paper

The Associative Chance

Mentor/s

Dr. Anna Vaughn

Participation Type

Paper Talk

Abstract

In Locke’s Essay, he introduces the Associations of Ideas, as the linking of ideas so that, if one is brought to mind so is the other. Locke’s definition describes these associations as either emerging voluntarily or involuntarily (by chance). I argue, however, that all associations are in part involuntary. This diminishes the role of voluntary actions in Locke’s description, though they still can lead to the opportunities that allow for associations to be created. Nevertheless, this adjustment to Locke’s framework implies a weakness of reason in a few ways. Firstly, Locke intended for associations to be what allowed for unlike ideas to become combined, sometimes in contradiction. If these contradictions require randomness to come about, then reason is more imperiled than even Locke postulates, due to the randomness. Secondly, the process of learning is unintuitive because of this concession. Learning is the voluntary creation of associations, and associations require randomness to be formed. Ergo, there is a role of chance in learning. This is not to say that voluntary actions cannot be a part of learning, but chance is a necessary factor. The creation of Associations of Ideas, in all contexts, requires chance as a factor.

College and Major available

History, Philosophy

Location

Session A: West Campus West Building W223I

Start Day/Time

4-29-2022 10:45 AM

End Day/Time

4-29-2022 11:45 AM

Students' Information

Jakob Gati. Philosophy and History Major. Graduation date: Spring, 2022.

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Apr 29th, 10:45 AM Apr 29th, 11:45 AM

The Associative Chance

Session A: West Campus West Building W223I

In Locke’s Essay, he introduces the Associations of Ideas, as the linking of ideas so that, if one is brought to mind so is the other. Locke’s definition describes these associations as either emerging voluntarily or involuntarily (by chance). I argue, however, that all associations are in part involuntary. This diminishes the role of voluntary actions in Locke’s description, though they still can lead to the opportunities that allow for associations to be created. Nevertheless, this adjustment to Locke’s framework implies a weakness of reason in a few ways. Firstly, Locke intended for associations to be what allowed for unlike ideas to become combined, sometimes in contradiction. If these contradictions require randomness to come about, then reason is more imperiled than even Locke postulates, due to the randomness. Secondly, the process of learning is unintuitive because of this concession. Learning is the voluntary creation of associations, and associations require randomness to be formed. Ergo, there is a role of chance in learning. This is not to say that voluntary actions cannot be a part of learning, but chance is a necessary factor. The creation of Associations of Ideas, in all contexts, requires chance as a factor.

 

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