For Locke the soul is something self-contained and real by itself

Especially portentous for future psychology and theory of knowledge is the fact that Locke makes no use of the Cartesian first introduction of the cogitatio as cogitatio of cogitata – that is, intentionality; he does not recognise it as a subject of investigation (indeed the most authentic subject of the foundation-laying investigations) . He is blind to the whole distinction. The soul is something self-contained and real by itself, as is a body; in naive naturalism the soul is now taken to be like an isolated space, like a writing tablet, in his famous simile, on which psychic data come and go. This data-sensationalism, together with the doctrine of outer and inner sense, dominates psychology and the theory of knowledge for centuries, even up to the present day; and in spite of the familiar struggle against “psychic atomism,” the basic sense of this doctrine does not change. Of course one speaks quite unavoidably, even in the Lockean terminology, of perceptions, representations “of” things, or of believing “in something,” willing “something,” and the like. But no consideration is given to the fact that in the perceptions, in the experiences of consciousness themselves, that of which we are conscious is included as such – that the perception is in itself a perception of something, of “this tree.”

Edmund Husserl, The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology


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