John Locke is the greatest English philosopher. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, one of the most influential books in the history of thought, is his greatest work. In this study the historical meaning and philosophical significance of Locke's Essay are investigated more comprehensively than ever before.
Locke was originally published in two volumes, Epistemology and Ontology. This paperback edition has within its covers the full text of both volumes.
'Ayer's book is a fine tool for students … The positions taken by Ayers are so little infected with Nineties commonplaces that this study of Locke will surely outlive this decade, and perhaps several to come.' - London Review of Books
'Michael Ayer's magisterial Locke is the philosophical work of the year and, no doubt, of the decade. It costs the price of a weekend to Brighton but is much more rewarding.' - Terry Eagleton, The Independent on Sunday
'This book is something of a tour de force … the bare simplicity of its title belies its complexity and richness.' - Journal of Philosophy
'This is the most considerable book yet written on Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding; it reflects scholarship, intelligence and a good nose for a philosophical problem … [it] is an absorbingly interesting book; I have had a good time wrestling with it.' - Times Literary Supplement
'A distinguished addition to Lockean studies, which will doubtless be widely used and discussed in coming years.' - Mind
'Anybody who dares to claim there is nothing to be learnt from philosophy's history will have to contend with these volumes.' - Times Higher Education Supplement
'It is enormously impressive - both a moving and a fascinating book.' - John Dunn, Political Studies