This is the first English translation of Condillac's most influential works: the Essay on the Origins of Human Knowledge (1746) and Course for Study of Instruction of the Prince of Parma (1772).
The Essays lay the foundation for Condillac's theory of mind. He argues that all mental operations are, in fact, sensory processes and nothing more. An outgrowth of Locke's empirical account of ideas and sensations as a source of knowledge, Condillac's theory goes beyond Locke's foundations, introducing his universal method for understanding any complex entity: the reduction of all matters to their origins and then to their simplest forms.
The Course, originally written to teach Prince Ferdinand of Parma to think and to develop good habits of mind following the principle of association of ideas, covers grammar, writing, reasoning, thinking, and ancient and modern history. Philip writes in the introduction: "[the] mind is moldable to reason and to 'nature' which gave it a model and provides the ultimate authority for all it can know or do."
Contents: Essays on the Origin of Human Knowledge. Introduction. Part II: Language and Method. The Origin and Development of Language. The Origin of the Language of Action and of Articulate Sounds. Words. Methods. Method: The First Cause of Our Errors and the Origin of Truth. The Manner of Determining Ideas or Their Names. The Order to Follow in the Search for Truth. The Order to Follow in the Exposition of Truth. Course of Study for the Instruction of the Prince of Parma.