Uneasiness: the line between Sterne's novel and Locke's essay

Davies, Paul (2017) Uneasiness: the line between Sterne's novel and Locke's essay. Textual Practice, 31 (2). pp. 247-264. ISSN 0950-236X

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The paper notes the tendency and temptation for scholars and critics to find a justification in the novel for silencing or categorising Locke, and for lampooning or reducing to absurdity the project and the arguments of the Essay. It argues that such approaches can miss what is most interesting in the novel’s indebtedness to the Essay, and offers a reading of a famous sequence where Walter, Toby, and Tristram mention, quote, present, rearrange and redistribute one of Locke’s key doctrines, the succession of ideas. It then takes a closer look at the Essay and asks how the focus on uneasiness in Book II might qualify both the argument against innateness in Book I and the treatment of the doctrine of the succession of ideas. It re-interprets that doctrine, with Locke’s conditional support as a “succession of uneasinesses”, and makes one final visit to Shandy Hall to consider the critical role of conscience.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Literature and Philosophy
Depositing User: Paul Davies - Philosophy
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2017 14:58
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2021 12:26
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/67105

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