Conclusion: Typology and a Critic’s Choice
During the seventeenth century empirical science helped to discredit the literary imagination as a mediator between nature and God. The mediaeval sense of correspondence between meaning and appearance yielded to scepticism about what human perception could truthfully tell of the world. A fifth-columnist had lain within the human mind all along, and the new thinkers subjected perception itself to more careful scrutiny than it had ever received before. Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding, the work most representative of the new movement, is the first full length philosophical study in Europe devoted entirely to epistemology.
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