Locke, Plato and Platonism
What kind of footprint of the philosophy of Plato may be detected in John Locke? At first sight, and perhaps at last sight, the answer we expect is ‘Not much’. But it is worth spending a little time exploring that question before assuming that there is no influence, no manifestations of any kind of impact from the classical Greek thinker on the supposedly arch-empiricist and decidedly modern philosopher, Locke. Leibniz was one of the first who drew attention to the lack of Plato’s influence on Locke when in his Preface to the New Essays on Human Understanding he wrote: [Although the author of the Essay says hundreds of fine things which I applaud, our systems are very different. His is closer to Aristotle and mine to Plato, although each of us parts company at many points from the teachings of both of these ancient writers.
KeywordsSeventeenth Century Innate Idea Intellectual Virtue Ancient Philosophy Great Chain
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