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Literature of Liberty: John Locke and His Legacy

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John Locke (1632–1704) was identified by Joseph Schumpeter (History of Economic Analysis) as among the “Protestant Scholastics” of whom his forerunners were Hugo Grotius, Thomas Hobbes, and Samuel Pufendorf. This natural law tradition (Cf. Literature of Liberty, I, 4) was paralleled by René Descartes’s Discourse on Method (1637). Descartes’s emphasis on the principle of the uniformity of natural law had awakened Locke’s interest in philosophy. Succeeding Descartes as the leading philosopher of the eighteenth century Enlightenment, “le sage Locke” remained a critical heir of Cartesian thought, and his philosophical growth drew inspiration from a wide range of other sources. The Scholastic Aristotelianism of Puritan Oxford, including Aquinas and Albertus Magnus, stimulated Locke’s interest in scientific investigation, and in addition he sought to synthesize the best elements of the leading thinkers of seventeenth century philosophy…

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Leonard P. Liggio
Literature of Liberty Reviewer
Literature of Liberty Reviewer
Literature of Liberty Reviewer
Literature of Liberty Reviewer
Literature of Liberty Reviewer
Literature of Liberty Reviewer
Literature of Liberty Reviewer
Literature of Liberty Reviewer
Literature of Liberty Reviewer
Literature of Liberty Reviewer