John Locke as a reader of Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan : A new manuscript

Journal article


Waldmann, Felix. (2021). John Locke as a reader of Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan : A new manuscript. The Journal of Modern History. 93(2), pp. 245-282. https://doi.org/10.1086/714068
AuthorsWaldmann, Felix
Abstract

The following article provides significant new evidence of John Locke’s interest in Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan (1651). The evidence derives from the collection of manuscripts amassed by the historian Thomas Birch (1705–66), the author of The History of the Royal Society of London (1756–57). Within this collection are several documents in the hand of Pierre Des Maizeaux (1672/3–1745), the Huguenot journalist and biographer. In 1718–19, Des Maizeaux set about compiling A Collection of Several Pieces of Mr. John Locke, a posthumous edition of lesser-known works and manuscripts by Locke, edited with the guidance of Anthony Collins (1676–1729). In preparing the volume, Des Maizeaux interviewed one of Locke’s friends, whose recollections he recorded in an anonymized memoir, in French. The article reveals that the anonymous friend was James Tyrrell (1642–1719), one of Locke’s closest acquaintances. Tyrrell’s claim that Locke “almost always” had Hobbes’s Leviathan on his table in Oxford, ca. 1658–67, is one of several in the memoir that revise our understanding of Locke’s intellectual formation and the history of one of his best-known friendships. The article contextualizes and translates the memoir and revisits the debate surrounding Peter Laslett’s relegation of Hobbes’s significance to the development Locke’s political thought.

Year2021
JournalThe Journal of Modern History
Journal citation93 (2), pp. 245-282
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
ISSN0022-2801
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1086/714068
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85107468328
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range245-282
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online2021
Publication process dates
Deposited02 Jun 2022
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