Concerning Human Understanding of John Locke

William B. Bean, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(3):257-260. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03860150001001.
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A NEW LIGHT on John Locke, particularly in his role as a practicing physician, was made possible by the addition of "all the manuscripts and printed books from John Locke's Library still remaining in the possession of the Earl of Lovelace" when the American collector, Paul Mellon, gave this material to the Bodleian Library at Oxford in 1960. The main reason they are of such importance to medical historians and to us is that they deal so largely with the medical aspect of John Locke, that is to say, Locke the physician. One of the great contributions that Dewhurst makes is to show how Locke "the philosopher" was so largely conditioned on and derived from Locke "the physician."

The 17th century world has been looked upon as an age half magical and half scientific, half credulous, and half skeptical. It looked backward to the most ancient cults and quacks and


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