The Educational Writings of John Locke: A Critical Edition with Introduction and Notes

By James L. Axtell; John Locke | Go to book overview
Save to active project

4
LOCKE AND SCIENTIFIC EDUCATION

The seventeenth century saw the rise of many intellectual trends which became the foundations of the modern world-view. One of these, as we have seen, was the discovery of the child. Another was the emergence of rational political philosophy which disregarded special historical pleading. But by far the most important was the complex transformation of man's thinking known as the scientific revolution, judged by some to be the outstanding landmark in history since the rise of Christianity. Its most enthusiastic and successful advocates were English: Bacon, Hooke, Boyle, Halley, Newton. But intellectual innovations seldom steam-roll their way into history; they encounter resistance, tradition and conservatism--and rightly so, for the burden of proof lies with them, not with the past. Out of their efforts to persuade society that their New Philosophy was more accurate and conformed to the figurations of objective reality more truly than the old arose a quarrel between Ancients and Moderns, those who adhered to traditional explanations of nature or to the newer, usually more economical explanations. Like most other intellectuals, educators also took sides, and the result was a dynamic tension in educational thought throughout the century and into the next. Where Locke stood when the lines were drawn and the significance of his allegiance for the Education is the subject of this chapter.

By temperament and education Locke was one of those men who 'would not beleeve till he had seen and putt his fingers into the holes'.1 Nor would many of his contemporaries and teachers in Oxford and London, and this common intellectual trait brought them together in 1660 in a formal institution, the Royal Society of London, after several years of informal gatherings, lengthy correspondence, and individual study. Created for 'the Promoting of Physico-Mathematicall Experimentall Learning', the Society debarred from its conversations 'all Discourses of

____________________
1
Aubrey, 1898, II, 144. This was reported to have been said by Sir William Petty of St Thomas, his recommendation for the patron saint of the Royal Society.

-69-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Educational Writings of John Locke: A Critical Edition with Introduction and Notes
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 450

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?