Locke, Shaftesbury, and Hutcheson: Contesting Diversity in the Enlightenment and Beyond (Ideas in Context)
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Are human beings linked by a common nature, one that makes them see the world in the same moral way? Or are they fragmented by different cultural practices and values? These fundamental questions of our existence were debated in the Enlightenment by Locke, Shaftesbury, and Hutcheson. Daniel Carey provides an important new historical perspective on their discussion. At the same time, he explores the relationship between these founding arguments and contemporary disputes over cultural diversity and multiculturalism. Our own conflicting positions today reflect long-standing differences that emerged during the Enlightenment.
the Churchills. Students of Locke’s library have commented on his extensive collection,34 but what has not been recognised is the extent to which Locke’s holdings in travel literature formed part of a group of works referred to consistently by natural philosophers, evident in the writings of Boyle, the minutes of the Royal Society, and Oldenburg’s reviews in the Transactions.35 For example, of the twenty-four texts of travel writing identified by Michael Hunter as studied by the Royal Society’s
Grueber, who did not compose his own account of his travels through China, Tibet, and Nepal, see C. Wessels, Early Jesuit Travellers in Central Asia (1924; Delhi, 1998), ch. 6 (on the sources for The´venot’s text specifically, see 144–5). See also the entry in Neue deutsche Biographie, vol. VII (Berlin, 1966), 183–4. 72 Locke, Shaftesbury, and Hutcheson the fact that Vossius did not name any of the countries in question or witness these events first-hand.4 Nor did Peter Martyr (Pietro Martire
There was enough to reassure them in the account of human nature emerging in the Treatises. The ethnographic content of the Essay, as I have argued, was another matter. There the issue remained diversity, which Locke did not resolve to their satisfaction. Indeed, he left it dangerously in place since they rejected his moral solutions and reassurances. 93 94 95 Ibid., x77. For a closely parallel passage on language in the Essay, see III.i.1. Locke, ‘Second Treatise’, x63. Locke, ‘Second
in something closer to rivalry than consensus, as Shaftesbury searched for an independent position that would challenge his tutor. The philosophical issue he went on to discuss in the letter is the possibility of ‘thinking matter’, a controversial suggestion raised in Locke’s Essay.15 He clearly intended to vie with Locke and goad him into a response. We also see evidence here of Anthony’s close familiarity with Locke’s position and the contribution made to his intellectual development by Locke.
Ontario, 1990). Shaftesbury, Standard Edition, vol. I, part 5, 221. Contesting diversity 127 inexorably to ‘crooked Fancys’, as he says in the same passage. The deep analogy running through all these areas means that ‘letters’ and what he refers to as ‘thought’ suffer the same fate. Politeness in general held a constant proportion with art and design. If any hope remained, it came from the commercial and imperial activities of the English and Dutch who were responsible for instructing the