History of Modern Philosophy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 841 pages of information about History of Modern Philosophy.
was derived, that is, to the people.  The people decides whether its representatives and the monarch have deserved the confidence placed in them, and has the right to depose them, if they exceed their authority.  As the sworn obedience (of the subjects) is to the law alone, the ruler who acts contrary to law has lost the right to govern, has put himself in a state of hostility to the people, and revolution becomes merely necessary defense against aggression.

Montesquieu made these political ideas of Locke the common property of Europe.[1] Rousseau did a like service for Locke’s pedagogical views, given in the modest but important Thoughts concerning Education, 1693.  The aim of education should not be to instill anything into the pupil, but to develop everything from him; it should guide and not master him, should develop his capacities in a natural way, should rouse him to independence, not drill him into a scholar.  In order to these ends thorough and affectionate consideration of his individuality is requisite, and private instruction is, therefore, to be preferred to public instruction.  Since it is the business of education to make men useful members of society, it must not neglect their physical development.  Learning through play and object teaching make the child’s task a delight; modern languages are to be learned more by practice than by systematic study.  The chief difference between Locke and Rousseau is that the former sets great value on arousing the sense of esteem, while the latter entirely rejects this as an educational instrument.

[Footnote 1:  Cf.  Theod.  Pietsch, Ueber das Verhaeltniss der politischen Theorien Lockes zu Montesquieus Lehre von der Teilung der Gewalten Berlin dissertation, Breslau, 1887.]



Besides the theory of knowledge, which forms the central doctrine in his system, Locke had discussed the remaining branches of philosophy, though in less detail, and, by his many-sided stimulation, had posited problems for the Illumination movement in England and in France.  Now the several disciplines take different courses, but the after-influence of his powerful mind is felt on every hand.  The development of deism from Toland on is under the direct influence of his “rational Christianity”; the ethics of Shaftesbury stands in polemic relation to his denial of everything innate; and while Berkeley and Hume are deducing the consequences of his theory of knowledge, Hartley derives the impulse to a new form of psychology from his chapter on the association of ideas.

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History of Modern Philosophy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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