Robert Willis zag het Spinozisme van Locke


Wat, vermoed ik, vooral Wim Klever deugd zal doen, is te zien dat Robert Willis, over wie ik zojuist een blog bracht en wiens vertalingen niet zo erg werden geapprecieerd, wel gezien had dat Locke een Spinozist was. Zie hier zijn korte tekst over


The only writer of note among ourselves who lived in the last century, and who must have been well acquainted with the works of Spinoza, though he carefully avoids all mention of his name, was Locke. The account he gives in his preface to the 'Essay on the human understanding' of the way in which his work took its rise, is the first paragraph of Spinoza's 'De Emendatione Intellectus,' done into English; and the resemblance between the ideas expressed in his 'Epistle to the Reader,' where he says, 'He who sets his own thoughts to work to find and follow truth, will find every moment of his pursuit reward his pains with some delight, and will have reason to think his time not ill spent, even when he cannot boast of any great acquisition,' will not fail to strike the reader as bearing a strong resemblance to the fine passage in Spinoza's Twenty-first Letter to which we have already referred particularly. Locke's suppression of Spinoza's name, however, did not secure him against challenge from opponents of working on a Spinozistic basis and advocating atheism,* whilst the psychological views advocated by the liberally educated physician and physiologist laid him open to bigoted charges of materialism and denial of the most essential doctrines of the Christian Religion, †