Locke and botany

This paper argues that the English philosopher John Locke, who has normally been thought to have had only an amateurish interest in botany, was far more involved in the botanical science of his day than has previously been known. Through the presentation of new evidence deriving from Locke’s own herbarium, his manuscript notes, journal and correspondence, it is established that Locke made a modest contribution to early modern botany. It is shown that Locke had close and ongoing relations with the Bobarts, keepers of the Oxford Botanic Garden, and that Locke distributed seeds and plant parts to other botanists, seeds of which the progeny almost certainly ended up in the most important herbaria of the period. Furthermore, it is claimed that the depth of Locke’s interest in and practice of botany has a direct bearing on our understanding of his views on the correct method of natural philosophy and on the interpretation of his well known discussion of the nature of species in Book III of his Essay concerning human understanding
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2006.03.001
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,685
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Locke's Theory of Classification.Judith Crane - 2003 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 11 (2):249 – 259.
Locke Versus Aristotle on Natural Kinds.Michael R. Ayers - 1981 - Journal of Philosophy 78 (5):247-272.

View all 29 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
John Locke's Seed Lists: A Case Study in Botanical Exchange.Stephen A. Harris & Peter R. Anstey - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 40 (4):256-264.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Review of John Locke and Natural Philosophy. [REVIEW]Jan-Erik Jones - 2012 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2012.
Locke on Human Understanding: Selected Essays.I. C. Tipton (ed.) - 1977 - Oxford University Press.
John Locke's Seed Lists: A Case Study in Botanical Exchange.Stephen A. Harris & Peter R. Anstey - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 40 (4):256-264.
Primary and Secondary Qualities.Robert A. Wilson - 2016 - In Matthew Stuart (ed.), A Companion to Locke. Blackwell. pp. 193-211.
Alain Locke and Community.Leonard Harris - 1997 - Journal of Ethics 1 (3):239-247.
John Locke: Writings on Religion.John Locke - 2002 - Oxford University Press.
What is Locke's Theory of Representation?Walter Ott - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (6):1077-1095.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

20 ( #244,825 of 2,158,346 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #355,511 of 2,158,346 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums