LOCKE, JOHN. 1632-1704. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Locke"), 2 pp, 8vo (conjoining leaves), Oaks, October 27, 1698, to Ezekial Burridge of Dublin,
Lot 25
LOCKE, JOHN. 1632-1704.
Autograph Letter Signed ("J Locke"), 2 pp, 8vo (conjoining leaves), Oaks, October 27, 1698, to Ezekial Burridge of Dublin,
Sold for US$ 20,000 inc. premium

Fine Books and Manuscripts

12 Jun 2018, 13:00 EDT

New York

Lot Details
LOCKE, JOHN. 1632-1704. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Locke"), 2 pp, 8vo (conjoining leaves), Oaks, October 27, 1698, to Ezekial Burridge of Dublin, LOCKE, JOHN. 1632-1704. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Locke"), 2 pp, 8vo (conjoining leaves), Oaks, October 27, 1698, to Ezekial Burridge of Dublin,
LOCKE, JOHN. 1632-1704.
Autograph Letter Signed ("J Locke"), 2 pp, 8vo (conjoining leaves), Oaks, October 27, 1698, to Ezekial Burridge of Dublin, regarding the death of his friend William Molyneux, with original autograph address leaf on the verso of p 2, some toning and creasing overall, small separations at fold, 1 inch loss to second leaf from original seal, leaves pressed, with small tape repair to address leaf.

LOCKE GRIEVES OVER THE DEATH OF WILLIAM MOLYNEUX. William Molyneux (1656-1698) was a close friend and fellow philosopher of John Locke, and the original proponent of Molyneux's Problem, which is discussed in later editions of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding: if a blind man regains his sight, and is presented with shapes such as spheres and cubes, could he immediately identify them as such without touch? Molyneux, inspired by the blindness of his wife, proposed this question, and answered no, the blind man could not make sense of the shapes without accessing his original knowledge through touch, with which Locke agreed.
The news of Molyneux's unexpected death was sent to Locke by his correspondent Burridge. Locke writes in response: "Sir, / You guessed not amiss, when you said in the beginning of yours of the 13th instant, that you gave me the trouble of a letter. For I have received few letters in my life the content whereof have soe much troubled and afflicted me as that of yours. I parted with my excellent friend when he went from England with all the hopes & promises to my self of seeing him again & enjoying him longer the next spring. This was a satisfaction that helped me to bear our separation. And the short taste I had of him here in this our first interview I hoped would be made up in a longer conversation which he promised me the next time: but it has served only to give me a greater sense of my losse in an eternall farewell in the world ... His worth and his friendship to me made him an inestimable treasure...." Locke continues by offering his services to Molyneux's surviving son Samuel in whatever way he can.
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