"The Great Ocean of Knowledge"
The philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) owned one of the most extensive collections of travel literature held in any private scholarly library of his day. It is an interest which seems very much at odds with Locke's reputation as an empirical philosopher because travellers' reports have acquired a reputation for unreliability. This book sets Locke's use of travel literature within the context of the natural historical methods of investigation associated with Francis Bacon and the Royal Society. It examines the notes he made in his commonplace books to demonstrate that Locke was developing a form of comparative social anthropology and had a sympathetic attitude towards Native Americans despite his role as a colonial adminstrator.