Article ID: CBB000773927

Morbus---Locke's Early Essay on Disease (2000)


John Locke engaged in a systematic study of medicine from the late 1650's. In this period he acquainted himself with the three main competing natural philosophical theories of the time-Galenism, Paracelsianism and Mechanism. He was particularly interested in the work of Sennert, Helmont and Boyle. In 1666, just after the publication of Boyle's The Origine of Formes and Qualities, Locke wrote a short paper entitled Morbus. This paper gave Locke's own view of the nature of disease. Locke went out of his way to criticise Boyle's attempts to give mechanical explanations for biological phenomena. He endorsed Helmont's theory that disease was caused by "ferments" and "Archei" and re-introduced Galenic temperaments as factors of susceptibility in seminal diseases. Locke did not endorse a mechanical corpuscularianism at this stage in his career, when his contact with Boyle was most frequent. Consequently, Locke's espousal of the corpuscular philosophy in the Essay cannot be attributed to Locke's association with Boyle at this time.

Associated with

Article Anstey, Peter R. (2002) Robert Boyle and Locke's “Morbus” Entry: A Reply to J. C. Walmsley. Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period (p. 358). unapi

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Chapter Anstey, Peter R.; (2010)
John Locke and Helmontian Medicine (/isis/citation/CBB001031888/)

Article Anstey, Peter R.; (2002)
Robert Boyle and Locke's “Morbus” Entry: A Reply to J. C. Walmsley (/isis/citation/CBB000470518/)

Article Leslie Tomory; Victor D. Boantza; (2016)
The “Subtile Aereal Spirit of Fountains”: Mineral Waters and the History of Pneumatic Chemistry (/isis/citation/CBB276623423/)

Chapter William R. Newman; (2016)
Spirits in the Laboratory: Some Helmontian Collaborators of Robert Boyle (/isis/citation/CBB772036414/)

Book Newman, William R.; Principe, Lawrence M.; (2002)
Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry (/isis/citation/CBB000301520/)

Chapter Clericuzio, Antonio; (1990)
Robert Boyle and the English Helmontians (/isis/citation/CBB000031108/)

Article Walton, Michael T.; (1980)
Boyle and Newton on the transmutation of water and air from the root of Helmont's tree (/isis/citation/CBB000006857/)

Article Banchetti-Robino, Marina Paola; (2011)
Ontological Tensions in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Chemistry: Between Mechanism and Vitalism (/isis/citation/CBB001024702/)

Article Alfonso-Goldfarb, Ana Maria; Ferraz, Marcia H. M.; (2014)
Estudos quimico--médicos sobre a litíase na documentaçào inglesa do século XVII (/isis/citation/CBB001510473/)

Article Alfonso-Goldfarb, Ana Maria; Ferraz, Márcia Helena Mendes; Rattansi, Piyo M.; (2014)
Seventeenth-Century “Treasure” Found in Royal Society Archives: The Ludus Helmontii and the Stone Disease (/isis/citation/CBB001421032/)

Article Zaterka, Luciana; (2006)
Robert Boyle e John Locke: Hipótese corpuscular e filosofia experimental (/isis/citation/CBB000850029/)

Book Zvi Biener; (2014)
Newton and Empiricism (/isis/citation/CBB854623933/)

Article Keating, Laura; (1993)
Un-Locke-ing Boyle: Boyle on primary and secondary qualitites (/isis/citation/CBB000061304/)

Book Yeo, Richard R.; (2014)
Notebooks, English Virtuosi, and Early Modern Science (/isis/citation/CBB001451841/)

Book Nolan, Lawrence; (2011)
Primary and Secondary Qualities: The Historical and Ongoing Debate (/isis/citation/CBB001035171/)

Book Corneanu, Sorana; (2011)
Regimens of the Mind: Boyle, Locke, and the Early Modern Cultura Animi Tradition (/isis/citation/CBB001250419/)

Authors & Contributors
Clericuzio, Antonio
Anstey, Peter R.
Alfonso-Goldfarb, Ana Maria
Debus, Allen G.
Walton, Michael Thomson
Yoshimoto, Hideyuki
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Circumscribere: International Journal for the History of Science
化学史研究 [Kagakushi kenkyū; Journal of the Japanese Society for the History of Chemistry]
British Journal for the History of Science
History of Philosophy Quarterly
University of Chicago Press
Oxford University Press
Disease and diseases
Correspondence and corresponding
Theory of the elements
Boyle, Robert
Helmont, Jan Baptista van
Locke, John
Bacon, Francis, 1st Baron Verulam
Newton, Isaac
Hume, David
Time Periods
17th century
18th century
16th century
British Isles
Great Britain
Royal Society of London

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment