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9. Ethica C (c. 1692-c. 1696)

 

Contents of this text description

Manuscripts

Title

Date

Publications

 

MS Locke c.28, fol. 141r. One of two abortive attempts at a demonstrative ethics (cf. the previous text).

Manuscripts

[1] MS Locke c.28, fols 141-142; see MS Locke c.28, fols 141-142 [1]-MS Locke c.28, fols 141-142 [9].

Title

[2] The ‘B’ in the endorsement ‘Ethica B’ (see MS Locke c.28, fols 141-142 [6] may be the letter assigned to the quire, suggesting a missing quire ‘A’ was devoted to the same subject. This possibility is confirmed by the fact that the text on quire ‘B’ starts in mid-sentence. The text consists of a series of separate entries, each preceded by a marginal heading, with the exception of the first entry, the heading of which may have been entered on the missing quire A. Mark Goldie has already assigned the letters ‘A’ and ‘B’ to two other fragments with the title ‘Ethica’, see 6. Ethica A (1692) [2] and 10. Ethica B (1693-1694) [2]. Since these names have gained currency, they have been maintained. Hence the present fragment has been dubbed ‘Ethica C’, even although Locke endorsed it as ‘Ethica B’, and even although its approximate date prompted the editors to include it before rather than after Goldie’s ‘Ethica B’.

Date

[3] This fragment is probably related to Molyneux’s insistence that Locke produce a demonstrated ethics. This subject continued to figure in the correspondence between Locke and Molyneux between 1692 and 1696. See Introduction, 1. A Responsive Philosopher and 2. Chronology. Another fragment that may also be related to Locke’s abortive project of developping a demonstrated ethics is ‘Morality’.

Publications

[4] Printed partly (‘Law’) in Dunn, The Political Thought of John Locke, p. 1; and in Goldie, pp. 328-329.

Yolton, John Locke a Descriptive Bibliography, nr. 249, p. 299.
MS Locke c.24, fol. 285r, letter 3188, Corr. viii, pp. 676-677.
Cf. Greetham, Textual Scholarship, p. 172 and pp. 211-213.
Cf. Locke’s farewell letter to P. King, 4 and 25 October 1704, letter 3647, Corr. viii, p. 416: ‘If my Paraphrase and notes on the Ephesians are not wholy transcribed before I dye (as I fear they will not. For however earnestly I have pressed it again and again I have not been able to prevaile with Will to dispatch the two first Chapters in three months) you must get it to be transcribed out of my filed papers after I am dead, that so it may be in a condition to be in a condition to be printed. Will after all I think be the fitest to transcribe them because he can read my hand and knows my way of writeing with the use of the references.’
Corr. viii, p. 424.
MS Locke c.35, fol. 6v.
Letter 3647, Corr. viii, p. 417, n. 1.
MS Locke f.10, p. 495.
MS Locke c.1, p. 342.
MS Locke f.10, p. 492.
Op. cit. no page number.
This fact confirms the assertion of the editors that MS Locke c.28 did not function as printer’s copy for PW.
For what probably amounts to an internal reference to the Essay that was left unchanged, see par. 64: ‘this essay’.
That pp. 52-56 give a part of the ‘Conduct’ seems to have escaped Long, A Summary Catalogue, although he remarks, p. 30: ‘The draft [containing both the Essay-part and the ‘Conduct’-part] is longer than the printed version [containing only the Essay-part].’
‘Introduction’ to Locke, Conduct, ed. Yolton, p. vii.
For the relation between the paragraph numbers of the ‘Conduct’ in the present edition and the source manuscripts, the Essay and PW see Table 3).
See Milton, ‘Pierre Des Maizeaux’, pp. 274-278.
Alternative dates: see Sargentich, ‘Locke and Ethical Theory’, p. 24: ‘Although the first manuscript piece, “Morality”, is undated, since it is highly hedonistic, it was probably written relatively late in Locke’s life.’ But ‘pleasure’ is a pervasive element in practically all of Locke’s ethical fragments, so its appearance does not contribute much towards dating the fragment. Goldie, p. 267 suggests as dates c. 1677-1678, but does not give a reason for his choice.
The last part of ‘Ethica C’, captioned under ‘Law’, is dated c. 1693 by Goldie, p. 328, but Goldie does not give a reason for his choice.
Cf. Essay, notes on p. 640 and p. 454 respectively.
See Works, 4, p. 184.
‘Liberty’ is included as letter 1798 in Corr. v, 159-160.
http://www.libraries.psu.edu/tas/locke/mss/c1694.html#m0203
Cf. ‘Enthusiasm’, Essay, IV.xix.15, p. 705: ‘These and several the like Instances to be found among the Prophets of old, are enough to shew, that they thought not an inward seeing or perswasion of their own Minds without any other Proof a sufficient Evidence, that it was from GOD, though the Scripture does not every where mention their demanding or having such Proofs.’
See Milton, ‘Manservant as Amanuensis: Sylvester Brounower’, p. 79, note 4.
See Essay,IV.iii.6; see also ‘Ballance’.