Volume 11, 1998
Paidea and Identity
Meditations on Hobbes and Locke
Thomas Hobbes, like Francis Bacon before him, disliked Aristotle and scholasticism. They were both quite familiar with the objects of their dislike, having encountered Aristotle and scholasticism first hand at Oxford University. Bacon later described his tutors as "men of sharp wits, shut up in their cells of a few authors, chiefly Aristotle, their Dictator." Bacon clearly saw the extent of new possibilities in thought. He held that Europeans of his time needed to sail beyond the Pillars of Hercules (the limits of ancient learning) into an ocean of new learning. Hobbes, for similar reasons described the universities as places for the production of insignificant speech. Locke also echoed this rejection of scholasticism and contempt for the universities. The purpose of this paper is to talk about this rejection and the ways in which the continuing revolt against university education by Hobbes and Locke has contributed to a new view of the self.