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This Rotman Lecture concerns John Locke’s practical and theoretical interest in measurement. Locke’s fascination with the measurement of weight, distance, time and monetary value is evident throughout his notebooks, journal and correspondence. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that it features in his philosophical reflections as early as Drafts A and B of the Essay concerning Human Understanding (1671) and informs his economic writings. This lecture examines his long-term interest in measurement systems, techniques and instruments as well as the role of measurement in his ideal natural philosophy.

View a copy of Locke on Measurement. (Peter R. Anstey (forthcoming). Locke on Measurement. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.)


Peter is ARC Future Fellow and Professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Sydney. It is worth noting that Professor Anstey is the author of John Locke and Natural Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2011), editor of The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century (2013); editor of numerous volumes on Locke (John Locke (Routledge, 2006), John Locke: Critical Assessments of Leading Philosophers, Series II (Routledge, 2006) and The Philosophy of John Locke: New Perspectives (Routledge, 2003), etc.); and author of many articles on Locke, Boyle, Bacon, Newton, Reid, and Descartes.

Read more about Peter Anstey.


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