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"Fit For Our Imitation": Locke, Sagard And The Huron

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Chapter Summary

In some respects, it is possible to get a clearer impression of the development of Locke's ideas by examining his private notebooks. Among them is one in which he made notes from his reading of Gabriel Sagard's account of the Huron, a Native American people. A careful reading of the notes that Locke made from Sagard suggest that he found many of the features of their life both admirable and worthy of imitation. After giving a description of Locke's commonplace books, the chapter deals with the Huron and Locke's view on them. The Hurons' regard for social equality was at once a sign that they were moral beings who felt concern for their fellows and an indication that they lived in a state of nature. The chapter also describes the role of captains of the Huron and the aspect of family relations among the natives.

Keywords: commonplace books; family relations; Gabriel Sagard; Huron; Locke; social equality



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