An essay concerning human understanding: How the cerebri anatome of Thomas Willis influenced John Locke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

NEUROSURGEONS ARE FAMILIAR with the anatomic investigations of Thomas Willis, but his intellectual legacy actually extends into the arena of philosophy. John Locke was a student of Willis while at Oxford, and this essay explores how some of Willise's anatomic discoveries might have influenced the ideas Locke expressed in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding. It also includes historical information about 17th century England and the group of men (including Christopher Wren and Robert Boyle) who worked with Willis and founded the Oxford Experimental Philosophy Club, which became the Royal Society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-575
Number of pages9
JournalNeurosurgery
Volume58
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

Keywords

  • Circle of Willis
  • Descartes
  • Locke
  • Oxford
  • Willis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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