John Locke and the Levant


  • Luisa Simonutti Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche



Levant, tolerance, travelogues, Islam, Locke


Locke was indubitably a convinced traveller, and, in his reflections, he championed the educational value of the Grand Tour. This article addresses travel literature in the countries of the Levant, exploring the intellectual interests that directed Locke’s reading towards the works on travelling in the Ottoman world and the Near East. These readings tie up with speculations on the limits of human knowledge and civil and religious power that engaged the philosopher from his time at Oxford to the works of his maturity. This was not exoticism, but a specific historic and critical interest that engaged his considerations on alterity, tolerance, and forms of social and religious coexistence.

Author Biography

  • Luisa Simonutti, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche

    Institute for the History of Philosophy and Science in Modern Age (ISPF) - National Research Council (CNR)