Moscow: v Tipografii Kompanii Tipograficheskoi, 1788. Octavo (22 × 14 cm). Contemporary calf; red and gilt-lettered spine label; VIII, 323 pp. Bookplate of the distinguished collector Martin Winkler. Boards rubbed; front free end paper lightly soiled; one leaf with small tear to margin, not affecting text; still about very good. Item #4473
First part (of two) of the first Russian translation of Locke's famous pedagogical reflections, first published 1759, and very rare. "Despite the fact that Locke occupied a central place in European Enlightenment thought, his works were little known in Russia... Prokopovich, Kantemir, Tatishchev and perhaps Peter himself were acquainted with Locke's ideas, but for most Russians in the eighteenth century Locke was little more than an illustrious name. Locke's one book that did have a palpable impact was his Some Thoughts Concerning Education... Yet though Locke as pedagogue was popular, his reception in Russia, as Marc Raeff has noted, was overshadowed by the then current 'infatuation with Rousseau's pedagogical ideas'" (Marcus C. Levitt, "On Locke's Reception in Eighteenth-Century Russia," 219). Moreover, moralist literature as such was only scarcely represented in Russian publications of the second half of the century.
Originally written for a close friend, Locke's 1693 text sets out a system for training noblemen by fostering healthy bodies and virtuous minds, based on the philosopher's assumption that all children are born without innate ideas or characteristics. The work was perhaps the most influential work on education of the eighteenth century, widely translated into other European language and acknowledged by thinkers from Leibniz to Rousseau. This edition, based on a French translation, contains an interesting preface defending Locke before his Russian critics, who rejected his "Englishness" and challenged the applicability of his ideas in Russia. Popovskii argues that Locke's thoughts hold value for preparing the children of "honest parents" anywhere to better serve their fatherland. He justifies Locke's methods for toughening the body, such as washing with cold water, by citing examples from antiquity, and he even suggests extending Locke's approach to children of non-noble birth.
From the collection of noted German scholar and icon collector Martin E. Winkler (1893–1982). Neither edition in Bitovt. Svodnyi katalog 3721. Not found in KVK, OCLC (which only show a microform at Harvard).