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Literature IncorporatedThe Cultural Unconscious of the Business Corporation, 1650-1850$
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John O'Brien

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226291123

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226291260.001.0001

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John Locke, Desire, and the Incorporation of Money

John Locke, Desire, and the Incorporation of Money

(p.28) Chapter One John Locke, Desire, and the Incorporation of Money
Literature Incorporated

John O’brien

University of Chicago Press

This chapter investigates the relationship between the model of epistemology presented in John Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and the system of corporate colonialism that emerged in the late-seventeenth century. Locke was intimately involved in the founding of the Carolina Company as one of the drafters of its constitution, and he was also a leading theorist of money, contributing to the recoinage debates of the 1690s. This chapter complicates a commonplace notion of Locke’s economic thinking as mercantilist by situating his economic and his philosophical writings in the context of the corporate colonial system, for which he was a minor administrator and a major theorist.

Keywords:   money, epistemology, colonialism, mercantilism, John Locke, Carolina Company

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