After his triumphant return to London John Locke’s theory of the mind gradually spread as did his views on the processes of thought – consciousness – delusion and the capacity of reason to control man’s passions.
Along with Francis Bacon and Isaac Newton – Locke became synonymous with the progressive advances of English culture.Throughout Western Europe Locke’s thought moved quickly throughout literary and philosophical circles where its political implications were not missed.A swarm of French refugees – often trained in Protestant seminaries to reject divine right and employ private conscience – embraced Locke’s model of consciousness with its justification of inner difference.The French Huguenot exile Pierre Coste became Locke’s interpreter and French translator and through Coste’s efforts the Essay spread throughout the continent.
Locke’s theories of the mind would become part of the curricula of universities – often finding a home among those who taught and studied logic.
It also would be enshrined in those warehouses of learning – the Enlightenment dictionary and encyclopedia.
In his seminal Historical and Critical Dictionary the exiled Huguenot Pierre Bayle traced a line of thought from Thomas Willis’s animal soul to Locke’s thinking matter to an anonymous freethinker who considered humans to be no different than brutes.