Molyneux, William

Molyneux, William an Irish mathematician and philosopher, who was born at Dublin April 17, 1656, was educated at the university of his native place, and afterwards studied law, is noted as one of the founders of the "Dublin Philosophical Society," of which he was first secretary (1683), and then president, and as the author of twenty-seven papers on miscellaneous subjects inserted in the "Philosophical Transactions" between 1684 and 1716, and of a Translation of the six Metaphysical Dissertations of Descartes, together with the Objections against them by Thomas Bobbes (Lond. 1671). Molyneux was a devoted Protestant, and during the political disturbances was obliged to seek refuge in England in 1688. After the battle of the Boyne he returned again to Ireland. Among the many persons of literary eminence with whom Molyneux maintained a correspondence, Locke was held by him in particular esteem, and in the last year of his life he went to England for the purpose of visiting that philosopher. Molyneux died in Dublin October 11, 1698. (J.H.W.)

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