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John Locke

John Locke
JohnLocke.png
Portrait of Locke in 1697 by Godfrey Kneller
Born 29 August 1632
Wrington, Somerset, England
Died 28 October 1704 (aged 72)
High Laver, Essex, England
Nationality English
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
(BA 1656; MA 1658)
Oxford University
(MBBS, 1675)
Era 17th-century philosophy
(Modern philosophy)
Region Western philosophy
School British Empiricism, Social Contract, Natural Law
Main interests
Metaphysics, epistemology, political philosophy, philosophy of mind, education, economics
Notable ideas
Tabula rasa, Molyneux's problem, "government with the consent of the governed", state of nature; rights of life, liberty and property
Signature
John Locke Signature.svg

John Locke FRS (/ˈlɒk/; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "Father of Liberalism". Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Sir Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social contract theory. His work greatly affected the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence.

Locke's theory of mind is often cited as the origin of modern conceptions of identity and the self, figuring prominently in the work of later philosophers such as David Hume, Rousseau, and Immanuel Kant. Locke was the first to define the self through a continuity of consciousness. He postulated that, at birth, the mind was a blank slate or tabula rasa. Contrary to Cartesian philosophy based on pre-existing concepts, he maintained that we are born without innate ideas, and that knowledge is instead determined only by experience derived from sense perception. This is now known as empiricism. An example of Locke's belief in Empiricism can be seen in his quote, "whatever I write, as soon as I discover it not to be true, my hand shall be the forwardest to throw it into the fire." This shows the ideology of science in his observations in that something must be capable of being tested repeatedly and that nothing is exempt from being disproven. Challenging the work of others, Locke is said to have established the method of introspection, or observing the emotions and behaviours of one’s self.



  • (1690) A Second Letter Concerning Toleration
  • (1692) A Third Letter for Toleration
  • (1695) A Vindication of the Reasonableness of Christianity
  • (1660) First Tract of Government (or the English Tract)
  • (c.1662) Second Tract of Government (or the Latin Tract)
  • (1664) Questions Concerning the Law of Nature (definitive Latin text, with facing accurate English trans. in Robert Horwitz et al., eds., John Locke, Questions Concerning the Law of Nature, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990).
  • (1667) Essay Concerning Toleration
  • (1706) Of the Conduct of the Understanding
  • (1707) A paraphrase and notes on the Epistles of St. Paul to the Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans, Ephesians
  • Heussi, Karl (1956), Kompendium der Kirchengeschichte (in German), Tübingen, DE , 11. Auflage, Seite 398.
  • Laslett, Peter (1988), Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press  to Locke, John, Two Treatises of Government .
  • Locke, John (1996), Grant, Ruth W; Tarcov, Nathan, eds., Some Thoughts Concerning Education and of the Conduct of the Understanding, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co, p. 10 .
  • Locke, John (1997), Woolhouse, Roger, ed., An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, New York: Penguin Books .
  • Olmstead, Clifton E (1960), History of Religion in the United States, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall .
  • Waldron, Jeremy (2002), God, Locke, and Equality: Christian Foundations in Locke's Political Thought, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, ISBN  .
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