John Locke (08/29 /1632 – 10/28/1704) 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”. (Hirschmann, Nancy J., Gender, Class, and Freedom in Modern Political Theory, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2009. p. 79). 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 (Becker, Carl Lotus, The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas, Harcourt, Brace, 1922, p. 27).
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. 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 (Baird, Forrest E; Kaufmann, Walter (2008), From Plato to Derrida, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, pp. 527–29). This is now known as empiricism.
Challenging the work of others, Locke is said to have established the method of introspection or observing the emotions and behaviors of one’s self.
List of major works
- A Letter Concerning Toleration, 1689.
- (1690) A Second Letter Concerning Toleration
- (1692) A Third Letter for Toleration
- (1689) Two Treatises of Government
- (1690) An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
- (1691) Some Considerations on the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and the Raising of the Value of Money
- (1693) Some Thoughts Concerning Education
- (1695) The Reasonableness of Christianity, as Delivered in the Scriptures
- (1695) A Vindication of the Reasonableness of Christianity
Source of information – Wikipedia online encyclopedia
Learn more at https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Locke
Picture credit- Creative Commons: derivate work of File: Godfrey Kneller – Portrait of John Locke (Hermitage).jpg (from arthermitage.org)