Locke, John

Locke, John
Name: Locke, John
Born: 1632
Died: 1704

John Locke biography

John Locke was an English philosopher, representative of empiricism and liberalism. He contributed to the spread of sensualism. His ideas had a tremendous influence on the development of epistemology and political philosophy. He is widely recognized as one of the most influential thinkers of the Enlightenment and theorists of liberalism. His influence is also reflected in the American Declaration of Independence.

John Locke was born in 1632 in Wrington, England. In 1647, he entered the prestigious Westminster School in London, receiving a scholarship by politician Alexander Popham, a member of the British Parliament. Subsequently, he entered the aristocratic College of Christ Church in Oxford. Despite being a capable student, he was disgusted with the curriculum and considered the works of contemporary philosophers, such as Rene Descartes, to be more interesting than the material taught at the university. Locke received his master’s degree in 1658, and in addition he obtained a bachelor's degree in medicine in 1674. Meanwhile, in 1658, he became a professor of Greek rhetoric. Later he returned to Oxford and studied medicine. At that time, he collaborated with leading thinkers and scholars such as Robert Boyle, Thomas Willis, and Robert Hooke. In 1666, John Locke met Anthony Ashley Cooper. Locke made a great impression on politician, so he offered Locke to enter his retinue. Thus, in 1667 Locke moved to London to work as a personal physician of Cooper. He also continued to study medicine under the guidance of a prominent physician, Thomas Sydenham. His influence affected Locke's natural philosophical views, the expression of which was the work An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690).

In 1672, Lord Ashley became Lord Chancellor of the Kingdom of England, after which Locke was involved in politics, which in turn reflected his political thinking. However, in 1675, Count Shaftesbury fell into disgrace. Since Locke's career depended directly on the ups and downs of Shaftesbury, by 1679 he traveled a lot in France. In 1683, Locke was forced to flee to the Netherlands.

In 1688-1689, there was an interconnection, which put an end to the wandering of Locke. There was a Glorious Revolution; William III of Orange was proclaimed King of England. Locke participated in the preparation of the coup of 1688; he was close to William of Orange and made a significant ideological influence on him. At the beginning of 1689, he returned to his homeland. In the 1690s, together with the government service, Locke was involved in scientific and literary activities. His major writings are Two Treatises of Government (1690), Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693), The Reasonableness of Christianity (1695), Of the Conduct of the Understanding (1706).

John Locke died of asthma in 1704. He was never married and had no children.

Locke was the first of the thinkers to discover the personality through the continuity of consciousness. He also postulated that the mind is a "blank slate" (tabula rasa), i.e., contrary to Cartesian philosophy, Locke argued that people are born without innate ideas and that knowledge is instead determined only by experience gained by sensory perception. He considered constitutional monarchy to be the best form of government, for which it is necessary to split the branches of power into legislative, executive and federal. In his theory of social contract, he proceeds from the natural state of mankind, in which, unlike Hobbes, for which man is an egoistic being, people have the right to life, equality, freedom and private property.