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Who is John Locke?

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❶The distinction between these two kinds of properties goes back to the Greek atomists. Locke did not return home until after the Glorious Revolution.

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Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy were in their infancy during Locke's time. In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Locke's Two Treatises were rarely cited. Historian Julian Hoppit said of the book, "except among some Whigs, even as a contribution to the intense debate of the s it made little impression and was generally ignored until though in Oxford in it was reported to have made 'a great noise' ".

In the 50 years after Queen Anne's death in , the Two Treatises were reprinted only once except in the collected works of Locke.

However, with the rise of American resistance to British taxation, the Second Treatise gained a new readership; it was frequently cited in the debates in both America and Britain. The first American printing occurred in in Boston. Locke exercised a profound influence on political philosophy, in particular on modern liberalism. Michael Zuckert has argued that Locke launched liberalism by tempering Hobbesian absolutism and clearly separating the realms of Church and State.

He had a strong influence on Voltaire who called him " le sage Locke". His arguments concerning liberty and the social contract later influenced the written works of Alexander Hamilton , James Madison , Thomas Jefferson , and other Founding Fathers of the United States.

In fact, one passage from the Second Treatise is reproduced verbatim in the Declaration of Independence, the reference to a "long train of abuses". Such was Locke's influence that Thomas Jefferson wrote: I consider them as the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception, and as having laid the foundation of those superstructures which have been raised in the Physical and Moral sciences".

But Locke's influence may have been even more profound in the realm of epistemology. Locke redefined subjectivity, or self, and intellectual historians such as Charles Taylor and Jerrold Seigel argue that Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding marks the beginning of the modern Western conception of the self.

Locke's theory of association heavily influenced the subject matter of modern psychology. At the time, the empiricist philosopher's recognition of two types of ideas, simple and complex ideas, more importantly their interaction through associationism inspired other philosophers, such as David Hume and George Berkeley , to revise and expand this theory and apply it to explain how humans gain knowledge in the physical world.

Locke, writing his Letters Concerning Toleration — in the aftermath of the European wars of religion , formulated a classic reasoning for religious tolerance. Three arguments are central: With regard to his position on religious tolerance, Locke was influenced by Baptist theologians like John Smyth and Thomas Helwys , who had published tracts demanding freedom of conscience in the early 17th century.

His tract The Bloody Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience , which was widely read in the mother country, was a passionate plea for absolute religious freedom and the total separation of church and state.

Appraisals of Locke have often been tied to appraisals of liberalism in general, and to appraisals of the United States. Detractors note that in he was a major investor in the English slave-trade through the Royal African Company. In addition, he participated in drafting the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina while Shaftesbury 's secretary, which established a feudal aristocracy and gave a master absolute power over his slaves.

For example, Martin Cohen notes that Locke, as a secretary to the Council of Trade and Plantations — and a member of the Board of Trade — , was in fact, "one of just half a dozen men who created and supervised both the colonies and their iniquitous systems of servitude". Collectively, these documents are known as the Grand Model for the Province of Carolina.

Locke uses the word property in both broad and narrow senses. In a broad sense, it covers a wide range of human interests and aspirations; more narrowly, it refers to material goods.

He argues that property is a natural right and it is derived from labour. In Chapter V of his Second Treatise , Locke argues that the individual ownership of goods and property is justified by the labour exerted to produce those goods or utilise property to produce goods beneficial to human society. Locke stated his belief, in his Second Treatise , that nature on its own provides little of value to society, implying that the labour expended in the creation of goods gives them their value.

This position can be seen as a labour theory of value. In addition, he believed that property precedes government and government cannot "dispose of the estates of the subjects arbitrarily. Locke's political theory was founded on social contract theory. Unlike Thomas Hobbes , Locke believed that human nature is characterised by reason and tolerance.

Like Hobbes, Locke believed that human nature allowed people to be selfish. This is apparent with the introduction of currency. In a natural state all people were equal and independent, and everyone had a natural right to defend his "life, health, liberty, or possessions". Like Hobbes, Locke assumed that the sole right to defend in the state of nature was not enough, so people established a civil society to resolve conflicts in a civil way with help from government in a state of society.

However, Locke never refers to Hobbes by name and may instead have been responding to other writers of the day. These ideas would come to have profound influence on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

According to Locke, unused property is wasteful and an offence against nature, [46] but, with the introduction of "durable" goods, men could exchange their excessive perishable goods for goods that would last longer and thus not offend the natural law. In his view, the introduction of money marks the culmination of this process, making possible the unlimited accumulation of property without causing waste through spoilage.

In his view, the introduction of money eliminates the limits of accumulation. Locke stresses that inequality has come about by tacit agreement on the use of money, not by the social contract establishing civil society or the law of land regulating property. Locke is aware of a problem posed by unlimited accumulation but does not consider it his task. He just implies that government would function to moderate the conflict between the unlimited accumulation of property and a more nearly equal distribution of wealth; he does not identify which principles that government should apply to solve this problem.

However, not all elements of his thought form a consistent whole. For example, labour theory of value of the Two Treatises of Government stands side by side with the demand-and-supply theory developed in a letter he wrote titled Some Considerations on the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and the Raising of the Value of Money.

Moreover, Locke anchors property in labour but in the end upholds the unlimited accumulation of wealth. Locke's general theory of value and price is a supply and demand theory, which was set out in a letter to a Member of Parliament in , titled Some Considerations on the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and the Raising of the Value of Money.

His idea is based on "money answers all things" Ecclesiastes or "rent of money is always sufficient, or more than enough," and "varies very little He also investigates the determinants of demand and supply. For supply, he explains the value of goods as based on their scarcity and ability to be exchanged and consumed. He explains demand for goods as based on their ability to yield a flow of income. Locke develops an early theory of capitalisation , such as land, which has value because "by its constant production of saleable commodities it brings in a certain yearly income.

As a medium of exchange, he states that "money is capable by exchange to procure us the necessaries or conveniences of life," and for loanable funds, "it comes to be of the same nature with land by yielding a certain yearly income Locke distinguishes two functions of money, as a "counter" to measure value, and as a "pledge" to lay claim to goods.

He believes that silver and gold, as opposed to paper money, are the appropriate currency for international transactions. Silver and gold, he says, are treated to have equal value by all of humanity and can thus be treated as a pledge by anyone, while the value of paper money is only valid under the government which issues it.

Locke argues that a country should seek a favourable balance of trade , lest it fall behind other countries and suffer a loss in its trade.

Since the world money stock grows constantly, a country must constantly seek to enlarge its own stock. Locke develops his theory of foreign exchanges, in addition to commodity movements, there are also movements in country stock of money, and movements of capital determine exchange rates. He considers the latter less significant and less volatile than commodity movements. As for a country's money stock , if it is large relative to that of other countries, he says it will cause the country's exchange to rise above par, as an export balance would do.

He also prepares estimates of the cash requirements for different economic groups landholders, labourers and brokers. In each group he posits that the cash requirements are closely related to the length of the pay period.

Locke defines the self as "that conscious thinking thing, whatever substance, made up of whether spiritual, or material, simple, or compounded, it matters not which is sensible, or conscious of pleasure and pain, capable of happiness or misery, and so is concerned for itself, as far as that consciousness extends".

In his Essay , Locke explains the gradual unfolding of this conscious mind. Arguing against both the Augustinian view of man as originally sinful and the Cartesian position, which holds that man innately knows basic logical propositions, Locke posits an "empty" mind, a tabula rasa , which is shaped by experience; sensations and reflections being the two sources of all our ideas.

Locke's Some Thoughts Concerning Education is an outline on how to educate this mind: Locke also wrote that "the little and almost insensible impressions on our tender infancies have very important and lasting consequences. In his Essay , in which both these concepts are introduced, Locke warns against, for example, letting "a foolish maid" convince a child that "goblins and sprites" are associated with the night for "darkness shall ever afterwards bring with it those frightful ideas, and they shall be so joined, that he can no more bear the one than the other.

This theory came to be called "associationism", and it strongly influenced 18th-century thought, particularly educational theory , as nearly every educational writer warned parents not to allow their children to develop negative associations. It also led to the development of psychology and other new disciplines with David Hartley 's attempt to discover a biological mechanism for associationism in his Observations on Man Locke was critical of Descartes' version of the dream argument , with Locke making the counterargument that people cannot have physical pain in dreams as they do in waking life.

Some scholars have seen Locke's political convictions as deriving from his religious beliefs. Man was capable of waging unjust wars and committing crimes. Criminals had to be punished, even with the death penalty. He retained the doctrine of the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures. Locke was convinced that the entire content of the Bible was in agreement with human reason The reasonableness of Christianity , His political thought was based on "a particular set of Protestant Christian assumptions".

Locke's concept of man started with the belief in creation. We have been "sent into the World by [God's] order, and about his business, [we] are his Property, whose Workmanship [we] are, made to last during his, not one anothers Pleasure. Freedom is another major theme in the Old Testament. For instance, God's actions in liberating the Israelites from Egyptian slavery in the Decalogue's prologue Exodus Moreover, Locke derived basic human equality, including the equality of the sexes "Adam and Eve" from Genesis 1: Following Locke, the American Declaration of Independence founded human rights partially on the biblical belief in creation: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

For other people named John Locke, see John Locke disambiguation. Portrait of Locke in by Godfrey Kneller. Empiricism Foundationalism [1] Conceptualism [2] Indirect realism [3] Correspondence theory of truth [4] Ideational theory of meaning [5] Corpuscularianism [6] Social contract Natural law Liberalism. Grotius , Descartes , Filmer , Pufendorf , Hobbes. Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Some Thoughts Concerning Education.

Of the Conduct of the Understanding. Two Treatises of Government. History of liberalism Contributions to liberal theory. Democratic capitalism Liberal bias in academia Regressive left. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved August 19, An Introduction , Wiley-Blackwell, , p. Yolton, Realism and Appearances: Two Treatises of Government 10th edition: Chapter II, Section 6.

Retrieved May 5, Julian, A History of Political Philosophy: Pearson Prentice Hall, pp. In Zalta, Edward N. Two Treatises of Government and the Revolution of Schocken Books , pp. Clarendon Press, , p. The Politics of Party.

Cambridge University Press, , p. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online ed. Subscription or UK public library membership required. Retrieved 27 June Jefferson identified Bacon , Locke, and Newton as "the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception". Their works in the physical and moral sciences were instrumental in Jefferson's education and world view. Retrieved 13 June Bacon, Locke and Newton, whose pictures I will trouble you to have copied for me: Retrieved 28 August The Idea of the Self: Cambridge University Press The Making of Modern Identity , Cambridge: A History of Modern Psychology ninth edition.

Auflage, Band I, col. Locke in Contexts , New York: Cambridge University Press, p. Jefferson's Declaration of Independence , Boston: To discover truths beyond the realm of basic experience, Locke suggested an approach modeled on the rigorous methods of experimental science.

Rejecting the divine right of kings, Locke said that societies form governments by mutual and, in later generations, tacit agreement. Atheists whose oaths could not be trusted and Catholics who owed allegiance to an external ruler were thus excluded from his scheme. He died there on October 24, , as Lady Damaris read to him from the Psalms.

We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. Jay served as the key John Rolfe arrived in Jamestown along with other settlers in , as part of a new charter organized by the Virginia Company.

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He escaped and he and his gang headed to Chicago to put together one of the most organized and deadly bank robbing Enlightenment thinkers in Britain, Calhoun , was a prominent U.

2. The Limits of Human Understanding

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John Locke () was an English philosopher who is considered to be one of the first philosophers of the Enlightenment and the father of classical liberalism. In his major work Two Treatises of Government Locke rejects the idea of the divine right of kings.

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John Locke was born in in Wrighton, Somerset. His father was a lawyer and small landowner who had fought on the Parliamentarian side during the English Civil War of the s.

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Watch video · John Locke, born on August 29, , in Wrington, Somerset, England, went to Westminster school and then Christ Church, University of Oxford. At Born: Aug 29, John Locke was born in Somerset, England, August 29, He was the eldest son of Agnes Keene, daughter of a small-town tanner, and John Locke, an impecunious Puritan lawyer who served as a clerk for justices of the peace. This led him to further explore the issues by writing early drafts of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.

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The writings of the late 17th-century empiricist John Locke on philosophy, government, and education were especially influential during the Enlightenment. In the field of education, Locke is significant both for his general theory of knowledge and for his After the first Civil War ended in Commonly referred to as the “Father of Liberalism”, John Locke was born in the August of An English physician and philosopher, he is accredited with being one of the most prominent of all English Enlightenment intellectuals of his time. His main interests lay in the study of economics, metaphysics, philosophy pertaining to the mind, political philosophy and epistemology.