John Locke

John Locke FRS ( /ˈlɒk/; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704), widely known as the Father of Classical Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social contract theory. His work had a great impact upon the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and 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 Hume, Rousseau and Kant. Locke was the first to define the self through a continuity of consciousness. He postulated that the mind was a blank slate or tabula rasa. Contrary to pre-existing Cartesian philosophy, he maintained that we are born without innate ideas, and that knowledge is instead determined only by experience derived from sense perception.

Read more about John Locke:  Biography, Influence, Religious Beliefs, List of Major Works

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    I, a poor peasant, have conquered science. Why can’t I conquer love? Don’t you understand? You must be mine, not his. You are mine.
    P. J. Wolfson, John L. Balderston (1899–1954)

    Were it not for the corruption and viciousness of degenerate men, there would be no ... necessity that men should separate from this great and natural community, and by positive agreements combine into smaller and divided associations.
    —John Locke (1632–1704)