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Biography Of John Locke Essay

1110 words - 4 pages

John Locke was a British born philosopher, physician, and writer that played a significant role in the framework of The United States. He was born in Wrington, England on August 29th, 1632. A father, also named John, who was a country lawyer, and his mother Anges Keene, raised Locke. Both his parents were Puritans, which influenced his later work immensely ("John Locke"). Locke’s parents sent him to the famous Westminister School in London where he was led by Alexander Popham, a member of Parliament. He later did his studies in philosophy at prestigious Oxford University, while also gaining some medical background. Locke did not enjoy the curriculum at Oxford, as he was more interested in the works of modern philosophers. Locke received his bachelor of medicine in 1674, and was a physician for much of his early life after college ("John Locke"). He was put to learn medicine under Thomas Sydenham, who had a major effect on John Locke’s philosophical thinking. Locke’s medical awareness was tested when Sydenham had a liver infection and Locke undertook a life-threatening operation to remove the cyst. The operation was successful and Locke was credited with saving Sydenham’s life. After that experience, Locke decided that the medical field was not for him so Locke became more fascinated with philosophy as he joined the Whig movement ("John Locke"). He traveled across Europe gaining new ideas that would later turn be featured in two of his major publications, A Letter Concerning Toleration and Two Treatises of Government.
John Locke got A Letter Concerning Toleration published in 1689 and it was first published in Latin. What made him put pen to paper and write this was the increased fear that Catholicism could very well be taking England over (Broers). Locke proposed a religious toleration to ease the growing concern. Locke believed that more religions prevent the chances of there being civil unrest, and that the reason civil unrest occurs is because a nation is attempting to prevent other religions from rising. He is the first to really bring up the question, “What is government’s role in the significance of religion?” This was important because before the question was brought up, religion and government were seen to go hand in hand (Broers). Throughout the “letter”, he distinguishes the difference between government and religion. Locke characterizes government as being instilled to promote the three main external interests: life, liberty, and the general welfare. He saw the church as put in place to promote internal interests like salvation. The response across the church for this publication was not the most positive (Broers). They believed an atheist wrote the “letter” and that it was written to cause disruption in the church and state. Locke was viewed negatively by the church and by many European states (Broers).
Two Treatises of Government is John Locke’s most significant works of writing. It was published in 1689 and what the publication...

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