John Locke Essay

1326 words - 5 pages

John Locke

John Locke is considered to be England’s most prominent philosopher. He was born August 29, 1632 in a small town of Somerset, which is south of Bristol, England. Locke was the oldest of three children. His mother died when he was 22 years old and Locke spoke of her very well. Locke’s father was a Puritan attorney and clerk to a justice of the peace in the town where Locke was born. He was very strict with his son when he was younger. which Locke later believed that parents should be stricter and less indulgent towards their children. John Locke was raised in a home that was very concerned with education. He was educated mostly in doctrines of political liberty and always surrounded by important political figures because of his father’s occupation. ?

In 1650 Locke was elected as a King’s scholar, and in 1652 he became a candidate for a scholarship at Oxford and Cambridge. Locke attended Oxford to study where his interest in Philosophy began.2 He was not pleased with the philosophy that was taught here because it was taught with obscure terms and useless questions. His true interest in the philosophical world came when he read Aristotle. During Locke’s time at Oxford Francis Bacon said “a total reconstruction of the sciences, arts, and all human knowledge must be undertaken”.3 Locke was very interested in medical experiments at Oxford especially the method or principles on which they were based. As a result of these experiments in 1650 Locke had concluded that his task was to “ investigate problems concerning the foundations of human knowledge, belief, and opinion”.4 He spent most of his intellectual life trying to answer two questions: How is it that human beings can know anything? And how should humans try to live their lives?5

In 1668 John Locke was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society which came from the philosophical club that was established at Oxford in 1663. In 1671 Locke wrote two drafts of his essay which revolutionized English philosophy. His essay was about the principles of morality and revealed religion. Locke concluded that questions about religious and moral principles could be answered only after thorough investigation of the human understanding and of human knowledge.5 He had many theories and ideas, which he spent most of his life trying to find the answers to.

Locke believes that “everything existing or occurring in a mind either is or includes an idea; and all human knowledge both starts from and is founded on ideas”.6 His ideas and essays caused people to get upset because of the newness of the ideas. Locke believed that everyone should be equal to pursue what he or she wants. He believed that everyone is born perfect and you build on what happen to you in your life. This is the theory of blank slate. At this time in history there were many different theories about why humans were they way they were and what made people evil. Locke believed that society and your...

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