John Locke was a British philosopher who is widely considered one of the founders of modern liberalism. He is best known for his work on empiricism or the idea that all knowledge comes from experience and observation. Locke was also influential in the development of classical liberalism and the American and French revolutions.
He believed that humans have certain natural rights, including life, liberty, and property. These rights are inalienable: they cannot be taken away by governments or other institutions. They are also equal: everyone should have equal access to these rights regardless of gender, race, religion, or ethnicity.
In turn, he believed that the government’s role is to protect the natural rights of individuals, which include the right to life, liberty, and property. He also believed in the separation of church and state.
Locke argued that the mind is a tabula rasa, or blank slate, at birth and that experience and observation are the primary sources of knowledge. He argued this in his 1690 book An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Locke’s theory of knowledge was based on his view of human knowledge as “tabula rasa” (blank slate). That is to say, he believed that all knowledge is derived from experience gained through the senses. He also argued that the mind is like a tablet (or slate) upon which we inscribe everything we can observe about ourselves, other people, and the world around us. In this sense, Locke was influenced by John Duns Scotus’ doctrine of haecceity.