Who Was John Locke?

Updated: December 11, 2022
John Locke was an English philosopher who is considered to be one of the first philosophers of the Enlightenment and the father of liberalism.
Detailed answer:

John Locke was born in 1632 and died in 1704. He was an English philosopher, physician, and lawmaker. He is considered the father of classical liberalism. Locke argued that the mind is a tabula rasa at birth and that knowledge is derived from experience and sense perception.

John Locke was born in 1632 in Wrington, Somerset, England. His mother died when he was just one year old, and his father remarried soon after. Locke did not get along with his stepmother and eventually went to live with relatives after his father’s death when he was 12 years old.

The majority of Locke’s education took place at the prestigious Westminster School in London, where he learned Greek, Latin, and mathematics. Afterward, he entered Christ Church College at Oxford University as a medical student but never finished his degree because of poor health. He returned to college several years later but still did not complete his degree as he became involved in the anti-royalist politics of the time. In 1667, he left England for Holland to avoid arrest for seditious libel against King Charles II and fled to France two years later when King Charles’ brother ascended to the throne.

Locke spent most of his adult life traveling through Europe conducting philosophical research and writing.

Locke’s contributions are numerous and diverse. One of the most important is his beginning of a new direction in epistemology—to ask what we can know and how we can know it. As a result, he is often considered one of the founders of modern philosophy.

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