English Philosopher: John Locke Essay

English Philosopher: John Locke Essay

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John Locke was an English philosopher of the 18th century who was one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers. He is best known for his theory of personal identity, theory of knowledge, his advocacy for religious tolerance, and his liberal theory of state. His rational way of thinking, and profound philosophies greatly affected society.
John Locke was born to a well off family in Wrington, a village in Somerset. His father was a well-respected man and due to his father’s connections, Locke was able to receive an exceptional education. In 1674, John Locke earned a bachelor’s in medicine. It was early in his medical studies when John Locke met Lord Ashley, who later became the earl of Shaftsbury. Ashley was the leader of a group of opposition leaders known as the Whigs. As a political leader Ashley stood for civil liberty, toleration of religion, the rule of parliament, and a constitutional monarchy. It is obvious that Ashley’s political standpoint influenced John Locke’s political philosophical works greatly.
John Locke is widely known as the “Father of Liberalism” because his political works have served as the groundwork for many democratic states. Locke’s liberal philosophy speaks of man as free, equal, and independent. He believed that none –not even the government- had the right to harm another person’s life, liberty, or possessions. Life, liberty, and property, were three rights that Locke believed could not be taken from a person because GOD Gives them those rights. John Locke believed that every person should have the freedom to choose their own actions and only be reprimanded by the government if he hurts another’s life, liberty or property. Locke also believed that the laws of the government should only be there...


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...rove the existence of innate ideas (as Descartes proposed). He also believed that ideas come to us through our senses and after we reflect and ponder upon them, we form complex ideas. Locke divided know sees the ledge into three different parts: intuitive knowledge, demonstrative knowledge, and sensitive knowledge. Intuitive knowledge is when the mind clearly sees the difference between two things, such as the color white and black; the mind can see this truth without any help. The second type of knowledge as mentioned is the demonstrative knowledge. Demonstrative knowledge is that which can be proved by evidence or reasoning such as math proofs, or as John Locke believes, the existence of GOD. The third type of knowledge that Locke proposed was the sensitive knowledge. This knowledge was the knowledge of natural senses, or knowledge that we learned by our senses.

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