John Locke's Lasting Impact on Society

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Providing the 17th century world with an alternative, innovative view on philosophy, politics, economics, and education among other interrelated and important aspects of life, John Locke proved to be a person of immense impact. Born in 1632, in Wrington, England, Locke was the author of many known writings which include the Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689), The Two Treaties of Government (1698), A Letter Concerning Toleration (1689), and Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693) (Goldie 32). Locke’s writings represent a series of topics involving the purpose of philosophy, emergence of empiricism, and the role as well as limits of governments and churches in terms of liberty and natural rights. In a time where exposure of such controversial ideas would jeopardize the well-being of an author, it is no wonder that Locke postponed the publishing of his writings until after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. However, what impact did Locke’s ideas have in philosophy? Education? Economics? Politics? And what impact do Locke’s ideas have today? These questions represent only a fraction of a possible in-depth exploration of Locke’s lifelong work.

The belief that the human state of mind is blank or else referred to as tabula rasa and knowledge is obtained through experience is an omnipresent idea throughout Locke’s writing An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Written in the late 17th century, this philosophical work brings a ground-breaking thought on understanding the purpose of philosophy which focus should be placed on explaining thinking rather than creating systems (Goldie 32). As such, this writing embodied an essential tool in analyzing the role that philosophy had in the 17th century while reframing and redir...

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