John Locke

Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.

– John Locke


born in Wrington, Somerset, England, The United Kingdom August 29, 1632
died: October 28, 1704
genre: Philosophy, Politics, Science
influences: René Descartes, Thomas Hobbes

John Locke was an English philosopher. Locke is considered the first of the British Empiricists, but is equally important to social contract theory. His ideas had enormous influence on the development of epistemology and political philosophy, and he is widely regarded as one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers and contributors to liberal theory. His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. This influence is reflected in the American Declaration of Independence.

Locke’s theory of mind is often cited as the origin for modern conceptions of identity and “the self”, figuring prominently in the later works of philosophers such as David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant. Locke was the first Western philosopher to define the self through a continuity of “consciousness.” He also postulated that the mind was a “blank slate” or “tabula rasa”; that is, contrary to Cartesian or Christian philosophy, Locke maintained that people are born without innate ideas


6 thoughts on “John Locke

  1. ‘August 29, 1632: British writer John Locke was a prominent Enlightenment-era philosopher whose theories strongly influenced the Declaration of Independence. He was born 381 years ago today.’
    – Goodreads

  2. Gee he lived a lomg time ago.Fundementally smart but not exactly brilliant in this thinking but that is just the way feel about some of his ideas. Philosophy has many thinkers and most of them either had complex or else simplistic ideas about their fellow humans.

    • “The acts of the mind, wherein it exerts its power over simple ideas, are chiefly these three: 1. Combining several simple ideas into one compound one, and thus all complex ideas are made. 2. The second is bringing two ideas, whether simple or complex, together, and setting them by one another so as to take a view of them at once, without uniting them into one, by which it gets all its ideas of relations. 3. The third is separating them from all other ideas that accompany them in their real existence: this is called abstraction, and thus all its general ideas are made.”
      ― John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

  3. thinking hurts. Glad he made it in the goodreads.

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