A look at the life and principles of john locke

His father, also named John, was a legal clerk and served with the Parliamentary forces in the English Civil War. His family was well-to-do, but not of particularly high social or economic standing.

A look at the life and principles of john locke

Contact Author John Locke was a 17th-century British philosopher who contributed both to modern political discourse and the foundations of empiricism. He would influence George Berkley and David Hume and a modification of social contract theory that would lay the foundation of the ideas of liberal democracy and classical republicanism.

Empiricism Locke is considered the first of the three great British Empiricists. Locke denied that there was an essential human nature and claimed that everything that a human being is comes from the senses.

He made a distinction between simple ideas, like color sensations, tastes, sounds, shapes these are similar to what David Hume would call impressions and complex ideas such as cause and effect, identity, mathematics and any abstract concept. Though his writing served as the foundation of the Empiricist school of thought, it is now considered far too simplistic, and while his writing received critiques from rationalists, it is often thought that the most devastating critiques came from empiricists themselves.

For instance, Locke objected to the idea that Descartes put forth that a triangle is an a priori concept. He said that instead that the idea of a triangle was merely a reflection on the physical form of a triangle.

George Berkley pointed out that in order for this to be true, you would have to simultaneously imagine a triangle that is equilateral, isosceles and scalene. While David Hume was heavily influenced by Locke, he took his ideas to their utmost logical extreme.

Locke said that these rights came from God as the creator of human beings. Human beings were the property of God, and Locke claimed that the denial of the rights of human beings that God had given them was an affront to God.

Humans had the inalienable rights of life, liberty, property and the pursuit of their own goals. Locke adopted the idea of social contract theory to form the basis of what he considered to be a legitimate government.

The most famous previous version of social contract theory was that of Thomas Hobbes where he used the theory to form the basis of a monarchy. Locke found this form of government to be in contradiction to his ideas of inalienable rights and while he agreed with the idea that governments were formed by the agreement of society he disagreed with the idea that they were looking for security as the primary goal of society.

Locke instead based his primary value of government on the idea of liberty, and he claimed that the only legitimate form of government was one that operated on the explicit consent of the governed. His ideal government was that of a Democratic Republic where policy was dictated by the will of the majority, but individual rights were to be respected.

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Contemporary governments have accomplished this through a series of checks and balances. Locke believed that the rights that I have described above had come from God, but at the same time, he also believed that Democracy could result in some of the property of the citizens to be redistributed.

His justification for this was that once a government was formed it had to function as a ruling body and as functioning as a single body majority rules was the most fair way to implement any policy. However, because each individual in the body politic would know that while sometimes they would be on the winning side of the majority other times they may not, the urge to wield tyranny against their fellow citizens would be somewhat curbed.

This proved wrong in the short term but governments that have formed on these principals have been essentially progressive and the rights of individuals have increased over time as Democratic Republics have developed.

SparkNotes: John Locke (–): An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

Future social contract theorists Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Rawls would both expand on this concept.Look at what philosopher John Locke has to say about this topic and what he considers to be central to the development of knowledge.

Testing a Theory Two people are standing outside of a locked door.

A look at the life and principles of john locke

One of the Great Treatises on Government Locke, John. Two Treatises of Government: In the Former, The False Principles and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer, and His Followers, are Detected and Overthrown. The Latter is an Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent, and End of Civil Government.

John Locke ( - ) Based off the principles and beliefs of John Locke, a 17 th century English philosopher, Locke’s Rights Ethics is one of the four major ethical theories that . Learn John Locke, Second Treatise of Government with free interactive flashcards.

Key Concepts of the Philosophy of John Locke | Owlcation

Choose from different sets of John Locke, Second Treatise of Government flashcards on Quizlet. Government Founding Principles: John Locke. philosopher. Tabula Rasa. Natural Rights. liberty. a thinker.

The right to life, liberty and property cause they. John Locke believes that human beings are born with certain divine rights such as the right to live, the right to liberty and property. These natural rights alone have the sole capability of managing a harmonious society. these are very general, abstract principles – up to the interpretation of a rational being Locke introduces money: now interesting fact: money cannot spoil, so it can be horded money gets around this proviso, and turns this natural right of property into an unlimited right of property.

Locke's Political Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)