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A Biography of John Locke (1632-1704)

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❶To help assure his anonymity, he dealt with the printer through his friend Edward Clarke. He fled to Holland where William and Mary ruled but had some claim to the English throne.

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The Conduct reveals the connections Locke sees between reason, freedom and morality. Reason is required for good self-government because reason insofar as it is free from partiality, intolerance and passion and able to question authority leads to fair judgment and action.

Lord Shaftsbury had been dismissed from his post as Lord Chancellor in and had become one of the leaders of the opposition party, the Country Party. In the chief issue was the attempt by the Country Party leaders to exclude James, Duke of York from succeeding his brother Charles II to the throne.

They wanted to do this because James was a Catholic, and England by this time was a firmly Protestant country. They tried a couple of more times without success. Having failed by parliamentary means, some of the Country Party leaders started plotting armed rebellion. The Two Treatises of Government were published in , long after the rebellion plotted by the Country party leaders had failed to materialize and after Shaftsbury had fled the country for Holland and died.

The introduction of the Two Treatises was written after the Glorious Revolution of , and gave the impression that the book was written to justify the Glorious Revolution. We now know that the Two Treatises of Government were written during the Exclusion crisis in and may have been intended in part to justify the general armed rising which the Country Party leaders were planning. The English Anglican gentry needed to support such an action.

But the Anglican church from childhood on taught that: Passive resistance would simply not do. John Dunn goes on to remark: The gentry had to be persuaded that there could be reason for rebellion which could make it neither blasphemous or suicidal.

Sir Robert Filmer c — , a man of the generation of Charles I and the English Civil War, who had defended the crown in various works. His most famous work, however, Patriarcha , was published posthumously in and represented the most complete and coherent exposition of the view Locke wished to deny.

Filmer held that men were born into helpless servitude to an authoritarian family, a social hierarchy and a sovereign whose only constraint was his relationship with God. Only in this way could he restore to the Anglican gentry a coherent bssis for moral autonomy or a practical initiative in the field of politics. The First Treatise of Government is a polemical work aimed at refuting the theological basis for the patriarchal version of the Divine Right of Kings doctrine put forth by Sir Robert Filmer.

In what follows in the First Treatise , Locke minutely examines key Biblical passages. Natural rights are those rights which we are supposed to have as human beings before ever government comes into being. We might suppose, that like other animals, we have a natural right to struggle for our survival. Locke will argue that we have a right to the means to survive. When Locke comes to explain how government comes into being, he uses the idea that people agree that their condition in the state of nature is unsatisfactory, and so agree to transfer some of their rights to a central government, while retaining others.

This is the theory of the social contract. There are many versions of natural rights theory and the social contract in seventeenth and eighteenth century European political philosophy, some conservative and some radical. These radical natural right theories influenced the ideologies of the American and French revolutions. When properly distinguished, however, and the limitations of each displayed, it becomes clear that monarchs have no legitimate absolute power over their subjects.

Once this is done, the basis for legitimate revolution becomes clear. Figuring out what the proper or legitimate role of civil government is would be a difficult task indeed if one were to examine the vast complexity of existing governments. How should one proceed? One strategy is to consider what life is like in the absence of civil government.

Presumably this is a simpler state, one which may be easier to understand. Then one might see what role civil government ought to play. This is the strategy which Locke pursues, following Hobbes and others. So, in the first chapter of the Second Treatise Locke defines political power.

Political power , then, I take to be a right of making laws with penalties of death, and consequently all less penalties, for the regulating and preserving of property, and of employing the force of the community, in the execution of such laws, and in the defence of the common-wealth from foreign injury; and all this only for the public good.

In the second chapter of The Second Treatise Locke describes the state in which there is no government with real political power. This is the state of nature.

It is sometimes assumed that the state of nature is a state in which there is no government at all. This is only partially true. It is possible to have in the state of nature either no government, illegitimate government, or legitimate government with less than full political power.

If we consider the state of nature before there was government, it is a state of political equality in which there is no natural superior or inferior. From this equality flows the obligation to mutual love and the duties that people owe one another, and the great maxims of justice and charity.

Was there ever such a state? There has been considerable debate about this. Still, it is plain that both Hobbes and Locke would answer this question affirmatively.

Whenever people have not agreed to establish a common political authority, they remain in the state of nature. Perhaps the historical development of states also went though the stages of a state of nature. An alternative possibility is that the state of nature is not a real historical state, but rather a theoretical construct, intended to help determine the proper function of government. If one rejects the historicity of states of nature, one may still find them a useful analytical device.

For Locke, it is very likely both. The chief end set us by our creator as a species and as individuals is survival. A wise and omnipotent God, having made people and sent them into this world:. So, murder and suicide violate the divine purpose. If one takes survival as the end, then we may ask what are the means necessary to that end. So we have rights to life, liberty, health and property. These are natural rights, that is they are rights that we have in a state of nature before the introduction of civil government, and all people have these rights equally.

There is also a law of nature. It is the Golden Rule, interpreted in terms of natural rights. The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges everyone: Locke tells us that the law of nature is revealed by reason. Locke makes the point about the law that it commands what is best for us. If it did not, he says, the law would vanish for it would not be obeyed.

It is in this sense that Locke means that reason reveals the law. If you reflect on what is best for yourself and others, given the goal of survival and our natural equality, you will come to this conclusion.

Locke does not intend his account of the state of nature as a sort of utopia. Rather it serves as an analytical device that explains why it becomes necessary to introduce civil government and what the legitimate function of civil government is. Thus, as Locke conceives it, there are problems with life in the state of nature. The law of nature, like civil laws can be violated. There are no police, prosecutors or judges in the state of nature as these are all representatives of a government with full political power.

The victims, then, must enforce the law of nature in the state of nature. In addition to our other rights in the state of nature, we have the rights to enforce the law and to judge on our own behalf. We may, Locke tells us, help one another. We may intervene in cases where our own interests are not directly under threat to help enforce the law of nature. This right eventually serves as the justification for legitimate rebellion.

Still, in the state of nature, the person who is most likely to enforce the law under these circumstances is the person who has been wronged. The basic principle of justice is that the punishment should be proportionate to the crime. But when the victims are judging the seriousness of the crime, they are more likely to judge it of greater severity than might an impartial judge.

As a result, there will be regular miscarriages of justice. This is perhaps the most important problem with the state of nature. In chapters 3 and 4, Locke defines the states of war and slavery.

Such a person puts themselves into a state of war with the person whose life they intend to take. This is not the normal relationship between people enjoined by the law of nature in the state of nature.

Locke is distancing himself from Hobbes who had made the state of nature and the state of war equivalent terms. For Locke, the state of nature is ordinarily one in which we follow the Golden Rule interpreted in terms of natural rights, and thus love our fellow human creatures. Slavery is the state of being in the absolute or arbitrary power of another.

In order to do so one must be an unjust aggressor defeated in war. The just victor then has the option to either kill the aggressor or enslave them. Locke tells us that the state of slavery is the continuation of the state of war between a lawful conqueror and a captive, in which the conqueror delays to take the life of the captive, and instead makes use of him. This is a continued war because if conqueror and captive make some compact for obedience on the one side and limited power on the other, the state of slavery ceases and becomes a relation between a master and a servant in which the master only has limited power over his servant.

Illegitimate slavery is that state in which someone possesses absolute or despotic power over someone else without just cause. Locke holds that it is this illegitimate state of slavery which absolute monarchs wish to impose upon their subjects. It is very likely for this reason that legitimate slavery is so narrowly defined. Still, it is possible that Locke had an additional purpose or perhaps a quite different reason for writing about slavery. However, there are strong objections to this view.

Had he intended to justify Afro-American slavery, Locke would have done much better with a vastly more inclusive definition of legitimate slavery than the one he gives. This, however, is also not the case. These limits on who can become a legitimate slave and what the powers of a just conqueror are ensure that this theory of conquest and slavery would condemn the institutions and practices of Afro-American slavery in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.

Nonetheless, the debate continues. Roger Woolhouse in his recent biography of Locke Woolhouse Indeed, some of the most controversial issues about the Second Treatise come from varying interpretations of it.

In this chapter Locke, in effect, describes the evolution of the state of nature to the point where it becomes expedient for those in it to found a civil government. In discussing the origin of private property Locke begins by noting that God gave the earth to all men in common.

Thus there is a question about how private property comes to be. Locke finds it a serious difficulty. What then is the means to appropriate property from the common store? Locke argues that private property does not come about by universal consent. Locke holds that we have a property in our own person. And the labor of our body and the work of our hands properly belong to us. So, when one picks up acorns or berries, they thereby belong to the person who picked them up.

Daniel Russell claims that for Locke, labor is a goal-directed activity that converts materials that might meet our needs into resources that actually do Russell One might think that one could then acquire as much as one wished, but this is not the case.

Locke introduces at least two important qualifications on how much property can be acquired. The first qualification has to do with waste. As much as anyone can make use of to any advantage of life before it spoils, so much by his labor he may fix a property in; whatever is beyond this, is more than his share, and belongs to others. Since originally, populations were small and resources great, living within the bounds set by reason, there would be little quarrel or contention over property, for a single man could make use of only a very small part of what was available.

Note that Locke has, thus far, been talking about hunting and gathering, and the kinds of limitations which reason imposes on the kind of property that hunters and gatherers hold.

In the next section he turns to agriculture and the ownership of land and the kinds of limitations there are on that kind of property. Once again it is labor which imposes limitations upon how much land can be enclosed. It is only as much as one can work. But there is an additional qualification. Nor was this appropriation of any parcel of land , by improving it, any prejudice to any other man, since there was still enough, and as good left; and more than the as yet unprovided could use.

So that, in effect, there was never the less for others because of his inclosure for himself: No body could consider himself injured by the drinking of another man, though he took a good draught, who had a whole river of the same water left to quench his thirst: The next stage in the evolution of the state of nature involves the introduction of money.

So, before the introduction of money, there was a degree of economic equality imposed on mankind both by reason and the barter system. And men were largely confined to the satisfaction of their needs and conveniences. Most of the necessities of life are relatively short lived—berries, plums, venison and so forth.

The introduction of money is necessary for the differential increase in property, with resulting economic inequality. Without money there would be no point in going beyond the economic equality of the earlier stage. In a money economy, different degrees of industry could give men vastly different proportions. This partage of things in an inequality of private possessions, men have made practicable out of the bounds of society, and without compact, only by putting a value on gold and silver, and tacitly agreeing to the use of money: The implication is that it is the introduction of money, which causes inequality, which in turn multiplies the causes of quarrels and contentions and increased numbers of violations of the law of nature.

This leads to the decision to create a civil government. Before turning to the institution of civil government, however, we should ask what happens to the qualifications on the acquisition of property after the advent of money?

One answer proposed by C. Macpherson in The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism is that the qualifications are completely set aside, and we now have a system for the unlimited acquisition of private property.

This does not seem to be correct. It seems plain, rather, that at least the non-spoilage qualification is satisfied, because money does not spoil. The other qualifications may be rendered somewhat irrelevant by the advent of the conventions about property adopted in civil society. This leaves open the question of whether Locke approved of these changes.

Macpherson, who takes Locke to be a spokesman for a proto-capitalist system, sees Locke as advocating the unlimited acquisition of wealth.

James Tully, on the other side, in A Discourse of Property holds that Locke sees the new conditions, the change in values and the economic inequality which arise as a result of the advent of money, as the fall of man. Tully sees Locke as a persistent and powerful critic of self-interest.

This remarkable difference in interpretation has been a significant topic for debates among scholars over the last forty years. Covetousness and the desire to having in our possession and our dominion more than we have need of, being the root of all evil, should be early and carefully weeded out and the contrary quality of being ready to impart to others inculcated.

Just as natural rights and natural law theory had a florescence in the seventeenth and eighteenth century, so did the social contract theory. Why is Locke a social contract theorist? Is it merely that this was one prevailing way of thinking about government at the time which Locke blindly adopted? One might hold that governments were originally instituted by force, and that no agreement was involved.

Were Locke to adopt this view, he would be forced to go back on many of the things which are at the heart of his project in the Second Treatise , though cases like the Norman conquest force him to admit that citizens may come to accept a government that was originally forced on them.

Treatises II, 1, 4. So, while Locke might admit that some governments come about through force or violence, he would be destroying the most central and vital distinction, that between legitimate and illegitimate civil government, if he admitted that legitimate government can come about in this way.

So, for Locke, legitimate government is instituted by the explicit consent of those governed. Those who make this agreement transfer to the government their right of executing the law of nature and judging their own case.

These are the powers which they give to the central government, and this is what makes the justice system of governments a legitimate function of such governments.

Ruth Grant has persuasively argued that the establishment of government is in effect a two step process. Universal consent is necessary to form a political community. Consent to join a community once given is binding and cannot be withdrawn.

This makes political communities stable. The answer to this question is determined by majority rule. The point is that universal consent is necessary to establish a political community, majority consent to answer the question who is to rule such a community. Universal consent and majority consent are thus different in kind, not just in degree. When the designated government dissolves, men remain obligated to society acting through majority rule. It is entirely possible for the majority to confer the rule of the community on a king and his heirs, or a group of oligarchs or on a democratic assembly.

Thus, the social contract is not inextricably linked to democracy. Still, a government of any kind must perform the legitimate function of a civil government. Locke is now in a position to explain the function of a legitimate government and distinguish it from illegitimate government.

The aim of such a legitimate government is to preserve, so far as possible, the rights to life, liberty, health and property of its citizens, and to prosecute and punish those of its citizens who violate the rights of others and to pursue the public good even where this may conflict with the rights of individuals.

In doing this it provides something unavailable in the state of nature, an impartial judge to determine the severity of the crime, and to set a punishment proportionate to the crime. This is one of the main reasons why civil society is an improvement on the state of nature. An illegitimate government will fail to protect the rights to life, liberty, health and property of its subjects, and in the worst cases, such an illegitimate government will claim to be able to violate the rights of its subjects, that is it will claim to have despotic power over its subjects.

Since Locke is arguing against the position of Sir Robert Filmer who held that patriarchal power and political power are the same, and that in effect these amount to despotic power, Locke is at pains to distinguish these three forms of power, and to show that they are not equivalent. THOUGH I have had occasion to speak of these before, yet the great mistakes of late about government, having as I suppose arisen from confounding these distinct powers one with another, it may not be amiss, to consider them together.

Paternal power is limited. It lasts only through the minority of children, and has other limitations. Political power, derived as it is from the transfer of the power of individuals to enforce the law of nature, has with it the right to kill in the interest of preserving the rights of the citizens or otherwise supporting the public good. Legitimate despotic power, by contrast, implies the right to take the life, liberty, health and at least some of the property of any person subject to such a power.

At the end of the Second Treatise we learn about the nature of illegitimate civil governments and the conditions under which rebellion and regicide are legitimate and appropriate. As noted above, scholars now hold that the book was written during the Exclusion crisis, and may have been written to justify a general insurrection and the assassination of the king of England and his brother.

The argument for legitimate revolution follows from making the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate civil government. A legitimate civil government seeks to preserve the life, health, liberty and property of its subjects, insofar as this is compatible with the public good. Because it does this it deserves obedience.

An illegitimate civil government seeks to systematically violate the natural rights of its subjects. It seeks to make them illegitimate slaves. Because an illegitimate civil government does this, it puts itself in a state of nature and a state of war with its subjects. The magistrate or king of such a state violates the law of nature and so makes himself into a dangerous beast of prey who operates on the principle that might makes right, or that the strongest carries it.

In such circumstances, rebellion is legitimate as is the killing of such a dangerous beast of prey. Thus Locke justifies rebellion and regicide under certain circumstances. Presumably this justification was going to be offered for the killing of the King of England and his brother had the Rye House Plot succeeded.

The issue of religious toleration was of widespread interest in Europe in the seventeenth century. The Reformation had split Europe into competing religious camps, and this provoked civil wars and massive religious persecutions.

The Dutch Republic, where Locke spent time, had been founded as a secular state which would allow religious differences. This was a reaction to Catholic persecution of Protestants. Once the Calvinist Church gained power, however, they began persecuting other sects, such as the Remonstrants who disagreed with them.

In France, religious conflict had been temporarily quieted by the edict of Nantes. But in , the year in which Locke wrote the First Letter concerning religious toleration, Louis XIV had revoked the Edict of Nantes, and the Huguenots were being persecuted and though prohibited from doing so, emigrated on mass.

People in England were keenly aware of the events taking place in France. In England itself, religious conflict dominated the seventeenth century, contributing in important respects to the coming of the English Civil War, and the abolishing of the Anglican Church during the Protectorate.

After the Restoration of Charles II, Anglicans in parliament passed laws which repressed both Catholics and Protestant sects such as Presbyterians, Baptists, Quakers and Unitarians who did not agree with the doctrines or practices of the state Church. Of these various dissenting sects, some were closer to the Anglicans, others more remote.

One reason among others why King Charles may have found Shaftesbury useful was that they were both concerned about religious toleration. They parted when it became clear that the King was mainly interested in toleration for Catholics, and Shaftesbury for Protestant dissenters. One widely discussed strategy for reducing religious conflict in England was called comprehension. The idea was to reduce the doctrines and practices of the Anglican church to a minimum so that most, if not all, of the dissenting sects would be included in the state church.

For those which even this measure would not serve, there was to be toleration. Toleration we may define as a lack of state persecution. Neither of these strategies made much progress during the course of the Restoration.

This is a quite difficult question to answer. But what kind of Christian was Locke? At Oxford, Locke avoided becoming an Anglican priest. Others have identified him with the Latitudinarians—a movement among Anglicans to argue for a reasonable Christianity that dissenters ought to accept.

Still, there are some reasons to think that Locke was neither an orthodox Anglican or a Latitudinarian. Locke arranged to have the work published anonymously in Holland though in the end Newton decided not to publish McLachlan This strongly suggests that Locke too was by this time an Arian or unitarian. Newton held that the Church had gone in the wrong direction in condemning Arius.

Yet Richard Ashcraft has argued that comprehension for the Anglicans meant conforming to the existing practices of the Anglican Church; that is, the abandonment of religious dissent. Locke had been thinking, talking and writing about religious toleration since In the early s he very likely was an orthodox Anglican.

He and Shaftesbury had instituted religious toleration in the Fundamental Constitutions of the Carolinas , He wrote the Epistola de Tolerentia in Latin in while in exile in Holland. Holland itself was a Calvinist theocracy with significant problems with religious toleration. Locke gives a principled account of religious toleration, though this is mixed in with arguments which apply only to Christians, and perhaps in some cases only to Protestants.

He excluded both Catholics and atheists from religious toleration. In the case of Catholics it was because he regarded them as agents of a foreign power.

He gives his general defense of religious toleration while continuing the anti-Papist rhetoric of the Country party which sought to exclude James II from the throne. Locke defines life, liberty, health and property as our civil interests. These are the proper concern of a magistrate or civil government.

The magistrate can use force and violence where this is necessary to preserve civil interests against attack. This is the central function of the state. Locke holds that the use of force by the state to get people to hold certain beliefs or engage in certain ceremonies or practices is illegitimate. The chief means which the magistrate has at her disposal is force, but force is not an effective means for changing or maintaining belief. Suppose then, that the magistrate uses force so as to make people profess that they believe.

A sweet religion, indeed, that obliges men to dissemble, and tell lies to both God and man, for the salvation of their souls! If the magistrate thinks to save men thus, he seems to understand little of the way of salvation; and if he does it not in order to save them, why is he so solicitous of the articles of faith as to enact them by a law.

So, religious persecution by the state is inappropriate. This means that the use of bread and wine, or even the sacrificing of a calf could not be prohibited by the magistrate. If there are competing churches, one might ask which one should have the power? The answer is clearly that power should go to the true church and not to the heretical church. But Locke claims this amounts to saying nothing.

For every church believes itself to be the true church, and there is no judge but God who can determine which of these claims is correct.

This will supersede The Works of John Locke of which the edition is probably the most standard. The Oxford Clarendon editions contain much of the material of the Lovelace collection, purchased and donated to Oxford by Paul Mellon. The Limits of Human Understanding 2. The Two Treatises Of Government 4. In the Epistle to the Reader at the beginning of the Essay Locke remarks: He tells us that: He argues that property is a natural right and it is derived from labour.

In Chapter V of his Second Treatise , Locke argues that the individual ownership of goods and property is justified by the labour exerted to produce those goods or utilise property to produce goods beneficial to human society. Locke stated his belief, in his Second Treatise , that nature on its own provides little of value to society, implying that the labour expended in the creation of goods gives them their value.

This position can be seen as a labour theory of value. In addition, he believed that property precedes government and government cannot "dispose of the estates of the subjects arbitrarily. Locke's political theory was founded on social contract theory.

Unlike Thomas Hobbes , Locke believed that human nature is characterised by reason and tolerance. Like Hobbes, Locke believed that human nature allowed people to be selfish. This is apparent with the introduction of currency. In a natural state all people were equal and independent, and everyone had a natural right to defend his "life, health, liberty, or possessions".

Like Hobbes, Locke assumed that the sole right to defend in the state of nature was not enough, so people established a civil society to resolve conflicts in a civil way with help from government in a state of society. However, Locke never refers to Hobbes by name and may instead have been responding to other writers of the day. These ideas would come to have profound influence on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

According to Locke, unused property is wasteful and an offence against nature, [46] but, with the introduction of "durable" goods, men could exchange their excessive perishable goods for goods that would last longer and thus not offend the natural law.

In his view, the introduction of money marks the culmination of this process, making possible the unlimited accumulation of property without causing waste through spoilage. In his view, the introduction of money eliminates the limits of accumulation. Locke stresses that inequality has come about by tacit agreement on the use of money, not by the social contract establishing civil society or the law of land regulating property.

Locke is aware of a problem posed by unlimited accumulation but does not consider it his task. He just implies that government would function to moderate the conflict between the unlimited accumulation of property and a more nearly equal distribution of wealth; he does not identify which principles that government should apply to solve this problem.

However, not all elements of his thought form a consistent whole. For example, labour theory of value of the Two Treatises of Government stands side by side with the demand-and-supply theory developed in a letter he wrote titled Some Considerations on the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and the Raising of the Value of Money. Moreover, Locke anchors property in labour but in the end upholds the unlimited accumulation of wealth.

Locke's general theory of value and price is a supply and demand theory, which was set out in a letter to a Member of Parliament in , titled Some Considerations on the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and the Raising of the Value of Money. His idea is based on "money answers all things" Ecclesiastes or "rent of money is always sufficient, or more than enough," and "varies very little He also investigates the determinants of demand and supply.

For supply, he explains the value of goods as based on their scarcity and ability to be exchanged and consumed. He explains demand for goods as based on their ability to yield a flow of income. Locke develops an early theory of capitalisation , such as land, which has value because "by its constant production of saleable commodities it brings in a certain yearly income.

As a medium of exchange, he states that "money is capable by exchange to procure us the necessaries or conveniences of life," and for loanable funds, "it comes to be of the same nature with land by yielding a certain yearly income Locke distinguishes two functions of money, as a "counter" to measure value, and as a "pledge" to lay claim to goods.

He believes that silver and gold, as opposed to paper money, are the appropriate currency for international transactions. Silver and gold, he says, are treated to have equal value by all of humanity and can thus be treated as a pledge by anyone, while the value of paper money is only valid under the government which issues it. Locke argues that a country should seek a favourable balance of trade , lest it fall behind other countries and suffer a loss in its trade.

Since the world money stock grows constantly, a country must constantly seek to enlarge its own stock. Locke develops his theory of foreign exchanges, in addition to commodity movements, there are also movements in country stock of money, and movements of capital determine exchange rates.

He considers the latter less significant and less volatile than commodity movements. As for a country's money stock , if it is large relative to that of other countries, he says it will cause the country's exchange to rise above par, as an export balance would do. He also prepares estimates of the cash requirements for different economic groups landholders, labourers and brokers. In each group he posits that the cash requirements are closely related to the length of the pay period.

Locke defines the self as "that conscious thinking thing, whatever substance, made up of whether spiritual, or material, simple, or compounded, it matters not which is sensible, or conscious of pleasure and pain, capable of happiness or misery, and so is concerned for itself, as far as that consciousness extends".

In his Essay , Locke explains the gradual unfolding of this conscious mind. Arguing against both the Augustinian view of man as originally sinful and the Cartesian position, which holds that man innately knows basic logical propositions, Locke posits an "empty" mind, a tabula rasa , which is shaped by experience; sensations and reflections being the two sources of all our ideas. Locke's Some Thoughts Concerning Education is an outline on how to educate this mind: Locke also wrote that "the little and almost insensible impressions on our tender infancies have very important and lasting consequences.

In his Essay , in which both these concepts are introduced, Locke warns against, for example, letting "a foolish maid" convince a child that "goblins and sprites" are associated with the night for "darkness shall ever afterwards bring with it those frightful ideas, and they shall be so joined, that he can no more bear the one than the other.

This theory came to be called "associationism", and it strongly influenced 18th-century thought, particularly educational theory , as nearly every educational writer warned parents not to allow their children to develop negative associations.

It also led to the development of psychology and other new disciplines with David Hartley 's attempt to discover a biological mechanism for associationism in his Observations on Man Locke was critical of Descartes' version of the dream argument , with Locke making the counterargument that people cannot have physical pain in dreams as they do in waking life.

Some scholars have seen Locke's political convictions as deriving from his religious beliefs. Man was capable of waging unjust wars and committing crimes.

Criminals had to be punished, even with the death penalty. He retained the doctrine of the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures.

Locke was convinced that the entire content of the Bible was in agreement with human reason The reasonableness of Christianity , His political thought was based on "a particular set of Protestant Christian assumptions". Locke's concept of man started with the belief in creation. We have been "sent into the World by [God's] order, and about his business, [we] are his Property, whose Workmanship [we] are, made to last during his, not one anothers Pleasure.

Freedom is another major theme in the Old Testament. For instance, God's actions in liberating the Israelites from Egyptian slavery in the Decalogue's prologue Exodus Moreover, Locke derived basic human equality, including the equality of the sexes "Adam and Eve" from Genesis 1: Following Locke, the American Declaration of Independence founded human rights partially on the biblical belief in creation: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

For other people named John Locke, see John Locke disambiguation. Portrait of Locke in by Godfrey Kneller. Empiricism Foundationalism [1] Conceptualism [2] Indirect realism [3] Correspondence theory of truth [4] Ideational theory of meaning [5] Corpuscularianism [6] Social contract Natural law Liberalism.

Grotius , Descartes , Filmer , Pufendorf , Hobbes. Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Some Thoughts Concerning Education. Of the Conduct of the Understanding. Two Treatises of Government. History of liberalism Contributions to liberal theory. Democratic capitalism Liberal bias in academia Regressive left.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved August 19, An Introduction , Wiley-Blackwell, , p. Yolton, Realism and Appearances: Two Treatises of Government 10th edition: Chapter II, Section 6. Retrieved May 5, Julian, A History of Political Philosophy: Pearson Prentice Hall, pp. In Zalta, Edward N. Two Treatises of Government and the Revolution of Schocken Books , pp.

Clarendon Press, , p. The Politics of Party. Cambridge University Press, , p. Locke on free agency. In particular, it develops a narrative of his involvement with the Radical Whigs and emphasizes the influence of his mentor, patron, and co-conspirator in various political intrigues, Lord Shaftesbury. University of Chicago Press: This is a rigorous philosophical text which tries to synthesize two seemingly disparate fields of Lockean thought.

The Lockean Theory of Rights. Written by the famous dean of the Austrian School of economics, this essay analyses the historical conflict between different pre-Smithian economists. It contrasts them with the then current goings-on in the U. Though Locke is one of the earliest secular advocates of the concept of toleration, his version of the concept is often criticized because he is explicitly intolerant of Catholics and Atheists, who he views as inimical to the public order.

Below are resources for students and curious adults: Works by John Locke chronologically Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina Composed jointly by Locke and his mentor Lord Shaftesbury, this document was intended to be used as the Constitution of the English Province of Carolina, though it was never officially adopted. A Letter Concerning Toleration Originally intended as a personal letter to a friend, the publication of this essay made quite a splash.

Two Treatises of Government Because of the radical notions presented in these works and a fear of reprisal, Locke published them anonymously. Locke biographies Faiella, Graham. Chicago, This is a rigorous philosophical text which tries to synthesize two seemingly disparate fields of Lockean thought.

Popular articles and essays Rothbard, Murray. Scholarly articles Snare, Frank. Who is John Locke?

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John Locke () was an English philosopher who is considered to be one of the first philosophers of the Enlightenment and the father of classical liberalism. In his major work Two Treatises of Government Locke rejects the idea of the divine right of kings.

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John Locke was born in in Wrighton, Somerset. His father was a lawyer and small landowner who had fought on the Parliamentarian side during the English Civil War of the s.

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Watch video · John Locke, born on August 29, , in Wrington, Somerset, England, went to Westminster school and then Christ Church, University of Oxford. At Born: Aug 29, John Locke was born in Somerset, England, August 29, He was the eldest son of Agnes Keene, daughter of a small-town tanner, and John Locke, an impecunious Puritan lawyer who served as a clerk for justices of the peace. This led him to further explore the issues by writing early drafts of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.

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The writings of the late 17th-century empiricist John Locke on philosophy, government, and education were especially influential during the Enlightenment. In the field of education, Locke is significant both for his general theory of knowledge and for his After the first Civil War ended in Commonly referred to as the “Father of Liberalism”, John Locke was born in the August of An English physician and philosopher, he is accredited with being one of the most prominent of all English Enlightenment intellectuals of his time. His main interests lay in the study of economics, metaphysics, philosophy pertaining to the mind, political philosophy and epistemology.