John Locke

  • Born: August 29, 1632 in Wrington, England
  • Died: October 28, 1704 in Oates, England
  • Nationality: English
  • Occupation: Philosopher
  • His parents were Puritans
  • Locke attended Westminster School from 1646 to 1652,
  • At Oxford, Locke was a friend of the scientist Robert Boyle and other original members of the Royal Society,
  • Changed his studies to medicine and was trained and influenced by the physician Thomas Sydenham.
  • For Shaftesbury Locke wrote a tract defending toleration in 1667
  • In the Netherlands, he enjoyed the friendship and support of Jean Leclerc.
  • Locke presumably was involved in Monmouth's Rebellion in 1685 and in the politics of the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
  • brought the Dutch sovereign William of Orange and his wife Mary, daughter of James II, to the English throne.
  • The Essay is regarded as one of the foundational works of modern empirical, or rather "experiential," philosophy, which he wrote.
  • He wrote that the human mind at birth is a "blank slate" (tabula rasa) but has the capacity to perceive and reason.
  • Spent the rest of life in public service and writing.
  • He was a member of the Board of Trade
  • Locke died on 28 October 1704 at Oates, Essex, at the home of Sir Francis and Lady Masham


Locke, John. An Essay concerning Human Understanding. Edited by Peter Niddich. Oxford, 1975.

——. Two Treatises of Government. Edited by Peter Laslett. 2nd edition. Cambridge, U.K., 1988.
Ayers, Michael. Locke. New York, 1991.

Franklin, Julian H. John Locke and the Theory of Sovereignty: Mixed Monarchy and the Right of Resistance in the Political Thought of the English Revolution. Cambridge, U.K., and New York, 1978.

Marshall, John. John Locke: Resistance, Religion, and Responsibility. Cambridge, U.K., and New York, 1994.

Yolton, John W. Locke: An Introduction. Oxford and New York, 1985.

——. Locke and French Materialism. Oxford and New York, 1991 for picture.

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