John Locke (1632-1704) essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) maintained that experience was the only source of knowledge (empiricism), and that "we can have knowlege no farther than we have ideas" prompted by such experience.
Two Treatises on Government 1690 was influential in forming modem ideas of liberal democracy.
Born in Somerset, he studied at Oxford, practised medicine, and in 1667 became secretary to the Earl of Shaftesbury. He consequently fell under suspicion as a Whig and in 1683 fled to Holland, where he lived until the 1688 revolution.
In later life he published many works on philosophy, politics, theology, and economics; these include Letters on Toleration (1689-1692), and Some Thoughts Concerning Education in 1693. His Two Treatise
s on Government supplied the classical statement of Whig theory, and enjoyed great influence in America and France.
It supposed that governments derive their authority from popular consent (regarded as a "contract"), so that a government may be rightly overthrown if it infringes such fundamental rights of the people as religious freedom. He believed that, at birth, the mind was a blank, and that all ideas came from sense impressions.
Why is John Locke famous?
John Locke was a English philosopher.
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