John Locke Essays

He made a number of contacts within the newly formed Royal Society and became a member in 1668.

He also acted as the personal physician to Lord Ashley.

Locke left Oxford for London in 1667 where he became attached to the family of Anthony Ashley Cooper (then Lord Ashley, later the Earl of Shaftesbury).

Locke may have played a number of roles in the household, mostly likely serving as tutor to Ashley’s son.

Locke was successful at Westminster and earned a place at Christ Church, Oxford. Although he had little appreciation for the traditional scholastic philosophy he learned there, Locke was successful as a student and after completing his undergraduate degree he held a series of administrative and academic posts in the college.

Some of Locke’s duties included instruction of undergraduates.In his most important work, the Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke set out to offer an analysis of the human mind and its acquisition of knowledge.He offered an empiricist theory according to which we acquire ideas through our experience of the world.In politics, Locke is best known as a proponent of limited government.He uses a theory of natural rights to argue that governments have obligations to their citizens, have only limited powers over their citizens, and can ultimately be overthrown by citizens under certain circumstances. He is often regarded as the founder of a school of thought known as British Empiricism, and he made foundational contributions to modern theories of limited, liberal government.He was also influential in the areas of theology, religious toleration, and educational theory.Most importantly, this was the period in Locke’s life when he began the project which would culminate in his most famous work, the Essay Concerning Human Understanding.The two earliest drafts of that work date from 1671.When he returned to England it was only to be for a few years.The political scene had changed greatly while Locke was away.

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