John Locke


John Locke was an illustrious British thinker and one of the greatest representatives of English empiricism and considered today as “the father of classical liberalism was one of the forerunners of the British empiricists. This doctor and philosopher received direct influences from Francis Bacón who made a great contribution to the theory of the social contract.

  • When was he born:  08/29/1632
  • Where he was born:  Somerset, England
  • When he died:  10/28/1704
  • Where he died:  High Laver, England

Who was John Locke?

John Locke was an important philosopher , who although his specialty was medicine, he was always rubbing shoulders with renowned philosophers and scientists such as Isaac Newton. He gave moral principles and teachings of liberal political thought that still apply today. For a time he was a diplomat, added to this he devoted time to theology ; He exercised the profession of teacher of ancient Greek and rhetoric, he was a member of the Whig party in which they gave rise to some of his political thoughts.

  • Biography of John Locke
  •  Thought
  • Contributions of John Locke
  • Ideas of John Locke
  • Plays
  • John Locke quotes
  • The clean slate theory
  • State of nature
  • Importance

Biography of John Locke

He was born on August 29, 1632 in the town of Wrington, Somerset . His Puritan parents Anees Keene and John Locke, decided to baptize him on the day of his birth.


He studied at the prestigious University of Oxford where he was a professor of ancient Greek, rhetoric and moral philosophy from 1661 to 1664. He was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in 1656 and a Master’s degree with excellent academic performance in 1674, lastly during his stay. At Oxford he devoted himself to the exhaustive study of medicine , for this reason in 1674 he received his degree in medicine.

John Locke was friends with very important characters in history, such as Robert Boyle , Thomas Hydenham and Isaac Newton , taking advice from them and following in the footsteps of Francis Bacon, he began to form his first ideals.

In 1667 he began his personal relationship with the statesman Anthony Cooper , who was the first Earl of Shaftebury , who was a close friend of him and his personal treating physician; in 1675 he settled in France due to the count losing the favor of the crown.

In 1683 John Locke fled to the Netherlands as lawsuits were beginning to be raised against him about a plot organized in recent days against Rye House, although there was never enough legal evidence to reliably implicate him. During the time he had in the Netherlands, he devoted a lot of time to the writing and during that date I wrote “the letter on tolerance” and he did not return home if not later when the glorious revolution ended , where he returned to England in 1688 .

He died on October 28, 1704, and was buried by family and friends in the local High Laver Cemetery east of Harlow . He never got married, nor did he have children, his remains rest in the old house of Sir Francis Masham.


  • “What worries us ends up enslaving us”
  • “Reading is the way in which the mind provides itself with knowledge , that makes everything we think ours”
  • “The teacher’s job should not only be to teach what is already written, but also to encourage the student’s love of teaching”
  • “A healthy mind and a healthy body is a brief but complete feeling of happiness in this world”
  • “God created the human being as a sociable being , with the need to live in the company of other beings, and also has given him language as a tool to unite him in society”
  • “Man believes that the happiness of being is a state that the mind has and is a condition of circumstances but it is not eternal”

Contributions of John Locke

The main contributions of John Locke were:

  • The first Treaty of Government (1660)
  • Essays on Civil Government (1660–1662)
  • Essays on the Law of Nature (1664)
  • The Essay on Tolerance (1667)
  • The Charter of Ethics in General (1686)
  • The compendium of the Essay on Human Understanding (1688)
  • The Letter on Tolerance (1689)
  • The Treatises on Civil Government (1689)
  • The Letter of the Alliance and the Revolution (1690)
  • The Essay on Human Understanding (1690)
  • The Second Letter on Tolerance (1690)
  • The Third Letter on Tolerance (1692)
  • Some Thoughts on Education (1693)

Ideas of John Locke

His ideas are faithfully based on the gain of knowledge through ideas that are categorized into two types:

  • Simple ideas based on the senses: Which is defined as any thought that is based on an external interaction that is linked to a smell, weight, volume or color.
  • Reflective ideas: Which are nothing more than those thoughts that start from internal functions such as taste or pain, which for John means a large part of daily thoughts.


All the works and contributions of John Locke  were logically written in life , but unlike other philosophers, due to their empirical ideals, many of his works, such as the essay on human understanding and the letter on tolerance, became very relevant during his period. of life , giving him greater motivation to create other works that would be of great contribution to humanity.

John Locke quotes

  • “A healthy mind and a healthy body is a brief but complete feeling of happiness in this world”
  • “Man believes that the happiness of being is a state that the mind has and is a condition of circumstances but it is not eternal”
  • “What worries us ends up enslaving us”

The clean slate theory

The tabula rasa theory tells us that at the time of the birth of a child, in his mind or thought there are no ideas of any kind, as if it were a white sheet of paper, although in turn it affirmed that there were passages innate like those of God, because all ideas are initiated by a previous experience. So the world can only be observed from two points of view: the first from the “sensation or perception” through something we see or feel and the second from the action that this generates what is called  “reflection. ”.

State of nature

The state of nature seeks to establish that men live in a state of peace governed by the laws that are born of man, which John Locke defines as the impartation of justice by one’s own hand , and in turn limit in the best possible way to the private company. Thus, considering the justice system as a cycle of endless injustices, since man for his crime receives compensation as a consequence of it, where when he fulfills his punishment he will always be rejected by the social environment , remaining relatively banned and isolated.


John Locke gives a full entrance to classical liberalism when he creates the tradition of natural rights , in which the inclusion of the church in the direction of the state is clearly separated It argues that people have natural rights that must be non-transferable and without dependence on any government decree . His theory generates transcendental changes when it comes to analyzing property rights and propitiating the thought that when a man mixes his work days with a high effort, everything improves for a good value of society.

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