Summary of an essay concerning human understanding

Find out more about the history of John Locke, including videos, interesting articles, pictures, historical features and summary of an essay concerning human understanding. Get all the facts on HISTORY. Enlightenment and made central contributions to the development of liberalism.

Trained in medicine, he was a key advocate of the empirical approaches of the Scientific Revolution. His essays on religious tolerance provided an early model for the separation of church and state. John Locke was born in 1632 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 1640s. Using his wartime connections, he placed his son in the elite Westminster School. John Locke’s closest female friend was the philosopher Lady Damaris Cudworth Masham.

Before she married the two had exchanged love poems, and on his return from exile, Locke moved into Lady Damaris and her husband’s household. Between 1652 and 1667, John Locke was a student and then lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford, where he focused on the standard curriculum of logic, metaphysics and classics. He also studied medicine extensively and was an associate of Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle and other leading Oxford scientists. In 1666 Locke met the parliamentarian Anthony Ashley Cooper, later the first Earl of Shaftesbury. The two struck up a friendship that blossomed into full patronage, and a year later Locke was appointed physician to Shaftesbury’s household.

That year he supervised a dangerous liver operation on Shaftesbury that likely saved his patron’s life. For the next two decades, Locke’s fortunes were tied to Shaftesbury, who was first a leading minister to Charles II and then a founder of the opposing Whig party. When that failed, Shaftesbury began to plot armed resistance and was forced to flee to Holland in 1682. Locke would follow his patron into exile a year later, returning only after the Glorious Revolution had placed the Protestant William III on the throne.

During his decades of service to Shaftesbury, John Locke had been writing. In the six years following his return to England he published all of his most significant works. To discover truths beyond the realm of basic experience, Locke suggested an approach modeled on the rigorous methods of experimental science. Locke during his years at Shaftesbury’s side. Locke also developed a definition of property as the product of a person’s labor that would be foundational for both Adam Smith’s capitalism and Karl Marx’s socialism. Locke suggested that governments should respect freedom of religion except when the dissenting belief was a threat to public order.

Locke spent his final 14 years in Essex at the home of Sir Francis Masham and his wife, the philosopher Lady Damaris Cudworth Masham. He died there on October 24, 1704, as Lady Damaris read to him from the Psalms. We strive for accuracy and fairness. We know you love history. You can opt out at any time. You will soon receive an activation email. Once you click on the link, you will be added to our list.

At this time we are unable to complete your subscription. You have already subscribed to this list. You will soon receive an email with a direct link to your profile, where you can update your preferences. Find out more about the history of Enlightenment, including videos, interesting articles, pictures, historical features and more. The introduction of the scientific method transformed society by using science and reason rather than political or religious dogma to explain natural phenomena. Age of Reason, or simply the Enlightenment.

Enlightenment thinkers in Britain, in France and throughout Europe questioned traditional authority and embraced the notion that humanity could be improved through rational change. The Enlightenment produced numerous books, essays, inventions, scientific discoveries, laws, wars and revolutions. The American and French Revolutions were directly inspired by Enlightenment ideals and respectively marked the peak of its influence and the beginning of its decline. The Enlightenment ultimately gave way to 19th-century Romanticism. The Enlightenment’s important 17th-century precursors included the Englishmen Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes, the Frenchman Renee Descartes and the key natural philosophers of the Scientific Revolution, including Galileo, Kepler and Leibniz. In his essay “What Is Enlightenment?

German philosopher Immanuel Kant summed up the era’s motto in the following terms: “Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason! Locke argued that human nature was mutable and that knowledge was gained through accumulated experience rather than by accessing some sort of outside truth. Newton’s calculus and optical theories provided the powerful Enlightenment metaphors for precisely measured change and illumination. There was no single, unified Enlightenment.