John Locke
1632 - 1704
English Philosopher
Locke was born in Wrington, Somerset, SW England. He studied at Oxford, and in 1667 he became am adviser to Lord Ashley, later first Earl of Shaftesbury. He retired to France, but after Shaftesbury's death in 1683 he fled to Holland, returning to England in 1689, where he became commissioner of appeals until 1704.

Locke's philosophical and political theories widely influenced the thinkers of his day, and are still considered important.

To secure the personal liberties of the citizens Locke provided the theoretical justification for the separations of the powers of the state into legislative and executive branches. He expressed most ideas of the American Revolution almost one hundred years ahead of that time.

In his major philosphical work 'Essay Concerning Human Understanding', he accepted the possibility of rational demonstration of moral principles and the existence of God, but he insisted that all beliefs depend for their justification ultimately upon experience - a doctrine that was the real starting point of British Empiricism.

Empiricism = knowledge derived from experience.

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From the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
John Locke

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding