John Locke was perhaps one of the most influential political philosophers of the modern period. In the Second Treatise of Government, John Locke discusses the move from a state of nature and perfect freedom to a then governed society in which authority is given to a legislative and executive power. His major ideas included liberalism and capitalism, state of nature, state of war and the desire to protect one’s property.
What would the American government be like today if it was not for the mind and political theory of John Locke? Some historians and philosophers believe that without John Locke our government would only be a shadow of what it is today. Arguably, one of his most important political and philosophical works was his Two Treatises of Government. There he argues that the function of the state is to protect the natural rights of its citizens, primarily to protect the right to property. John Locke, in many eyes, can be viewed as one of the father’s of Democracy. He embraced many of ideas in his theories on the state of nature and the rise of political society today. In Locke’s political society,
With the exception of Native Americans, there is no race of people that originated in America. Yet today, we all come together under the colors of red, white and blue, sing the National Anthem and call ourselves "Americans". Despite our differences in religion, norms, values, national origins, our pasts, and our creeds, we all combine under one common denominator. Alain Locke addresses this issue of cultural pluralism in his article, "Who and What is `Negro'?" In this article, Locke states that, "There is, in brief, no `The Negro'. " By this, he means that blacks are not a uniform and unchanging body of people. He emphasizes that we, as Americans, need to mentally mature to a point where we do not view
The Enlightenment theory philosophies of John Locke offered a future that could drastically change government, economic and social ideals. Thomas Jefferson borrowed liberally from the enlightenment theory from John Locke, specifically focusing on Locks theories of the equality of men, natural rights, and that people should have a say on how the government treated people. Jefferson created a draft document created a bold experiment, America. The enlightenment philosophy of John Locke theorized that that men were inherently equal, and Jefferson sought to prove this point. In the seventeenth century, Locke proposed a number of theories that would prove a force for change in how government treats their citizens. Locke’s theories of equality and natural rights of men propelled, enlightenment century revolutionaries to propose putting Locke’s enlightenment theories into practice. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Draft of the Declaration of Independence provided an active application of enlightenment theory. The Grand Experiment was about to begin.
Indeed, Locke’s approach on human knowledge as an external obtained asset is closely linked to his view on ethics. According to Locke, ethics is learned by example coming from the external environment. Certainly, such examples can derive from teachers or other influential individuals who have had the chance to experience life on a broader extent. Due to such transcending thinking, Locke was perceived as a “‘culturally engaged’ philosopher responding to the cultural crises of the Modern Europe, in which a fracture of tradition and warfare had created a need to define the nature and scope of knowledge” (Marshall 468). His contribution was important because it provided people at that time with an alternative system of ethics that took into account reason and was not solely based on what others held ethical and/or unethical. It is this notion of reason, the factor
John Locke linked human behavior with our nature. He argued in his works that men are governed and guided by the rules within our nature. “The state of Nature has a law of Nature to govern it, which obliges every one, and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.” (2nd Treatise.6) Even without any manmade laws that specifically guide us what and how to do a certain thing, we are programmed to follow basic rules mutually understood by every human on Earth. Locke brought up that these rules discourage, in fundamental, people from gaining power by depriving that of others. He noticed, by specifically employing the word mankind, that the ability to accept and live by this rudimentary rule is the ultimate characteristic that makes us who we are. It is the ability to respect other’s
John Locke in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding argues that there can be made a distinction between ideas in the mind and qualities in bodies. Ideas are “whatsoever the mind perceives in itself, or is the immediate object of perception, thought, or understanding” (Locke II.8 §8). The power to produce any idea in our mind is what Locke calls the quality of a subject in which that power is. A snowball has the power to produce in us the ideas of round, white, and cold as they are in a snowball, which is its quality. The sensations and perceptions in our understanding is what Locke calls ideas.
Who are you? What defines who you are? Why makes you who you are? What is your personal identity? Have you ever sat around pondering the meaning of life, or maybe just your life? Have you asked yourself any of these questions? What were your answers? These are questions that people have been trying to answer since the beginning of time, before me and you were ever born or thought of. People live their whole lives trying to figure out exactly who they are and what their purpose is in life. In the field of philosophy, many philosophers have had theories on personal identity and a person’s “self.” These people have gone down in history books for their theories on a person’s identity: John Locke and Rene’ Descartes. These are two of the most
What is real and how do you know it? A rationalist would say that if you can prove something as real within your own mind and it does not rely on the outside world, or more commonly known as the senses, it can be considered as true. However in John Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, it is evident that Locke believes and supports the empiricism approach to answering the question what is real. One of the main objectives in the essay was to differentiate between what is real, and what isn’t, and more importantly what can we consider knowledge? The boiled down idea was that knowledge comes from involvement in reality. The only way to find out if something is real is to use a combination of our senses to reach a conclusion. Locke believes
In John Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding", he makes a distinction between the sorts of ideas we can conceive of in the perception of objects. Locke separates these perceptions into primary and secondary qualities. Regardless of any criticism of such a distinction, it is a necessary one in that, without it, perception would be a haphazard affair. To illustrate this, an examination of Locke's definition of primary and secondary qualities is necessary.
In An Essay on Human Understanding John Locke summarizes his stance on the foundation of human knowledge with the phrase “tabula rasa,” meaning blank slate. In his dissertation he refers to the idea that individuals are born without any predestined ideas or memories, and that they develop into unique individuals solely through the influence of their environment. I have come to think of myself as a blank slate, that is slowly being filled in by the influence of my family.
To own your property, you must be able to work for it, each man may have their own, but they also can only have one. Since you are basically laboring you can not have more than one property because it would not be fair. For example, the man who takes care of the land is the owner of the land by the man farming the land he is basically practicing labor. If you are putting in work for your property there should not be a problem. After taking Locke’s private property consideration into account
In his book Some Thoughts Concerning Education, John Locke suggested ways that reading might be introduced to young children. In Section 150 of the book, Locke wrote, "Contrivances might be made to teach children to read, whilst they thought they were only playing." Explain what Locke meant by this, basing your thinking on examples from the reading. Then, discuss whether you agree disagree with Locke and why.
The theory of innate knowledge states that some knowledge is part of the mind from birth and therefore we are not born with a “blank slate”. This means that innate knowledge can only ever be a priori and not a posteriori. A priori is knowledge that only be gained through reason and a posteriori is knowledge which can only be gained through sense experience. Innatism assumes that the knowledge we acquire is not only gained through experience and the senses.
Another problem with Locke’s insistence that innate ideas do not exist, is that necessary truths, that is, contingent propositions (2+2=4), cannot be acquired through experience alone. If necessary truths exist, that would at least infer that innate ideas exist and are merely revealed through experience for necessary truths are a priori, which implies that innate knowledge exists as a disposition. Beyond this, there is the possibility that we can form an idea without a corresponding sensory impression. While not without its flaws, the argument that one can generate an idea without first being exposed to the relevant sensory experience is illustrated in Hume’s ‘missing shade of blue’ example. Locke claims that in order for an idea to be in the mind, we must be conscious of it, which indicates that there is not much leeway allowed for memory, that is, a power of the mind to revive perceptions it once had. The question then, is whether we can know things without being conscious of them. It seems as though it is possible, but it is important to note that regardless if we can or not, what is unconscious must have once been conscious. For this reason, a potential response Locke would give to Hume with reference to the ‘missing shade of blue,’ is that even if one is able to fill it in, they would still be using their senses in some way to access that knowledge and perhaps it would be “knowledge made out of a long train of proofs,” which highlights the mental fatigue factor in play.