The Contributions Of John Locke And The Enlightenment

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Locke John Locke was a British philosopher who lived from 1632 to 1704. He is one of the most important empiricist. Empiricists derive their own knowledge from the sense. In his main work, the Essay Concerning Human Understandings, he asks two questions; where we got our ideas from? and whether we can rely on our senses? Locke believed everything came from our senses and before we had any ideas our mind was a tabula rasa. As infants we develop simple ideas of sense, this stimulates reflection which is thinking, reasoning, believing, and doubting. “Knowledge that can be traced back to simple sensation is therefore false knowledge and must consequently be rejected” (Gaarder 260). We perceive two qualities, the primary one such as weigh, motion, size, number, etc. and the secondary, such as hot or cold, color, and taste. The secondary qualities is what varies among people and animals but the primary are constant for all. Locke also had other beliefs such as in natural rights which had a great impact on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. “He believed that the idea of God was born of human reason” (Gaarder 262). He spoke out for gender equality as well. Locke also was the first to advocate for division of powers which has an obvious effect on the United States government. The Enlightenment The Enlightenment was a period in Europe during the eighteenth century. It began in England and moved east to France and ended in Germany. The French visited England and
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