The English philosopher and physician John Locke was born on August 29, 1632 and passed away on October 28, 1704. He is the influential Enlightenment thinker widely regarded as the “Father of Liberalism”. It is important to note that the liberalism spoken of is not the ‘liberalism’ of today but classical liberalism which is now widely regarded as conservatism in the United States. Locke’s input is crucial to empiricism and social contract theory. His writings heavily influenced Voltaire, Rousseau, Scottish Enlightenment thinkers and the America Revolution.
Locke’s theory of mind is the origin of modern conceptions of identity and self and led to the later work by Hume, Rousseau and Kant. He believed each individual is born with minds that are blank slates and gain knowledge through experience and sensory perceptions. This is known as the concepts of tabula rasa and empiricism.
In 1693, Locke wrote the deeply influential treatise Some Thoughts Concerning Education which deals with the concepts of educating gentlemen.
Some Thoughts Concerning Education may be read here:
Alternatively, an examination of Locke’s perspective on education may be viewed here: