John Locke (1632 – 1704) was an English philosopher and physicians. He
was born in Wrington, England in a Puritans family. Locke is well – known as
“the Father of Liberalism”, and is regards as one of the most influential
Enlightenment thinkers. His writing contributed to the development of social
political, inspired generations of philosophers to follow. Locke was not only
laid the foundation for Liberalism, the development of the Enlightenment, but
also an advocate of the empirical approaches of the Scientific Revolution.

Locke was the first to define the self through a continuity of consciousness.
Locke believed that “individuals are born without mental built – in and that
therefore all knowledge comes from experience or perception”. This concept of
“tabula rasa” raised the debate over nature vs. nurture of one’s personality,
knowledge social and emotional behaviour that it is on-going until today. This
has raised curiosity about inner space, and promotes the development of
psychology in aspects of human behaviour and mind developing.

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As a political philosopher, Locke wrote Two Treatise on Government after
the 1688 Glorious Revolution. He refuted the dominant concept of the 17th
century – the Divine Right of Kings which stated that political authority was
derived from religious authority. He supported the claim that all men are
created equal, against claims that God has made all people subjected to a
monarch.  He also provided his own
definition of a civil government. Locke believed government exists by the
consent of the people to protect their natural rights, including the right to
lives, liberty, health and property. The citizen naturally transfers some of
their rights to the government to be better ensured a safe, enjoyable life. If
the government failed to secure the natural or please the best interests of
society, citizens can withdraw their obligation to obey, or change the
leadership through elections and other means. This concept of the social
contract, give people for the right to revolt against their ruler if their
rights are threatened.

Alongside with the social contract theory, Locke came up with many other
theories that laid the foundation for classical Liberalism. He believed that
everyone has an equal right to use natural resources provided by nature, and
thus no one had private dominate over the rest over the resources. However, ones
can hold permanent ownership of natural resource by work. Work creates private
property and value, Locke believed. When ones work, they create the object,
therefore the object becomes the property of that person. “The labour of his
body and the work of his hands, we may say, are strictly his”. Therefore, God
didn’t give natural resources to all human, but human acquired them through
work. Locke also held that ones may only appreciate property, that “there is
enough and as good, left in common for others.”

Amongst all the greatness people and inventions of the Enlightenment,
John Locke is one of the greatest.  His
theories on life such as “tabula rasa”, his political ideas including the
separation of power, the consent of the people, the social contract have an
enormous impact on all lives. All his ideas set the foundation for not only the
France Revolution, the American Revolution, but also United State Constitution,
as well as promote the rise of religious freedom and modern human rights.