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Monday, May 1, 2017

John Locke: father of liberalism


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Godfrey Kneller


John Locke (1632-1704) is a famous philosopher best known for his analysis of empiricism, morality and society. He is also commonly regarded as the 'father or liberalism'. U.S. President John Adams said,


"Newton and Locke are examples of the deep sagacity which may be acquired by long habits of thinking and study." (Letter to Abigail Adams, 1775)


Libertarian Robert Fevre said,


"Locke saw clearly that a man’s right to his life and the right to own property privately were one in the same. In fact, Locke declared that the only justification for government was that it should serve to protect men’s lives and property." (The Fundamentals of Liberty, 1988)


This post is a collection of quotes from Locke talking about his some of his philosophies.




"[I am] lover of his king and country, a lover of peace and the protestant interest... [Consent] is absolutely necessary to the very being and subsistence of our government and without which our peace and religion cannot possibly be any way secured..." (Letter to Edward Clarke, 1690)




"No man's knowledge here can go beyond his experience." (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1689)


"For when all is done, this is the highest and most important faculty of our minds, deserves the greatest care and attention in cultivating it: the right improvement, and exercise of our reason being the highest perfection that a man can attain to in his life." (Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1693)


"This is that which I think great readers are apt to be mistaken in; those who have read of everything, are thought to understand everything too; but it is not always so. Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours." (Quoted in Hand Book : Caution and Counsels by Horace Mann)




"The pains that come from the necessities of nature, are monitors to us to beware of greater mischiefs, which they are the forerunner of; and therefore they must not be wholly neglected, and strain'd too far." (Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1693)


"Let him sensibly perceive, that the kindness he shews to others, is no ill husbandry for himself; but that it brings a return in kindness both from those that receive it, and those who look on." (Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1693)


"The sooner you treat him as a man, the sooner he will begin to be one; and if you admit him into serious discourses sometimes with you, you will insensibly raise his mind above the usual amusements of youth, and those trifling occupations which it is commonly wasted in." (Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1693)