Monday, November 24, 2014
British Empiricism 2of4 (John Locke)
Known as the father of the British Empiricism movement, John Locke was born in 1632. He was lived in a small town called Wrington located in Southwestern England. He attended Westminster School in London. He then attended Oxford from 1652 until 1677. While he did not particularly enjoy the philosophies of those before him that were taught in school, he did very well.
He knew and became close with a few important people who became influencal in his life. He was a tutor for the son of Anthony Ashley Cooper who became an Earl. He was close with Thomas Sydenham, who was the most famous physician of the day. Locke was able to hold different political roles. This is the point in his life when he started to write his most famous work, Essay Concerning Human Understanding.
Regarding his famous essay, Locke said that we have to know who we are and things about ourselves before we can look at the world. We should figure out what aspects we relate to and know about, and which we barely break the surface in. His essay consists of four different books. All of these come together to examine the human mind. In the first book, Locke shuts down the idea that some knowledge is innate. He states that the mind is a blank slate. The second book speaks that experience is what fills our slate with knowledge. He introduces a system to evaluate ones ideas and their quality. Book three is known as the language book. He says that the misuse of language is a huge obstacle in today’s society. Book four is totally based on the explanation of knowledge and belief. He says, “Knowledge then seems to me to be nothing but the perception of the connexion and agreement, or disagreement and repugnancy of any of our ideas. Where this perception is, there is knowledge, and where it is not, there, though we may fancy, guess, or believe, yet we always come short of knowledge.”
Sorry for the language in the below video. This basically explains Locke enough that you probably could have just watched it ant not read anything I typed.
We as Americans owe Locke a great big thank you. As the video said, we basically ripped off all of his ideas in the Declaration of Independence.