John Locke was an outstanding philosopher and thinker of the Enlightenment.
Childhood and the early years of John Locke
John Locke was born August 29, 1632 in a tiny cottage near the walls of the city church Rington, near Bristol, in the county of Sommerset, in the family of John Locke and Agnes Keene. The son was named after his father. Father was a state lawyer and served in the Court of the World in Chew Magna. At the beginning of the Civil War in England, John Locke Sr. was captain of the cavalry of the parliamentary army.
The boy was baptized immediately after birth. Following this, the Locke family moves to the commercial town of Pensford, and the young Locke is brought up at the local Tudor residence in Belleton. In 1647, John Jr. enters the prestigious Westminster School in London. Education he pays Alexander Popem – a member of Parliament and the former commander of his father. After school, Locke enters Christ Church College in Oxford. However, not satisfied with the existing curriculum at that time, he enthusiastically studies the works of contemporary philosophers – like, for example, Rene Descartes – and finds them much more interesting than the classical materials that he was introduced to in college. A friend at Westminster School, Richard Lower, discovers Locke’s world of medicine and experimental philosophy, the centers of which, at that time, in England there were other universities and the Royal Society of England,
In 1667, Locke moved to the residence of the Earl of Shaftesbury on the estate of Exeter in London, where he was appointed Lord Ashley’s personal physician. He continues to study medicine under the direction of Thomas Sidengam. It is Sidengam that has a decisive influence on the formation of Locke’s views on natural philosophy, which he sets out in his work “Essay on human understanding.” A real test for Lock’s knowledge accumulated in the field of medicine is a fatal hepatic infection seriously threatening the life of Count Shaftesbury. Having listened to the opinions of various specialists, Locke tries with all his might to persuade the count for surgery to remove the tumor, which in those days was a very risky procedure. However, the operation of Count Shaftesbury is going through successfully. Since then, Locke’s life is in its heyday. In 1671 he holds the post of Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Colonies and Secretary of the Lords of the Owners of North and South Carolina. By all means, Locke seeks to form his own vision of international trade and economy.
The great influence on Locke’s political views is rendered by Count Shaftesbury, the founder of the Whig Party. In 1672, when Shaftesbury became Lord Chancellor of Great Britain, Locke was involved in the political life of the country. However, in 1675 the rule of Shaftesbury fell, and for several years Locke will spend wandering around France, where he will give private lessons, and after that he will become the personal assistant of Caleb Banks. In 1679, he returned to London. By that time, the career of Count Shaftesbury once again goes up, and he convinces Locke to write the text “Two treatises on the government.” From the point of view of today’s day, this work is a typical argument against absolute monarchy, as well as the basis for political legitimization of the labor agreement.
In 1683, because of suspicions of participation in the conspiracy of representatives of the Whig party against King Charles II, Locke had to flee to the Netherlands. There is practically no real evidence that he was one of the ideological inspirers of the conspiracy. Most of his stay in the Netherlands, the philosopher devotes himself to work on books: he rewrites his “Essay on Human Understanding” and composes a “Letter of Tolerance.” He will return to his homeland only after the glorious revolution. In 1688, Locke accompanies the wife of Wilhelm of Orange to England. Returning to his native lands, Locke publishes his works: “Essay on human understanding,” “Two treatises on the government,” and “Letter of Tolerance,” including. Locke lives with his close friend, Lady Masham, in her estate in Essex County.
John Locke died on October 28, 1704, and was buried in the church cemetery of the High Laver village east of Harlow in Essex county. For all his life he has never been married.