John Locke: Scholar, Teacher, Philosopher, Physician & Political Theorist

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Social Studies

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John Locke: Scholar, Teacher, Philosopher, Physician & Political Theorist



Lasting Impact

Locke's ideas on learning and knowledge (epistemology), the teaching of young children through a two-layer sensory system (empericism), and the purposes and responsibilities of government to the people it serves (liberalism) are all at the heart of our current systems of government, education, and social understanding.


Birth & Death

~ Empericism ~ Liberalism ~ ~ Early Education of Children ~ ~Significant Published Works ~Two Treatises of Government (1689)An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689)

John LockeScholar, Philosopher, Teacher, Physician, Political Theorist

Birth: August 29, 1632Wrington, United KingdomDeath: October 28, 1704Essex, United Kingdom

FamilyJohn Locke was born to a middle class family; his father, a lawyer and landowner who served as a captain of cavalry for the Parliamentarian forces during the English Civil War; his mother, the daughter of a tanner died early in Locke's life.  Upon the death of his ffather and only surviving brother (Thomas), Locke inherited his father's property at age 31.  No mother, father, or brother, John Locke was left alone in this world.

ProfessionLocke spent some time as a lecturer in Greek and Rhetoric at Oxford before turning his scholastic endeavors toward medicine.  After becoming close comrades with the Earl of Shaftsbury, and serving as his personal secretary and medical advisor, Locke prospered in politics rising in ranks as the two friends shared similar political ideals.  Upon the fall of Shaftsbury, Locke also fell from political grace and spent some time in France and Holland where he would draft his most significant works before returning to England in 1689.  In Locke's quest for enlightenment, his observations, research, and thoughts lead to the initial foundations of early childhood education (empiricism), the purposes of government (liberalism), and the understanding of human knowledge (epistemology).

ReferencesRogers, G. A. (2017, November 22). John Locke. Retrieved June 12, 2018, from Lascarides, V. C., & Hinitz, B. F. (2011). John Locke (1632-1704) (England). In History of Early Childhood Education (pp. 46-50). New York, NY: Routledge.

EducationLike other middle class children, Locke was, first, educated by a private tutor.  He, later, (because of his father's political background) attended Westminister School.  At age 20, (rather late compared to his counterparts), Locke "went up" by attending the Christ Church School at Oxford University.  He graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in 1656 and 1658 respectively.  After choosing not to continue a career at Oxford, Locke turned his studies toward medicine.  He failed to gain approval for a doctorate degree (twice) and settled for a bachelor's degree in medicine with a license to practice as a physician.


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