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John Locke 1632-1704


John Locke, born on August 29, 1632, in Wrington, Somerset, England, went to Westminster school and then Christ Church, University of Oxford. At Oxford he studied medicine, which would play a central role in his life. He became a highly influential philosopher, writing about such topics as political philosophy, epistemology, and education. Locke's writings helped found modern Western philosophy.

Both his parents were Puritans and as such, Locke was raised that way. Because of his father's connections and allegiance to the English government, Locke received an outstanding education. In 1647 he enrolled at Westminster School in London, where Locke earned the distinct honor of being named a King's Scholar.

In 1668 Locke was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1668. He graduated with a bachelor's of medicine in 1674.
Early in his medical studies, Locke met Lord Ashley, who was to become Earl of Shaftsbury. The two grew close and Shaftsbury eventually persuaded Locke to move to London and become his personal physician. As Shaftsbury's stature grew, so did Locke's responsibilities. He assisted in his business and political matters, and after Shaftsbury was made chancellor, Locke became his secretary of presentations.

Shaftsbury's influence on Locke's professional career and his political thoughts cannot be understated. As one of the founders of the Whig party, which pushed for constitutional monarchism and stood in opposition to the dominant Tories, Shaftsbury imparted an outlook on rule and government that never left Locke.
In Locke's landmark, Two Treatises of Government, put forth his revolutionary ideas concerning the natural rights of man and the social contract. Both concepts not only stirred waves in England, but also impacted the intellectual underpinnings that formed the later American and French revolutions. 

A hero to the Whig party, Locke remained connected to governmental affairs in his advanced years. Years after his death we are still gauging his impact on Western thought. His theories concerning the separation of Church and State, religious freedom, and liberty, not only influenced European thinkers such as the French Enlightenment writer, Voltaire, but shaped the thinking of America's founders, from Alexander Hamilton to Thomas Jefferson.


Source: http://www.biography.com/people/john-locke-9384544

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