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35. Locke


Subject Philosophy

People Locke, John

Key-Topics science

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631230205.2001.00038.x


Locke was born in Wrington, Somerset, on 29 August 1632. After the Civil War he was sent to Westminster School, and in 1652 to Christ Church, Oxford. A feature of the university in Locke's early years was growing interest in the natural sciences, fostered by, amongst others, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, and Robert Hooke. After graduating, Locke was much attracted to the work of these men, and soon he was engaged in medical research with Robert Boyle. He remained in Oxford until 1667, when a chance meeting with Anthony Ashley Cooper, later Lord Shaftesbury, led to his joining Shaftesbury's London household, which from then on became Locke's usual residence, and where he acted as Shaftesbury's personal physician, conducted research with Thomas Sydenham. and became a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1671 Locke drafted a paper as a basis for discussion with friends, which in the next 18 years was to evolve into his great philosophical work. In the meantime he was engaged not only with medicine but also with politics and travel, especially in France and, in particular, at the medical school in Montpellier. Locke fled to Holland in 1683, returning to England only after the Revolution of 1688. In the following year his two most important works, Two Treatises of Government and the Essay Concerning Human Understanding , were published, the first anonymously. The latter soon established ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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