Political philosophy Essay
Thomas Hobbes was born in Wiltshire, England on 5 April 1588 | birth_place = some sources say Malmesbury). Born prematurely on April 5, 1588, when his mother heard of the coming invasion of the Spanish Armada, Thomas Hobbes later reported that “my mother gave birth to twins: myself and fear. “ His childhood is almost a complete blank, and his mother’s name is unknown.  His father, also named Thomas, was the vicar of Charlton and Westport.
Thomas Sr. abandoned his three children to the care of an older brother, Thomas junior’s uncle Francis, when he was forced to flee to London after being involved in a fight with a clergyman outside his own church. Hobbes was educated at Westport church from the age of four, passed to the Malmesbury school and then to a private school kept by a young man named Robert Latimer, a graduate of the University of Oxford. Hobbes was a good pupil, and around 1603 he went up to Magdalen Hall, which is most closely related to Hertford College, Oxford.
 The principal John Wilkinson was a Puritan, and he had some influence on Hobbes. At university, Hobbes appears to have followed his own curriculum; he was “little attracted by the scholastic learning”. He did not complete his B. A. degree until 1608, but he was recommended by Sir James Hussey, his master at Magdalen, as tutor to William, the son of William Cavendish, Baron of Hardwick (and later Earl of Devonshire), and began a life-long connection with that family.
 Hobbes became a companion to the younger William and they both took part in a grand tour in 1610. Hobbes was exposed to European scientific and critical methods during the tour in contrast to the scholastic philosophy which he had learned in Oxford. His scholarly efforts at the time were aimed at a careful study of classic Greek and Latin authors, the outcome of which was, in 1628, his great translation of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, the first translation of that work into English from a Greek manuscript.
Although he associated with literary figures like Ben Jonson and thinkers such as Francis Bacon, he did not extend his efforts into philosophy until after 1629. His employer Cavendish, then the Earl of Devonshire, died of the plague in June 1628. The widowed countess dismissed Hobbes but he soon found work, again as a tutor, this time to the son of Sir Gervase Clifton. This task, chiefly spent in Paris, ended in 1631 when he again found work with the Cavendish family, tutoring the son of his previous pupil.
Over the next seven years as well as tutoring he expanded his own knowledge of philosophy, awakening in him curiosity over key philosophic debates. He visited Florence in 1636 and later was a regular debater in philosophic groups in Paris, held together by Marin Mersenne. From 1637 he considered himself a philosopher and scholar. In Paris Hobbes’s first area of study was an interest in the physical doctrine of motion and physical momentum. Despite his interest in this phenomenon, he disdained experimental work as in physics.
He went on to conceive the system of thought to the elaboration of which he would devote his life. His scheme was first to work out, in a separate treatise, a systematic doctrine of body, showing how physical phenomena were universally explicable in terms of motion, at least as motion or mechanical action was then understood. He then singled out Man from the realm of Nature and plants. Then, in another treatise, he showed what specific bodily motions were involved in the production of the peculiar phenomena of sensation, knowledge, affections and passions whereby Man came into relation with Man.
Finally he considered, in his crowning treatise, how Men were moved to enter into society, and argued how this must be regulated if Men were not to fall back into “brutishness and misery”. Thus he proposed to unite the separate phenomena of Body, Man, and the State. Hobbes came home, in 1637, to a country riven with discontent which disrupted him from the orderly execution of his philosophic plan. However, by the end of the Short Parliament in 1640, he had written a short treatise called The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic.
It was not published and only circulated among his acquaintances in manuscript form. A pirated version, however, was published about ten years later. Although it seems that much of The Elements of Law was composed before the sitting of the Short Parliament, there are polemical pieces of the work that clearly mark the influences of the rising political crisis. Nevertheless, many (though not all) elements of Hobbes’s political thought were unchanged between The Elements of Law and Leviathan, which demonstrates that the events of the English Civil War had little effect on his contractarian methodology.
It should be noted, however, that the arguments in Leviathan were modified from The Elements of Law when it came to the necessity of consent in creating political obligation. Namely, Hobbes wrote in The Elements of Law that Patrimonial kingdoms were not necessarily formed by the consent of the governed, while in Leviathan he argued that they were. This was perhaps a reflection either of Hobbes’s thoughts concerning the engagement controversy or of his reaction to treatises published by Patriarchalists, such as Sir Robert Filmer, between 1640 and 1651.
When in November 1640 the Long Parliament succeeded the Short, Hobbes felt he was a marked man by the circulation of his treatise and fled to Paris. He did not return for eleven years. In Paris he rejoined the coterie about Mersenne, and wrote a critique of the Meditations on First Philosophy of Descartes, which was printed as third among the sets of “Objections” appended, with “Replies” from Descartes in 1641. A different set of remarks on other works by Descartes succeeded only in ending all correspondence between the two.
Hobbes also extended his own works somewhat, working on the third section, De Cive, which was finished in November 1641. Although it was initially only circulated privately, it was well received, and included lines of argumentation to be repeated a decade later in the Leviathan. He then returned to hard work on the first two sections of his work and published little except for a short treatise on optics (Tractatus opticus) included in the collection of scientific tracts published by Mersenne as Cogitata physico-mathematica in 1644.
He built a good reputation in philosophic circles and in 1645 was chosen with Descartes, Gilles de Roberval and others, to referee the controversy between John Pell and Longomontanus over the problem of squaring the circle. The Civil War in England The English Civil War broke out in 1642, and when the Royalist cause began to decline in the middle of 1644 there was an exodus of the king’s supporters to Europe. Many came to Paris and were known to Hobbes. This revitalised Hobbes’s political interests and the De Cive was republished and more widely distributed.
The printing began in 1646 by Samuel de Sorbiere through the Elsevier press at Amsterdam with a new preface and some new notes in reply to objections. In 1647, Hobbes was engaged as mathematical instructor to the young Charles, Prince of Wales, who had come over from Jersey around July. This engagement lasted until 1648 when Charles went to Holland. The company of the exiled royalists led Hobbes to produce an English book to set forth his theory of civil government in relation to the political crisis resulting from the war.
The State, it now seemed to Hobbes, might be regarded as a great artificial man or monster (Leviathan), composed of men, with a life that might be traced from its generation under pressure of human needs to its dissolution through civil strife proceeding from human passions. The work was closed with a general “Review and Conclusion”, in direct response to the war which raised the question of the subject’s right to change allegiance when a former sovereign’s power to protect was irrecoverably gone. Also he criticized religious doctrines on rationalistic grounds in the Commonwealth.
Frontispiece from De Cive (1642) During the years of the composition of Leviathan he remained in or near Paris. In 1647 Hobbes was overtaken by a serious illness which disabled him for six months. On recovering from this near fatal disorder, he resumed his literary task, and carried it steadily forward to completion by the year 1650. Meanwhile, a translation of De Cive was being produced; there has been much scholarly disagreement over whether Hobbes translated the work himself or not. In 1650, a pirated edition of The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic was published.
It was divided into two separate small volumes (Human Nature, or the Fundamental Elements of Policie and De corpore politico, or the Elements of Law, Moral and Politick). In 1651 the translation of De Cive was published under the title of Philosophicall Rudiments concerning Government and Society. Meanwhile, the printing of the greater work was proceeding, and finally it appeared about the middle of 1651, under the title of Leviathan, or the Matter, Forme, and Power of a Common Wealth, Ecclesiasticall and Civil, with a famous title-page engraving in which, from behind hills overlooking a landscape, there towered the body (above the waist) of a crowned giant, made up of tiny figures of human beings and bearing sword and crozier in the two hands.
The work had immediate impact. Soon Hobbes was more lauded and decried than any other thinker of his time. However, the first effect of its publication was to sever his link with the exiled royalists, forcing him to appeal to the revolutionary English government for protection. The exiles might very well have killed him; the secularist spirit of his book greatly angered both Anglicans and French Catholics.
Hobbes fled back home, arriving in London in the winter of 1651. Following his submission to the council of state he was allowed to subside into private life in Fetter Lane. Leviathan Main article: Leviathan (book) Frontispiece of Leviathan In Leviathan, Hobbes set out his doctrine of the foundation of states and legitimate governments – based on social contract theories. Leviathan was written during the English Civil War; much of the book is occupied with demonstrating the necessity of a strong central authority to avoid the evil of discord and civil war.
Beginning from a mechanistic understanding of human beings and the passions, Hobbes postulates what life would be like without government, a condition which he calls the state of nature. In that state, each person would have a right, or license, to everything in the world. This inevitably leads to conflict, a “war of all against all” (bellum omnium contra omnes), and thus lives that are “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (xiii). To escape this state of war, men in the state of nature accede to a social contract and establish a civil society.
According to Hobbes, society is a population beneath a sovereign authority, to whom all individuals in that society cede their natural rights for the sake of protection. Any abuses of power by this authority are to be accepted as the price of peace. However, he also states that in severe cases of abuse, rebellion is expected. In particular, the doctrine of separation of powers is rejected: the sovereign must control civil, military, judicial and ecclesiastical powers. Leviathan was also well-known for its radical religious views, which were often Hobbes’s attempt to reinterpret scripture from his materialist assumptions.
His denial of incorporeal entities led him write, for example, that Heaven and Hell were places on Earth, and to take other positions out of sync with church teachings of his time. Much has been made of his religious views by scholars such as Richard Tuck and J. G. A. Pocock, but there is still widespread disagreement about the significance of Leviathan’s contents concerning religion. Many have taken the work to mean that Hobbes was an atheist, while others find the evidence for this position insufficient. Locke John Locke (pronounced /l?
k/; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher. Locke is considered the first of the British empiricists, but is equally important to social contract theory. His ideas had enormous influence on the development of epistemology and political philosophy, and he is widely regarded as one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers, classical republicans, and contributors to liberal theory. His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. This influence is reflected in the American Declaration of Independence.
 Locke’s theory of mind is often cited as the origin for modern conceptions of identity and “the self”, figuring prominently in the later works of philosophers such as David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant. Locke was the first philosopher to define the self through a continuity of “consciousness”. He also postulated that the mind was a “blank slate” or “tabula rasa”; that is, contrary to Cartesian or Christian philosophy, Locke maintained that people are born without innate ideas, and that knowledge is instead determined only by experience derived by sense perception.
 Contents[hide] * 1 Life * 1. 1 Epitaph * 2 Influence * 2. 1 Constitution of Carolina * 2. 2 Theory of value and property * 2. 3 Political theory * 2. 3. 1 Limits to accumulation * 2. 4 On price theory * 2. 4. 1 Monetary thoughts * 2. 5 The self * 3 List of major works * 3. 1 Major unpublished or posthumous manuscripts * 4 Secondary literature * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 Further reading * 8 External links * 8. 1 Works * 8. 2 Resources| Life Locke’s father, who was also named John Locke, was a country lawyer and clerk
to the Justices of the Peace in Chew Magna, who had served as a captain of cavalry for the Parliamentarian forces during the early part of the English Civil War. His mother, Agnes Keene, was a tanner’s daughter and reputed to be very beautiful. Both parents were Puritans. Locke was born on 29 August 1632, in a small thatched cottage by the church in Wrington, Somerset, about twelve miles from Bristol. He was baptized the same day. Soon after Locke’s birth, the family moved to the market town of Pensford, about seven miles south of Bristol, where Locke grew up in a rural Tudor house in Belluton.
In 1647, Locke was sent to the prestigious Westminster School in London under the sponsorship of Alexander Popham, a member of Parliament and former commander of the younger Locke’s father. After completing his studies there, he was admitted to Christ Church, Oxford. The dean of the college at the time was John Owen, vice-chancellor of the university. Although a capable student, Locke was irritated by the undergraduate curriculum of the time. He found the works of modern philosophers, such as Rene Descartes, more interesting than the classical material taught at the university.
Through his friend Richard Lower, whom he knew from the Westminster School, Locke was introduced to medicine and the experimental philosophy being pursued at other universities and in the English Royal Society, of which he eventually became a member. Locke was awarded a bachelor’s degree in 1656 and a master’s degree in 1658. He obtained a bachelor of medicine in 1674, having studied medicine extensively during his time at Oxford and worked with such noted scientists and thinkers as Robert Boyle, Thomas Willis, Robert Hooke and Richard Lower.
In 1666, he met Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, who had come to Oxford seeking treatment for a liver infection. Cooper was impressed with Locke and persuaded him to become part of his retinue. Locke had been looking for a career and in 1667 moved into Shaftesbury’s home at Exeter House in London, to serve as Lord Ashley’s personal physician. In London, Locke resumed his medical studies under the tutelage of Thomas Sydenham. Sydenham had a major effect on Locke’s natural philosophical thinking – an effect that would become evident in the An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.
Locke’s medical knowledge was put to the test when Shaftesbury’s liver infection became life-threatening. Locke coordinated the advice of several physicians and was probably instrumental in persuading Shaftesbury to undergo an operation (then life-threatening itself) to remove the cyst. Shaftesbury survived and prospered, crediting Locke with saving his life. It was in Shaftesbury’s household, during 1671, that the meeting took place, described in the Epistle to the reader of the Essay, which was the genesis of what would later become the Essay.
Two extant Drafts still survive from this period. It was also during this time that Locke served as Secretary of the Board of Trade and Plantations and Secretary to the Lords and Proprietors of the Carolinas, helping to shape his ideas on international trade and economics. Shaftesbury, as a founder of the Whig movement, exerted great influence on Locke’s political ideas. Locke became involved in politics when Shaftesbury became Lord Chancellor in 1672. Following Shaftesbury’s fall from favour in 1675, Locke spent some time travelling across France.
He returned to England in 1679 when Shaftesbury’s political fortunes took a brief positive turn. Around this time, most likely at Shaftesbury’s prompting, Locke composed the bulk of the Two Treatises of Government. Locke wrote the Treatises to defend the Glorious Revolution of 1688, but also to counter the absolutist political philosophy of Sir Robert Filmer and Thomas Hobbes. Though Locke was associated with the influential Whigs, his ideas about natural rights and government are today considered quite revolutionary for that period in English history.
However, Locke fled to the Netherlands, Holland, in 1683, under strong suspicion of involvement in the Rye House Plot (though there is little evidence to suggest that he was directly involved in the scheme). In the Netherlands Locke had time to return to his writing, spending a great deal of time re-working the Essay and composing the Letter on Toleration. Locke did not return home until after the Glorious Revolution. Locke accompanied William of Orange’s wife back to England in 1688.
The bulk of Locke’s publishing took place after his arrival back in England – his aforementioned Essay Concerning Human Understanding, the Two Treatises of Civil Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration all appearing in quick succession upon his return from exile. John Locke Locke’s close friend Lady Masham invited him to join her at the Mashams’ country house in Essex. Although his time there was marked by variable health from asthma attacks, he nevertheless became an intellectual hero of the Whigs. During this period he discussed matters with such figures as John Dryden and Isaac Newton.
He died in 28 October 1704, and is buried in the churchyard of the village of High Laver, east of Harlow in Essex, where he had lived in the household of Sir Francis Masham since 1691. Locke never married nor had children. Events that happened during Locke’s lifetime include the English Restoration, the Great Plague of London and the Great Fire of London. He did not quite see the Act of Union of 1707, though the thrones of England and Scotland were held in personal union throughout his lifetime. Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy were in their infancy during Locke’s time.
Epitaph Original Latin: “| SISTE VIATOR Hic juxta situs est JOHANNES LOCKE. Si qualis fuerit rogas, mediocritate sua contentum se vixesse respondet. Literis innutritus eo usque tantum profecit, ut veritati unice litaret. Hoc ex scriptis illius disce, quae quod de eo reliquum est majori fide tibe exhibebunt, quam epitaphii suspecta elogia. Virtutes si quas habuit, minores sane quam sibi laudi duceret tibi in exemplum proponeret; vita una sepeliantur. Morum exemplum si squaeras in Evangelio habes: vitiorum utinam nusquam: mortalitatis certe (quod prosit) hic et ubique. 1632 Aug.
29Mortuum Anno Dom. 1704 Oct. 28Memorat haec tabula brevi et ipse interitura. | ”| English Translation: “| STOP TRAVELLER Near this place lies JOHN LOCKE. If you are wondering what kind of man he was, he answers that he was contented with his modest lot. Bred a scholar, he made his learning subservient only to the cause of truth. You will learn this from his writings, which will show you everything about him more truthfully than the suspect praises of an epitaph. His virtues, if indeed he had any, were too slight to be lauded by him or to be an example to you. Let his vices be buried with him.
Of virtue you have an example in the gospels, should you desire it; of vice would there were none for you; of mortality surely you have one here and everywhere, and may you learn from it. That he was born on the 29th of August in the year of our Lord 1632and that he died on the 28th of October in the year of our Lord 1704this tablet, which itself will soon perish, is a record. | ”| Influence Locke exercised a profound influence on political philosophy, in particular on modern liberalism. Michael Zuckert has in fact argued that Locke launched liberalism by tempering Hobbesian absolutism and clearly separating the realms of Church and State.
He had a strong influence on Voltaire who called him “le sage Locke”. His arguments concerning liberty and the social contract later influenced the written works of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and other Founding Fathers of the United States. In fact, several passages from the Second Treatise are reproduced verbatim in the Declaration of Independence, most notably the reference to a “long train of abuses. ” Such was Lockes influence, Thomas Jefferson wrote; “Bacon, Locke and Newton..
I consider them as the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception, and as having laid the foundation of those superstructures which have been raised in the Physical and Moral sciences”.  Today, most contemporary libertarians claim Locke as an influence. But Locke’s influence may have been even more profound in the realm of epistemology. Locke redefined subjectivity, or self, and intellectual historians such as Charles Taylor and Jerrold Seigel argue that Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) marks the beginning of the modern conception of the self.
 Constitution of Carolina Appraisals of Locke have often been tied to appraisals of liberalism in general, and also to appraisals of the United States. Detractors note that (in 1671) he was a major investor in the English slave-trade through the Royal Africa Company, as well as through his participation in drafting the Fundamental Constitution of the Carolinas while Shaftesbury’s secretary, which established a feudal aristocracy and gave a master absolute power over his slaves.
They note that as a secretary to the Council of Trade and Plantations (1673-4) and a member of the Board of Trade (1696-1700) Locke was, in fact, “one of just half a dozen men who created and supervised both the colonies and their iniquitous systems of servitude” Some see his statements on unenclosed property as having justified the displacement of the Native Americans. Because of his opposition to aristocracy and slavery in his major writings, he is accused of hypocrisy, or of caring only for the liberty of English capitalists. Theory of value and property.
Locke uses the word property in both broad and narrow senses. In a broad sense, it covers a wide range of human interests and aspirations; more narrowly, it refers to material goods. He argues that property is a natural right and it is derived from labor. Locke believed that ownership of property is created by the application of labor. In addition, property precedes government and government cannot “dispose of the estates of the subjects arbitrarily. ” Karl Marx later critiqued Locke’s theory of property in his social theory. Political theory.
See also: Two Treatises of Government Locke’s political theory was founded on social contract theory. Unlike Thomas Hobbes, Locke believed that human nature is characterized by reason and tolerance. Like Hobbes, Locke believed that human nature allowed men to be selfish. This is apparent with the introduction of currency. In a natural state all people were equal and independent, and everyone had a natural right to defend his “Life, health, Liberty, or Possessions”, basis for the phrase in America; “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.
 Like Hobbes, Locke assumed that the sole right to defend in the state of nature was not enough, so people established a civil society to resolve conflicts in a civil way with help from government in a state of society. However, Locke never refers to Hobbes by name and may instead have been responding to other writers of the day.  Locke also advocated governmental separation of powers and believed that revolution is not only a right but an obligation in some circumstances. These ideas would come to have profound influence on the Constitution of the United States and its Declaration of Independence.
Limits to accumulation Labor creates property, but it also does contain limits to its accumulation: man’s capacity to produce and man’s capacity to consume. According to Locke, unused property is waste and an offense against nature. However, with the introduction of “durable” goods, men could exchange their excessive perishable goods for goods that would last longer and thus not offend the natural law. The introduction of money marks the culmination of this process. Money makes possible the unlimited accumulation of property without causing waste through spoilage.
He also includes gold or silver as money because they may be “hoarded up without injury to anyone,” since they do not spoil or decay in the hands of the possessor. The introduction of money eliminates the limits of accumulation. Locke stresses that inequality has come about by tacit agreement on the use of money, not by the social contract establishing civil society or the law of land regulating property. Locke is aware of a problem posed by unlimited accumulation but does not consider it his task.
He just implies that government would function to moderate the conflict between the unlimited accumulation of property and a more nearly equal distribution of wealth and does not say which principles that government should apply to solve this problem. However, not all elements of his thought form a consistent whole. For example, labor theory of value of the Two Treatises of Government stands side by side with the demand-and-supply theory developed in a letter he wrote titled Some Considerations on the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and the Raising of the Value of Money.
Moreover, Locke anchors property in labor but in the end upholds the unlimited accumulation of wealth. On price theory Locke’s general theory of value and price is a supply and demand theory, which was set out in a letter to a Member of Parliament in 1691, titled Some Considerations on the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and the Raising of the Value of Money. 
Supply is quantity and demand is rent. “The price of any commodity rises or falls by the proportion of the number of buyer and sellers. ” and “that which regulates the price…[of goods] is nothing else but their quantity in proportion to their rent. ”
The quantity theory of money forms a special case of this general theory. His idea is based on “money answers all things” (Ecclesiastes) or “rent of money is always sufficient, or more than enough,” and “varies very little…” Regardless of whether the demand for money is unlimited or constant, Locke concludes that as far as money is concerned, the demand is exclusively regulated by its quantity. He also investigates the determinants of demand and supply.
For supply, goods in general are considered valuable because they can be exchanged, consumed and they must be scarce. For demand, goods are in demand because they yield a flow of income. Locke develops an early theory of capitalization, such as land, which has value because “by its constant production of saleable commodities it brings in a certain yearly income. ” Demand for money is almost the same as demand for goods or land; it depends on whether money is wanted as medium of exchange or as loanable funds.
For medium of exchange “money is capable by exchange to procure us the necessaries or conveniences of life. ” For loanable funds, “it comes to be of the same nature with land by yielding a certain yearly income … or interest. ” Monetary thoughts Locke distinguishes two functions of money, as a “counter” to measure value, and as a “pledge” to lay claim to goods. He believes that silver and gold, as opposed to paper money, are the appropriate currency for international transactions.
Silver and gold, he says, are treated to have equal value by all of humanity and can thus be treated as a pledge by anyone, while the value of paper money is only valid under the government which issues it. Locke argues that a country should seek a favorable balance of trade, lest it fall behind other countries and suffer a loss in its trade. Since the world money stock grows constantly, a country must constantly seek to enlarge its own stock. Locke develops his theory of foreign exchanges, in addition to commodity movements, there are also movements in country stock of money, and movements of capital determine exchange rates.
The latter is less significant and less volatile than commodity movements. As for a country’s money stock, if it is large relative to that of other countries, it will cause the country’s exchange to rise above par, as an export balance would do. He also prepares estimates of the cash requirements for different economic groups (landholders, laborers and brokers). In each group the cash requirements are closely related to the length of the pay period.
He argues the brokers – middlemen – whose activities enlarge the monetary circuit and whose profits eat into the earnings of laborers and landholders, had a negative influence on both one’s personal and the public economy that they supposedly contributed to. The self Locke defines the self as “that conscious thinking thing, (whatever substance, made up of whether spiritual, or material, simple, or compounded, it matters not) which is sensible, or conscious of pleasure and pain, capable of happiness or misery, and so is concerned for itself, as far as that consciousness extends”.
 He does not, however, ignore “substance”, writing that “the body too goes to the making the man. “ The Lockean self is therefore a self-aware and self-reflective consciousness that is fixed in a body. In his Essay, Locke explains the gradual unfolding of this conscious mind. Arguing against both the Augustinian view of man as originally sinful and the Cartesian position, which holds that man innately knows basic logical propositions, Locke posits an “empty” mind, a tabula rasa, which is shaped by experience; sensations and reflections being the two sources of all our ideas.
 Locke’s Some Thoughts Concerning Education is an outline on how to educate this mind: he expresses the belief that education maketh the man, or, more fundamentally, that the mind is an “empty cabinet”, with the statement, “I think I may say that of all the men we meet with, nine parts of ten are what they are, good or evil, useful or not, by their education. “ Locke also wrote that “the little and almost insensible impressions on our tender infancies have very important and lasting consequences.
“ He argued that the “associations of ideas” that one makes when young are more important than those made later because they are the foundation of the self: they are, put differently, what first mark the tabula rasa. In his Essay, in which is introduced both of these concepts, Locke warns against, for example, letting “a foolish maid” convince a child that “goblins and sprites” are associated with the night for “darkness shall ever afterwards bring with it those frightful ideas, and they shall be so joined, that he can no more bear the one than the other.
“ “Associationism”, as this theory would come to be called, exerted a powerful influence over eighteenth-century thought, particularly educational theory, as nearly every educational writer warned parents not to allow their children to develop negative associations. It also led to the development of psychology and other new disciplines with Dav.
Subject: Social Contract,
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 16 November 2016
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