"Plebs omnis plaudit ut me minore sepius audit."
TREBLE BELL, COMBE RALEIGH CHURCH, DEVON.
30.5.2017Locke lived from 1632 to 1704 and is considered one of the greatest English philosophers. He is also regarded as one of the first 'empiricists' after the style of Rene Descartes, who greatly influenced him; a founding psychologist; a constitutionalist of note; one of the first 'Whigs' - that morphed into the Liberal Party; was a classical scholar and teacher at Christ Church, Oxford; friend, confidant and secretary to the Earl of Shaftesbury, for a short time holding the top government job next to the king; and in his spare time(!) physician, member of the Royal Society, traveller, writer and political manipulator. His works on Human Understanding, Government, health, education and the money supply were not printed and circulated anonymously (1689) until he felt it safe to do so after the 'Glorious Revolution', which he partly engineered, and which created a new (protestant) constitution which enshrined the principles he had advocated. He had long had financial and administative connections to the American colonies, and with Shaftesbury he drafted the constitution of Carolina, which was never actually implemented. However his lasting impact was on the 1776 Constitution itself which virtually reused his words and incorporated them and many of the principles he had enunciated, in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution itself. Not for nothing did Thomas Jefferson regard Locke as one of his trinity of 'greatest men'. (The other two were Bacon and Newton) Yet today few I guess recognise his name let alone appreciate his contribution to the liberties and protections which we have enjoyed, fast being eroded and despised by a powerful clique. Perhaps we all need a crash course in Lockean thinking?
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