John Locke FRS (29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704), English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers, widely known as the Father of Classical Liberalism. His work had a great impact upon the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence. Locke’s theory of mind is often cited as the origin of modern conceptions of identity and the self. Locke was the first to define the self through a continuity of consciousness. He postulated that the mind was a blank slate, and he maintained that we are born without innate ideas, and that knowledge is instead determined only by experience derived from sense perception.
“So that, in effect, religion, which should most distiguish
us from beasts, and ought most peculiarly to elevate us,
as rational creatures, above brutes, is that wherein men
often appear most irrational and more senseless than
~ John Locke