Click here to skip to this page's main content.

New to the Open Library? — Learn how it works
Last edited by Clean Up Bot
March 31, 2017 | History

John Locke

29 August 1632 - 28 October 1704

John Locke, widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered the first of the British empiricists, he is equally important to social contract theory. 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 American Declaration of Independence.

Locke's theory of mind is often cited as the origin of modern conceptions of identity and the self, figuring prominently in the work of later philosophers such as Hume, Rousseau and Kant. Locke was the first to define the self through a continuity of consciousness. He postulated that the mind was a blank slate or tabula rasa. Contrary to pre-existing Cartesian philosophy, he maintained that we are born without innate ideas, and that knowledge is instead determined only by experience derived from sense perception.1

320 works Add another?

Sorting by Most Editions | First Published | Most Recent

Photo of John Locke

Links (outside Open Library)

Alternative names

History Created April 1, 2008 · 6 revisions Download catalog record: RDF / JSON

March 31, 2017 Edited by Clean Up Bot add VIAF and wikidata ID
June 2, 2010 Edited by Lance Arthur merge authors
June 2, 2010 Edited by Lance Arthur Add bio
April 12, 2010 Edited by Open Library Bot Added photos to author pages.
April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user initial import