Article abstract: Locke combined the rational, deductive theory of René Descartes and the inductive, scientific experimentalism of Francis Bacon and the Royal Society. He gave the Western world the first modern theory of human nature and a new synthesis of the individualistic concept of liberty and the theory of government that was emerging out of the debates over natural law.
John Locke was born in the small English village of Wrington, in Somerset, on August 29, 1632. His father, John Locke, was a local attorney of modest means. His mother, née Agnes Kneene, was the daughter of a local tanner. Both parents were educated Puritans, and while the home atmosphere was...
(The entire section is 4004 words.)