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Locke, John (1632–1704)

John Locke was an English philosopher and political actor who helped initiate the Enlightenment in England and France. He also influenced the founders of the United States. Locke wrote Two Treatises on Government (1689), an attack on absolutism and a defense of natural right and government by consent; Letter Concerning Toleration (1689), an argument for limited toleration of religious dissenters; and An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), an account of knowledge and judgment in the context of modern scientific thinking. In addition to these influential works, he contributed to the study of education, economics, and religion.

Locke was born in Somerset, England. His father was a lawyer and small landowner who served in the Parliamentary Army in the English Civil War. Locke was educated at Westminster ...

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