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Locke, John

John Locke (1632–1704) was an English philosopher principally known for writing An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689), in which he rejected the notion of innate ideas and argues that the mind is originally a tabula rasa, with all of its ideas coming from sensation and reflection. In the anonymously published Two Treatises of Government (1689), Locke argued that the chief end of civil society or government is the preservation of property, and he provided a theory of property according to which private property existed prior to the existence of civil society or government. In doing so, he rejected the position of philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679), who argued that property cannot exist prior to and apart from civil society or government.

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