John Locke, English philosopher

John Locke, English philosopher

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Caption: John Locke. Caricature of the English philosopher John Locke (1632-1704). Locke is considered the first of the British empiricists, but is equally important to social contract theory. He spent his early years lecturing at Oxford University, England. He later spent fifteen years in France, where he met most of the leading continental scientists and thinkers. Locke was the first philosopher to define the self through a continuity of 'consciousness'. He also suggested that a person's mind was a tabula rasa (blank slate) at birth, on which knowledge was imprinted by experience derived through sense perception.

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