Citation Essay Concerning Human Understanding

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The collapse of the Protectorate after the death of Cromwell was followed by the Restoration of Charles II—the return of the monarchy, the House of Lords and the Anglican Church. It was marked by continued conflicts between King and Parliament and debates over religious toleration for Protestant dissenters and Catholics.

This period ends with the Glorious Revolution of 1688 in which James II was driven from England and replaced by William of Orange and his wife Mary.

One of Locke’s friends from Westminster school, Richard Lower, introduced Locke to medicine and the experimental philosophy being pursued by the virtuosi at Wadham. The rank was equivalent to a Fellow at any of the other colleges, but was not permanent.

Locke had yet to determine what his career was to be.

This is apparent both on the level of the individual person and on the level of institutions such as government and church.

For the individual, Locke wants each of us to use reason to search after truth rather than simply accept the opinion of authorities or be subject to superstition.It was a century in which conflicts between Crown and Parliament and the overlapping conflicts between Protestants, Anglicans and Catholics swirled into civil war in the 1640s.With the defeat and death of Charles I, there began a great experiment in governmental institutions including the abolishment of the monarchy, the House of Lords and the Anglican church, and the establishment of Oliver Cromwell’s Protectorate in the 1650s.The Society saw its aims in contrast with the Scholastic/Aristotelian traditions that dominated the universities. Many of Wilkins associates were people interested in pursuing medicine by observation rather than the reading of classic texts. His career at Oxford, however, continued beyond his undergraduate days.Bacon’s interest in careful experimentation and the systematic collection of facts from which generalizations could be made was characteristic of this group. In June of 1658 Locke qualified as a Master of Arts and was elected a Senior Student of Christ Church College.Locke’s association with Anthony Ashley Cooper (later the First Earl of Shaftesbury) led him to become successively a government official charged with collecting information about trade and colonies, economic writer, opposition political activist, and finally a revolutionary whose cause ultimately triumphed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688.Among Locke’s political works he is most famous for in which he argues that sovereignty resides in the people and explains the nature of legitimate government in terms of natural rights and the social contract.Boyle was, however, most influential as a theorist.He was a mechanical philosopher who treated the world as reducible to matter in motion. When he did read Descartes, he saw the great French philosopher as providing a viable alternative to the sterile Aristotelianism he had been taught at Oxford.Locke believes that using reason to try to grasp the truth, and determine the legitimate functions of institutions will optimize human flourishing for the individual and society both in respect to its material and spiritual welfare.This in turn, amounts to following natural law and the fulfillment of the divine purpose for humanity.


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  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Course Hero

    Quotes from John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Learn the important quotes in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and the chapters they're from, including why they're important and what they mean in the context of the book.…

  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Critical Essays.

    Introduction. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding is one of the most noted and influential works of Locke's career. Concerned with "the origin, certainty, and extent of human knowledge," the Essay explores epistemological issues associated with science, as well as Locke's philosophy of language and personal identity.…

  • John Locke Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

    Locke’s monumental An Essay Concerning Human Understanding 1689 is one of the first great defenses of modern empiricism and concerns itself with determining the limits of human understanding in respect to a wide spectrum of topics. It thus tells us in some detail what one can legitimately claim to know and what one cannot.…

  • An Essay concerning Human Understanding - Marxists.

    Source An Essay Concerning Human Understanding 1689. 38th Edition from William Tegg, London; scanned in three separate excerpts from early in the work.…

  • Book Summary - CliffsNotes

    An Essay Concerning Human Understanding begins with a short epistle to the reader and a general introduction to the work as a whole. Following this introductory material, the Essay is divided into four parts, which are designated as books. Book I has to do with the subject of innate ideas.…

  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Analysis -

    John Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding is the first major presentation of the empirical theory of knowledge that was to play such an important role in British philosophy. The author had studied at Oxford, and later he became a medical doctor.…

  • Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Oxford Reference

    The Essay is an examination of the nature of the human mind and its powers of understanding. Locke begins in Bk I by rejecting the doctrine of ‘innate ideas’, maintaining that all knowledge is based on experience. The objects of understanding are termed by him ideas, and…

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