John Locke and Baron de Montesquieu were political philosophers that debated the question of who was best fit to control the government. Locke and Montesquieu shared similar political beliefs such as natural rights and the separation of government powers. However, both philosophers did, in fact, have their personal views that helped them accomplish important achievements. John Locke published “Two Treatises of Government” and “ An Essay Concerning Human Understanding,” which present a detail philosophy of the mind and thought. Locke’s “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding,” lays out his philosophical project. Locke’s philosophical project consisted of discovering where our ideas come from, what an idea is, and to examine issues of faith …show more content…
“Tabula Rasa Theory of Human Behavior.” describes that when born, the human mind is a blank state, with no rules. Experiences are formed as we are exposed to the world. Baron de Montesquieu wrote “The Spirit of Laws” to explain human laws and social institutions. Montesquieu also created the concept of separation of powers and checks and balances. This concept of separation of powers influenced James Madison when writing The US Constitution because it ensured that one branch of government could not gain more power than another. Although both were immensely influential, John Locke was more because he shaped the founding of the United States. Locke influenced in the formation of the Declaration of Independence with his redefined ideas on the nature of government and every human’s natural …show more content…
These ideas were expressed in his “Tabula Rasa Theory of Human Behavior”. In his writing, Locke says,”Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, void of all characters, without any ideas—How comes it to be furnished? Whence comes it by that vast store which the busy and boundless fancy of man has painted on it with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from experience.” According to this quote, Locke explains that people are born with empty minds, but individual learning and experiences will help to shape life. Experience comes from two different sources: outer experience and inner experience. Outer experience comes from the senses and provide sensory details like color, shapes, heat, and sweetness. Since these qualities exist in material objects, every human perception is the same and produce the same impact in each human. Inner experience comes through self reflexion and provides ideas such as beliefs, ideas, and thoughts. Unlike outer experiences, inner experiences can differ from person to person. Thomas Jefferson and his colleagues used the “Tabula Rasa Theory of Human Behavior” as reference when writing the Declaration of Independence because Locke believed every person deserves a shot at happiness since birth. In the Declaration of Independence, our founding fathers write that the “pursuit of
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John Locke wrote the Second Treatise of Government in 1689 following many civil wars in Europe. James Harrington was arrested for his writing five years after he wrote Oceana in 1656. Both of these men’s ideas concerning the structure and purpose of government proved to be particularly influential in creating The Constitution and The Bill of Rights. John Locke influenced the Constitution by explaining that each individual in a society is born with natural rights and we give up part of these rights to gain better protection. The Second Treatise says, “The only way whereby any one divests himself of his natural liberty, and puts on the bonds of civil society, is by agreeing with other men to join and unite into a community for their comfortable, safe, and peaceable living one amongst another, in a secure enjoyment of their properties, and a greater security against any, that are not of it” (Locke 46).
Locke’s Foundation America was not only diverse in race and religious backgrounds, but political views varied as well, which created varying degrees of discourse within the republic. However, John Locke’s ideas were admired and influential to the formation of the American government. Thomas Jefferson, one of America’s founding fathers, believed so strongly in Locke’s political philosophy that Locke’s influence was reflected in Jefferson’s writings. Despite the diversity of the American people and unprecedented changes throughout American history, the American people were still guided by his philosophy from colonization in the Americas to the conclusion of the American Civil War.
His ideas influenced the constitution with the separation of powers. The Enlightenment philosophers influenced America’s government. John Locke’s ideas were echoed in the Declaration of Independence. Montesquieu Separation of powers was enforced in the U.S. constitution.
Locke is a founder of the Common Sense pamphlet. He believed in government ruled by people. “He expressed the radical view that government is morally obliged to serve people, namely by protecting life, liberty, and property. He explained the principle of checks and balances to limit government power. He favored representative government and a rule of law.
During Locke years of service to Shaftesbury, he begins to write. When he came back to England he published all of his work. As one of the founder of the Whigs party, it pushed for constitutional monarch and it stood in the opposition to the dominant Tories. In Locke’s turning point, Two Treatises of Government, had pushed his revolutionary ideas concerning of the natural rights of man and also the social contract. Both of his concepts
We see how intuitive and demonstrative are certain types of our knowledge, whatever falls short of them is faith or opinion, not knowledge. In our sensory knowledge, we have primary and secondary qualities that we use to perceive what we want. Sensitive knowledge goes no further than the existence of things present to the senses and is the most narrow kind of knowledge. One example Locke uses is fire. If people who question the existence of fire, Locke would state that some objects we perceive cause pain while others cause pleasure.
He suggested that man was “born without innate ideas”, and that he began as a tabula rasa, which is a translation for an erased tablet (John Locke: The Mind as a “Tabula Rasa”). This concept of a tabula rasa stated that “people gradually acquired knowledge” from experience. He believed that man could distinguish from good and bad, and that he was also capable of and free to “order his actions and dispose of his possessions” without having to rely on others (Seminar #3: Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, p. 5). Everyone was equal to each other in terms of “power and jurisdiction being reciprocal”, and “no one having more than another” (p.
Additionally, the writings he had written had challenged philosophies of thinkers of the time. Furthermore, Locke was the first person to identify himself through his consciousness and then began to believe there were endless possibilities of the human mind. In his “Essay Concerning Human Understanding,” he advanced a theory of the self as a blank page, with knowledge and identity arising only from accumulative experience. Written in four separate books, each pertaining to a section of his explanation, its purpose was to, “to enquire into the original, certainty and extant of human knowledge, together with the grounds and degrees of belief, opinion and assent.” Nevertheless, John Locke influenced the world more than just the philosophy of human understanding, he also greatly influenced the way we think of government and religious toleration.
Montesquieu stated that the best way to secure liberty and prevent a corrupted government was to divide the powers of government among separate groups that could check and manage one another. Madison and the other Founding Fathers listened to Montesquieu and established an executive, legislative, and judiciary branch in the federal Constitution as well as a system of checks and balances. In conclusion, Enlightenment thinkers greatly influenced the Founding Fathers in the creation of the Declaration of Independence. These Enlightenment thinkers included John Locke, Joan-Jacques Rousseau, Charles Montesquieu, and many more. Their ideas of natural rights, checks and balances, consent, and division of power are not only found in the Declaration of Independence but are still used and are relevant
He took the decision to study medicine in England. John Locke believed that one could choose the religion that they most liked. He became an influential philosopher writing about political philosophy, education and epistemology. His writing helped the foundation of modern Western philosophy. In the year 1690 he published an essay about the understanding of human, which became a great impact in his career.
This sharing of power added ideas from the newly formed government that focused on the freedoms of citizens in England. Voltaire contended that the English government had successfully limited the power of the monarchy by affirming the power of the nobility, criticizing the French feudal system for its inability to share political power amongst the citizens of France (6). Advocating a limited monarchy to hold political discussions concerning the progress of the French government towards liberal reforms during the French Revolution. Voltaire as an enlightened philosophe, published papers about the rationality of the French government, which influenced his attitude towards the English constitutional monarchy that implemented the enlightened ideal of liberty. John Locke wrote that the purpose of electing legislative powers was to create laws and rules that protected the “properties of all the members of society,” a natural right of mankind (5).
Locke’s ideas from the Two Treatises of Government and An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, were based upon the natural rights where power comes from the people. Both of his pieces contributed to revolutions, most importantly the American Revolution as power from monarchies was removed and democracies were created. Allowed for limited government power and all obligations were to the citizens. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding basis was on how the knowledge existence of God, certain moral truths, and laws of logic or mathematics pertained to the natural rights of
To initiate, Locke’s endeavor was to lay out an ideology that experience leads to the development of innate knowledge. Locke expresses, “if a child were kept in a place where he never saw any other but black and white till... man… no more ideas of scarlet or green… relishes” (78).