John Locke and Karl Marx

by Eli Ours

John Locke (1632-1704)

John Locke, born on August 29, 1632, in Wrington, Somerset, England. He went to Westminster school and then Christ Church, University of Oxford. In Oxford he studied medicine which played a big role in his life. John Locke was one of the most famous philosophers and political theorists of the 17th century. He is regarded to be the founder of a school of thought know as British Empiricism. He made foundational contributions to modern theories of limited, liberal government. He was also an influential in the ares of theology, religious toleration, and educational theory. In his most important work, the essay Concerning Human Understanding Locke set out to offer an analysis of the human mind and it's acquisition of knowledge. He offered an empiricist theory according to which we acquire ideas through our experience of the world. The mind is the to examine, compare and combined the ideas together.

Karl Marx (1818-1883)

Karl Marx was born in Prussia on May 5, 1818. He began exploring sociopolitical theories at university among the Young Hegelians. He became a journalist and his socialist writings would get him expelled from Germany and France. In 1848 he published The Communist Manifesto with Freidrich Engels and was exiled to London where he wrote the first volume of Das Kapital and he lived there the remainder of his life. He is best known not as a philosopher but as a revolutionary communist, whose works inspired the foundation of many communist regimes in the twentieth century. Trained as a philosopher, Marx turned away from philosophy in his mid-twenties, towards economics and politics. However, in addition to his overtly philosophical early work, his later writings have many points of contact with contemporary philosophical debates, especially in the philosophy of history and the social sciences, and in moral and political philosophy. Marx's theory of history is centered around the idea that forms of society rise and fall as they further and then impede the development of human productive power. Marx sees the historical process as proceeding through a necessary series of modes of production, characterized by class struggle, culminating in communism.