John Locke

His Essay Concerning Human Understanding

Synopsis of John Locke

The Enlightenment was heavily influenced by John Locke along with Isaac Newton. John Locke had a theory of knowledge that affected eighteenth-century intellectuals. He wrote an his Essay Concerning Human Understanding.

He had the idea that all humans were born with a blank mind

This excerpt from his essay shows the main idea of is theory.

"Let us suppose the mind to be, as we say white paper, void of all characters, without any ideas. How comes it to be furnished? Whence has it all the materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from experience... Our observation, employed either about external sensible objects or about the internal operations of our minds perceived and reflected on by ourselves, is that which supplies our understanding with all the materials of thinking."

What does this mean?

This means that people learned from experiences and things that occurred around them. This is why we see similar kinds of people in certain areas. He had the idea that if the environments of a society were changed, it would influence the people of the society to be a different. This would create a completely new society.
Three Minute Philosophy - John Locke