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    Life and Times of John Locke

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    Please help me with the following Philosopher Life & Times review:

    1. How the Culture and Time Period interacted with John Locke's ideas
    a. Culture
    i. Politics
    ii. Science
    iii. Religion

    b. Time Period
    i. French Revolution
    ii. American Revolution

    2. Conclusion

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    Solution Preview

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    John Locke was one of the most influential English philosophers of the Enlightenment Period. His views on liberty, the social contract, rights of the individual, and liberalism transcended time and geography and, in fact, became the very basis of thought for the framers of the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence. His ideas also had tremendous influence on the Continental Philosophers of the time, Voltaire, Rousseau, Hume, Kant, and more. In many ways, his views were the very bridge between the Renaissance and the modern world, in that he viewed humans in a non-Cartesian and completely Biblical manner as blank slates, tabula rasa, born good without innate ideas but a predisposition towards self-actualization (Cassier, 1968).
    Locke is often contrasted with Thomas Hobbes, a contemporary who viewed society in a far different manner. However, both men looked at the contemporaneous situations around them, but came to varying conclusions. When Thomas Hobbes described the life of man in wartime as "nasty, brutish, and short," he was speaking more about the manner in which the majority of the population lived in 16th and 17th century Europe. Life was quite different during this time for 90% of the populace; there was a small merchant/middle class, an even smaller aristocratic class, and a large peasant and poor class ("The Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes," n.d.).
    And what was urban life like? Cities were crowded, there was no sewer system or plumbing; night soil and trash was thrown out of windows onto the streets, horse offal was everywhere. Refrigeration did not exist, meat was fly ridden and often rotten by the time it was purchased, produce similarly so. There was no regular medical care, most people had few teeth left by age of 30, pox, disease, and deformity were rampant, and the stench of the cities has been described as worse than rot, worse than privy smells, the odor seemed to hang on the city like a cloud of filth (Cockayne, 2007).
    With birth being a chance, disease, lack of nutrition, and most of the population illiterate, life expectancy of most people in this time was 35-40 years, with the major factors being hygiene, disease (drinking unpotable water), and lack of consistent good nutrition (Gee, 2007). In fact, the rural peasant fared far better - they typically had fresher produce, cleaner water, and were not as plagued with the burdens of urbanity.
    War, too, was a constant threat; and peasant men and boys were regularly "drafted" and used as chattel: the way of warfare was to line up regiments of men, fire bullets, what the bullets did not kill, the bayonet would. There was little strategy, it was a war of numbers, and most of the infantry were killed or maimed ("Warfare in the 1700s").
    The state of humanity, that he saw, was one in which technology had not yet had the pleasant effects for the majority, and he saw the masses as being born with an instinct that needed to be controlled, ruled, and that the responsibility of the State was indeed to control the "animals of humanity," (See The Leviathan by Hobbes, information cited in: ...

    Solution Summary

    This in-depth solution of 2005 words discusses the life and times of John Locke and how politics, science, religion, and time periods affected his ideas. References used are included.