"We should have a great fewer disputes in the world if words were taken
for what they are, the signs of our ideas only, and not for things themselves."
- John Locke
English philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) is considered the first British empiricist. Empiricism posits that knowledge can only arise from experience, especially by means of observation and sometimes by experimentation. He was also very influential in the area of social contract theory which describes a broad class of theories that attempts to explain how people form groups and maintain social order.
His thinking influenced many later philosophers including David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant and François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire), and the American revolutionaries.
"What worries you, masters you." John Locke
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