John Locke, English empiricist philosopher, c 1660-1700.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Goldar after a drawing by G Kneller of John Locke (1632-1704). Locke, in a reaction against popular scholasticism involved himself in the studies of medicine and science and became physician and adviser in all matters scientific and political to Anthony Ashley Cooper (later 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury). After Shaftesbury's death in 1683 Locke moved to the Netherlands and joined the supporters of the future William III (William of Orange) remaining there until the Great Revolution of 1688. Locke became a powerful figure in the age of Enlightenment with the publication of his treatise presenting a theory encompasing social justice and the liberty of the individual. His major philosophical work is the 'Esay concerning Human Understanding' (1690).