Modern Lights

The History of Modern Thought in Four Brief Bios—A sidebar to "The Lights by Which We See"

1. John Locke

John Locke was a British philosopher and political theorist whose political thought included the concepts of consent of the governed, natural rights, separation of powers, and checks and balances. All these concepts shaped liberal democracy and are reflected in the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. As a philosopher, Locke was a leading figure in empiricism, the philosophical position that all knowledge derives from sense perception. According to Locke, the mind is a tabula rasa at birth, a blank slate that receives sensory experiences which are imprinted on it and processed through rational association. We can know nothing by the powers of reason alone or by...


Regis Nicoll  is a retired nuclear engineer and physicist, a Colson Center fellow, and a Christian commentator on faith and culture. He is the author of Why There Is a God: And Why It Matters, available at Amazon.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #45, Summer 2018 Copyright © 2020 Salvo |


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