the age of reason


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  • John Locke Facts. John Locke FRS (August 29, 1632 to October 28, 1704), was an English philosopher and physician. He is known as the "Father of Classical Liberalism." His work greatly affected the development of epistemology, political philosophy and education theory.
  • John Locke was born to a Puritan family in Wrington, England. In 1647 he was sponsored to the Westminster School in London by MP Alexander Popham. After graduation he attended Christ church, Oxford and he received his bachelor's degree in 1656 and a master's in 1658. In 1667 he became the personal physician of Anthony Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury and when he persuaded the earl to undergo a dangerous operation that saved his life his reputation as a physician was greatly enhanced.
  • The English philosopher and political theorist John Locke (1632-1704) laid much of the groundwork for the Enlightenment and made central contributions to the development of liberalism. Trained in medicine, he was a key advocate of the empirical approaches of the Scientific Revolution. In his “Essay Concerning Human Understanding,” he advanced a theory of the self as a blank page, with knowledge and identity arising only from accumulated experience. His political theory of government by the consent of the governed as a means to protect “life, liberty and estate” deeply influenced the United States’ founding documents. His essays on religious tolerance provided an early model for the separation of church and state.
  • Surrounded by men and seated in the very front, Mme. Geoffrin listens and watches quite naturally and orderly in her prim, exact dress and little cap tied under her chin. Like the others, she appears to devote her attention to Delille who recites aloud, La Conversation, one of the three most important poems of his career. Unlike the lazy, distracted guests in Jean-François de Troy's La Lecture de Molière featured on the Parisian salon's home page, Mme. G and all her guests appear very alert and interested in the speaker. Sitting on the edges of their seats, they are ready at any moment to insert their voices and maintain an intellectual group dialogue.
  • Marie Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin was a French salon holder who has been referred to as one of the leading female figures in the French Enlightenment.
  • To many her salon was "one of the wonders of the social world" as she had no position, was not beautiful by any means and of course was not educated like most women at the time (Mason, 40). At a young age, she was orphaned and at fourteen was married off to the wealthy director of the royal glassworks at Saint-Gobain. In her twenties, she began apprenticing at the salon of her neighbor, Madame de Tencin.
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