John Locke

March 12, 2021

Distinguished professor Holly Brewer examines the legacy of philosopher John Locke.

How does a 17th century philosopher continue to shape our daily lives, our political discourse, and the pressing disputes of our social contract? John Locke, the “father of liberalism,” influenced enlightenment thinkers including Rousseau, Adam Smith, and the framers of the American Constitution. Dr. Brewer explains Locke’s ideas, why they were so revolutionary, and how they are still relevant today.


Holly Brewer is Burke chair of American history and associate professor at the University of Maryland. She is co-editor of the American Society for Legal History’s book series and has served on their board of directors. She is the author of By Birth or Consent: Children, Law, and the Anglo-American Revolution in Authority (2005) and of a recent article in the American Historical Review (October 2017), “Slavery, Sovereignty and ‘Inheritable Blood’: Reconsidering John Locke and the Origins of American Slavery.”

This season was generously supported by the following friends and partners:

Categories: Social Science & Philosophy