The beginnings, ends, and aims of a gentleman’s education: an exegesis of Locke’s Some thoughts concerning education.
Warmath, Thomas Lawrence.
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In Some Thoughts Concerning Education, John Locke responds to the “early corruption of youth” and describes how the gentry should go about educating their children for the gentleman’s calling. This thesis considers the following questions about Locke’s text: what is the beginning, or original, condition of the student in the Thoughts, what is the student’s final condition or the aim of the education, what does Locke intend for education to accomplish, and what does Locke not intend for education to accomplish. To answer these questions, I try to look primarily to the text of the Thoughts, then to the view of liberal society and Christianity conveyed in Locke’s other works, and finally to the Thoughts’s historical context. I eventually show that Locke, in addition to his aims for the student, has a view to the transformation of English society.