Tile Damstraat: Locke

Every man has a “property” in his own “person”. This nobody has any right to but himself. (1689)

Locke laid the foundation for the notion that every human has natural rights. This is a different view than was considered self-evident in those days, which was that the sovereign was sent by God and he must decide what is supposed to happen. Everyone has to obey to this. Locke places the individual more in the center of the world. He continued building the movement that was started by Descartes.

Locke is also an important advocate of the idea of the social contract, with which the justification for laws came from a collective agreement. This is the foundation of democracy. According to Locke, life, freedom and property are natural, inalienable rights of every person. This is why Locke is seen as the founder of liberalism. All of this comes together in the quote on the tile: every human has control over their own life and their own person.

Locke fled to Amsterdam, because he was wanted in England for supporting the wrong party. But he also had to be careful in the Netherlands; that is why he went into hiding. The only thing we know, is that he probably lived on the Damstraat, but we do not know where exactly. That is why his tile lies on the bridge.