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Jefferson, Thomas (1743–1826)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DB044-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved September 16, 2019, from

Article Summary

Thomas Jefferson came from a privileged background, began his public career as a lawyer, and rose to hold the governorship of his home state of Virginia and to serve his country successively as minister to France, secretary of state, vice-president and president. His proudest declared achievements were to have been author of the Declaration of Independence, and of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom, and founder of the University of Virginia. An architect, inventor, scientist, educator and writer, he was one of the most versatile and brilliant men of his generation. In philosophy his main contribution was to political theory, where he supported a social contract theory and a doctrine of natural rights.

Citing this article:
Murphey, Murray G.. Jefferson, Thomas (1743–1826), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DB044-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2019 Routledge.

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