The John Locke Lectures are a series of annual lectures in philosophy given at the University of Oxford. They are one of the world's most prestigious academic lecture series, comparable to the Gifford Lectures given in Scottish universities. They were established in 1950 by the bequest of Henry Wilde.
The first lecture series was offered to Ludwig Wittgenstein, who eventually declined. According to his biographers, he felt uncomfortable giving formal lectures where the audience would not be asking or answering questions.
The lectures began as an uncertain biannual series, with the first lecturer from 1950–1951, and missing the second slot from 1952-1953. Between 1969 and 2001, the lectures became gradually more frequent. Since 2001, the lecture notes have been made available electronically.