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The works of John Locke 9 by John Locke PDF

CHAP. I.: Introduction.

❶For that a truth should be innate, and yet not assented to, is to me as unintelligible, as for a man to know a truth, and be ignorant of it, at the same time.

John Locke

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Lord Ashley, by a fall, had hurt his breast in such a manner, that there was an abscess formed in it under his stomach. He was advised to drink the mineral waters at Astrop, which engaged him to write to Dr. Thomas, a physician of Oxford, to procure a quantity of those waters, which might be ready against his arrival. Thomas being obliged to be absent from Oxford at that time, desired his friend Mr.

Locke to execute this commission. Locke was obliged to wait on his lordship to make an excuse for it. Lord Ashley received him with great civility, according to his usual manner, and was satisfied with his excuses. Upon his rising to go away, his lordship, who had already received great pleasure from his conversation, detained him to supper, and engaged him to dine with him the next day, and even to drink the waters, that he might have the more of his company.

When his lordship left Oxford to go to Sunning-Hill, where he drank the waters, he made Mr. Locke promise to come thither, as he did in the summer of the year Locke went thither, and though he had never practised physic, his lordship confided intirely in his advice, with regard to the operation which was to be performed by opening the abscess in his breast; which saved his life, though it never closed.

After this cure, his lordship entertained so great an esteem for Mr. Locke, that though he had experienced his great skill in medicine, yet he regarded this as the least of his qualifications.

He advised him to turn his thoughts another way, and would not suffer him to practise medicine out of his house, except among some of his particular friends. He urged him to apply himself to the study of political and religious matters, in which Mr. Locke made so great a progress, that lord Ashley began to consult him upon all occasions. By his acquaintance with this lord, our author was introduced to the conversation of some of the most eminent persons of that age: The liberty which Mr.

Locke took with men of that rank, had something in it very suitable to his character. Locke was there, after some compliments, cards were brought in, before scarce any conversation had passed between them. Locke looked upon them for some time, while they were at play: One of the lords observing him, asked him what he was writing? Locke had no occasion to read much of this conversation; those noble persons saw the ridicule of it, and diverted Edition: They quitted their play, and entering into rational discourse, spent the rest of their time in a manner more suitable to their character.

In our author attended the earl and countess of Northumberland into France; but did not continue there long, because the earl dying in his journey to Rome, the countess, whom he had left in France with Mr.

Locke, came back to England sooner than was at first designed. This province he executed with great care, and to the full satisfaction of his noble patron. The young lord being of a weakly constitution, his father thought to marry him betimes, lest the family should be extinct by his death.

He was too young, and had too little experience, to choose a wife for himself; and lord Ashley having the highest opinion of Mr. This, it must be owned, was no easy province; for though lord Ashley did not require a great fortune for his son, yet he would have him marry a lady of a good family, an agreeable temper, and a fine person; and above all a lady of good education, and of good understanding, whose conduct would be very different from that of the generality of court-ladies.

Notwithstanding all these difficulties, our author undertook the business, and acquitted himself in it happily. From this marriage sprung seven children, all of them healthy. The eldest son, afterward the noble author of the Characteristics, was committed to the care of Mr.

Locke in his education. Here was a great genius, and a great master to direct and guide it, and the success was every way equal to what might be expected. It is said, that this noble author always Edition: Locke with the highest esteem, and manifested on all occasions a grateful sense of his obligations to him: Thomas, and some other friends, who met frequently in his chamber to converse together on philosophical subjects; but his employments and avocations prevented him from finishing it then—About this time, it is supposed, he was made a fellow of the Royal Society.

In , his great patron Lord Ashley was created earl of Shaftesbury, and lord high chancellor of England; and appointed him secretary of the presentation to benefices; which place he held till the end of the year , when his lordship resigned the great seal.

Locke, to whom the earl had communicated his most secret affairs, was disgraced together with him: In he travelled into France, on account of his health. At Montpelier he staid a considerable time; and there his first acquaintance arose with Mr. From Montpelier he went to Paris, where he contracted a friendship with Mr. Justel, whose house was at that time the place of resort for men of letters: Guenelon, the famous physician of Amsterdam, who read lectures in anatomy with great applause.

He became acquainted likewise with Mr. The earl of Shaftesbury being restored to favour at court, and made president of the council in , thought proper to send for Mr. But that nobleman did not continue long in his post; for refusing to comply with the designs of the court, which aimed at the establishment of popery and arbitrary power, fresh crimes were laid to his charge, and he was sent to the Tower. When the earl obtained his discharge from that place, he retired to Holland; and Mr.

Locke not thinking himself safe in England, followed his noble patron thither, who died soon after. Guenelon, who introduced him to many learned persons of Amsterdam. Locke contracted a friendship with Mr. Limborch, professor of divinity among the remonstrants, and the most learned Mr. During his residence in Holland, he was accused at court of having writ certain tracts against the government, which were afterward discovered to be written by another person, and upon that suspicion he was deprived of his place of student of Christ-Church.

Fell on the occasion, from Dr. The first from lord Sunderland runs thus: The bishop answered, Nov. So that I believe there is not a man in the world so much master of taciturnity and passion.

It being probable that, though he may have been thus cautious here where he knew himself suspected, he has laid himself more open at London, where a general liberty of speaking was used, and where the execrable designs against his majesty and government were managed and pursued. And so we bid you heartily farewell. Given at our court of Whitehall, the 11th day of Nov. Locke from this college is fully executed.

Birch observes, that notwithstanding his many good qualities, he was capable of some excesses in cases where the interest of party could bias him.

Life of Tillotson, p. Locke, seems only to prove that all he acted against him might be done with some degree of reluctance; but yet notwithstanding the respect and kindness which he bore toward Mr. Locke, bishop Fell, it seems, on the clearest conviction of his inoffensiveness, under so many trials, had no thoughts of serving him so far as to run the least hazard of suffering for him, or with him.

His candour towards Mr. Fell, annexed in Vol. After the death of king Charles II. William Penn, who had known our author at the university, used his interest with king James to procure a pardon for him; and would have obtained it, if Mr. Locke had not answered, that he had no occasion for a pardon, since he had not been guilty of any crime. In the year , when the duke of Monmouth and his party were making preparations in Holland for his unfortunate enterprize, the English envoy at the Hague had orders to demand Mr.

Locke and eighty-three other persons to be delivered up by the states-general: At Amsterdam he formed a weekly assembly, consisting of Mr.

Le Clerc, and others, for conversation upon important subjects, and had drawn Edition: He made an abridgment of it himself, which his friend Mr. About the same time, as Le Clerc informs us, he made several extracts of books, as that of Boyle on Specific Medicines, which is inserted in the second volume of Bibliotheque Universelle; and some others in the following volume. At length the happy revolution in , effected by the courage and good conduct of the prince of Orange, opened a way for Mr.

And upon the restoration of public liberty, he thought it proper to assert his own private rights. He endeavoured therefore to procure his restoration to his place of student of Christ-Church; not that he designed to return thither, but only that it might appear from thence, that he had been unjustly deprived of it.

But when he found, that the college could not be prevailed on to dispossess the person who had been elected in his room, and that they would only admit him as a supernumerary student, he desisted from his claim. It was proposed at a meeting of the heads of houses of the university of Oxford, to censure and discourage the reading of it; and after various debates among themselves, it was concluded, that each head of an house should endeavour to prevent its being read in his college.

Locke had let in more light upon the minds of men than was consistent with the dark designs of some persons. In the same year Mr. His writings had now procured him such high esteem, and he had merited so much of the government, that it would have been easy for him to have obtained a very considerable post; but he contented himself with that of commissioner of appeals, worth about He was offered to go abroad in a public character, and it was left to his choice whether he would be envoy at the court of the emperor, the elector of Brandenbourg, or any other, where he thought the air most suitable to him; but he declined it on account of his ill health.

About this time the public coin was very bad, having been so much clipped, and no care used to remedy it, that it wanted above a third of its due value. The effect of this was, that the people thought themselves a great deal richer than indeed they were: Locke had observed this disorder ever since his return to England; and he frequently spoke of it, that some measures might be taken to prevent it.

To assist the great men at the head of affairs, who are not always the best judges, to form a right understanding of this matter, and to excite them to rectify this shameful abuse, Mr.

This treatise was shortly followed by two more upon the same subject, in which he obviated all objections, and confuted all his opposers. He fully showed to the world by these discourses, that he was able to reason on trade and business, as on the most abstract parts of science; and that he was none of those philosophers, who spend their lives in search of truths merely speculative, and who by their ignorance of those things which concern the public good, are incapable of serving their country.

These writings recommended him to the notice of the greatest persons, with whom he used to converse very freely. He was received upon his own terms, that he might have his intire liberty, and look upon himself as at his own house.

Here he applied himself to his studies as much as his weak health would allow, being seldom absent, because the air of London grew more and more troublesome to him. He came to town only in the summer for three or four months, and if he returned to Oates any thing indisposed, the air of that place soon recovered him.

In this he has proved, that the christian religion, as delivered in the scriptures, and free from all corrupt mixtures, is the most reasonable institution in the world. This book was attacked by an ignorant, but zealous divine, Dr. Edwards, in a very rude and scurrilous manner. Locke answered Edwards, and defended his answer with such strength of reason, that he might justly have expected from his adversary a public acknowledgment of his errour, if he had not been one of those writers who have no more shame than reason in them.

Locke was also obliged to Mr. Bold, a worthy and pious clergyman, for vindicating his principles against the cavils of Edwards. Some time before this, Mr.

Toland, in explaining some of his notions, used several arguments from Mr. Locke having asserted in his writings, that revelation delivers nothing contrary to reason; these things engaged Dr. Stillingfleet, the learned bishop of Worcester, to publish a treatise in which he endeavoured to defend the doctrine of the trinity, against Mr.

Toland and the unitarians. In this treatise the bishop opposed some of Mr. Locke answered him, and the bishop replied the same year. This reply was confuted, by a second letter of Mr. But the bishop dying some time after this, the dispute ended. In this controversy every body admired the strength of Mr. Locke, whose reasoning he neither understood, nor the thing itself about which he disputed.

This learned bishop had spent the greatest part of his time in the study of ecclesiastical antiquities, and reading a prodigious number of books, but was no great philosopher; nor had he ever accustomed himself to that close way of thinking and reasoning, in which Mr.

Locke did so highly excel. In short, never was a controversy managed with so much art and skill on one side; nor, on the other, so unjustly, confusedly, or so little to the credit of the author. Time, which is the best judge of things, has abundantly manifested this. Locke was appointed one of the commissioners of trade and plantations, a place worth l. The duties of this post he discharged with much care and diligence, and with universal approbation.

He continued in it till the year , when upon the increase of his asthmatic disorder, he was forced to resign it. The king was very unwilling to dismiss him, and told our author, that he would be well pleased with his continuance in that office, though he should give little or no attendance; for that he did not desire him to stay in town one day to the hurt of his health.

Locke told the king, that he could not in conscience hold a place to which such a salary was annexed, without discharging the duties of it; and therefore he begged leave to resign it. King William had a great esteem for our author, and would sometimes send for him to discourse on public affairs, and to know his sentiments of things. Locke once told the king very plainly, that if the universities were not reformed, and other principles taught there, than had been formerly inculcated, they would either destroy him, or some of his successors, or both.

He had a great knowledge of the world, and was prudent without cunning, easy, affable, and condescending Edition: If there was any thing he could not bear, it was ill manners, and a rude behaviour. This was ever ungrateful to him, unless when he perceived that it proceeded from ignorance; but when it was the effect of pride, ill-nature, or brutality, he detested it.

He looked on civility not only as a duty of humanity, but of christianity; and he thought that it ought to be more pressed and urged upon men than it commonly is. He was exact to his word, and religiously performed whatever he promised.

He was very scrupulous of giving recommendations of persons whom he did not well know, and would by no means commend those whom he thought not to deserve it. He was naturally very active, and employed himself as much as his health would permit. Sometimes he diverted himself with working in the garden, which he well understood. He loved walking, but not being able to walk much, through the disorder of his lungs, he used to ride out after dinner; and when he could not bear a horse, he went in a chaise.

He always chose to have company with him, though it were but a child, for he took pleasure in talking with children of a good education. He did not differ from others in his diet, but only in that his usual drink was nothing but water; and he thought Edition: To this he also thought the preservation of his sight was in a great measure owing, for he could read by candle-light all sorts of books to the last, if they were not of a very small print, without the use of spectacles.

The last fourteen or fifteen years of his life, he spent chiefly at Oates, seldom coming to town; and during this agreeable retirement, he applied himself to the study of the scriptures. His weakness made him apprehend his death was near.

He often spoke of it himself, but always with great composure, though he omitted none of the precautions which his skill in medicine could suggest, in order to prolong his life.

At length his legs began to swell; and that swelling increasing every day, his strength diminished visibly. He then saw how short a time he had to live, and prepared to quit this world, with a deep sense of the manifold blessings of God to him, which he took delight in recounting to his friends, and full of a sincere resignation to the divine will, and of firm hopes in his promises of a future life.

For some weeks, as he was not able to walk, he was carried about the house in a chair. The day before his death, lady Masham being alone with him, and sitting by his bed, he exhorted her, to regard this world only as a state of preparation for a better; and added, that he had lived long enough, and thanked God for having passed his life so happily, but that this life appeared to him a mere vanity.

He had no sleep that night, but resolved to try to rise next morning, as he did. He was carried into his study, and placed in an easy chair, where he slept a considerable while at different times. Seeming to be a little refreshed, he would be dressed as he Edition: He then desired lady Masham, who was reading the psalms low, while he was dressing, to read aloud: He was interred in the church-yard of High Lever, in Essex, and the following inscription, placed against the church-wall, was written by himself:.

Si qualis fuerit rogas, mediocritate sua contentum se vixisse respondet. Literis innutritus, eousque profecit, ut veritati unice litaret. Virtutes si quas habuit, minores sane quam sibi laudi, tibi in exemplum proponeret. Thus died this great and most excellent philosopher, who, after he had bestowed many years in matters of science and speculation, happily turned his thoughts to the study of the scriptures, which he carefully examined with the same liberty he had used in the study of the other sciences.

There is no occasion to attempt a panegyric on our author. His writings are now well known, and valued, and will last as long as the English language. His character, by P. Coste, is likewise delivered at large in the same place, and need not be repeated here, as it inadvertently was in a former edition. As thou knowest not what is the way of the Spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child, even so thou knowest not the works of God, who maketh all things.

Quam bellum est velle confiteri potius nescire quod nescias, quam ista effutientem nauseare atque ipsum sibi displicere! It is not that I think any name, how great soever, set at the beginning of a book, will be able to cover the faults that are to be found in it. But there being nothing more to be desired for truth, than a fair unprejudiced hearing, nobody is more likely to procure me that than your lordship, who are allowed to have got so intimate an acquaintance with her, in her more retired recesses.

Your lordship is known to have so far advanced your speculations in the most abstract and general knowledge of things, beyond the ordinary reach, or Edition: Truth scarce ever yet carried it by vote any where at its first appearance: But truth, like gold, is not the less so for being newly brought out of the mine.

It is trial and examination must give it price, and not an antique fashion: Your lordship can give great and convincing instances of this, whenever you please to oblige the public with some of those large and comprehensive discoveries you have made of truths hitherto unknown, unless to some few, from whom your lordship has been pleased not wholly to conceal them.

This alone were a sufficient reason, were there no other, why I should dedicate this Essay to your lordship; and its having some little correspondence with some parts of that nobler and vast system of the sciences your lordship has made so new, exact, and instructive a draught of, I think it glory enough, if your lordship permit me to boast, that here and there I have fallen into some thoughts not Edition: If your lordship think fit, that, by your encouragement, this should appear in the world, I hope it may be a reason, some time or other, to lead your lordship farther; and you will allow me to say, that you here give the world an earnest of something, that, if they can bear with this, will be truly worth their expectation.

This, my lord, shows what a present I here make to your lordship; just such as the poor man does to his rich and great neighbour, by whom the basket of flowers or fruit is not ill taken, though he has more plenty of his own growth, and in much greater perfection. Worthless things receive a value, when they are made the offerings of respect, esteem, and gratitude; these you have given me so mighty and peculiar reasons to have, in the highest degree, for your lordship, that if they can add a price to what they go along with, proportionable to their own greatness, I can with confidence brag, I here make your lordship the richest present you ever received.

This I am sure, I am under the greatest obligations to seek all occasions to acknowledge a long train of favours I have received from your lordship; favours, though great and important in themselves, yet made much more so by the forwardness, concern, and kindness, and other obliging circumstances, that never failed to accompany them.

To all this, you are pleased to add that which gives yet more weight and relish to all the rest: This, my lord, your words and actions so constantly show on all occasions, Edition: I wish they could as easily assist my gratitude, as they convince me of the great and growing engagements it has to your lordship. This I am sure, I should write of the understanding without having any, if I were not extremely sensible of them, and did not lay hold on this opportunity to testify to the world, how much I am obliged to be, and how much I am,.

I here put into thy hands, what has been the diversion of some of my idle and heavy hours: Mistake not this, for a commendation of my work; nor conclude, because I was pleased with the doing of it, that therefore I am fondly taken with it now it is done. He that hawks at larks and sparrows, has no less sport, though a much less considerable quarry, than he that flies at nobler game: Its searches after truth, are a sort of hawking and hunting, wherein the very pursuit makes a great part of the pleasure.

Every step the mind takes in its progress towards knowledge, makes some discovery, which is not only new, but the best too, for the time at least. For the understanding, like the eye, judging of objects only by its own sight, cannot but be pleased with what it discovers, having less regret for what has escaped it, because it is unknown.

Thus he who has raised Edition: This, Reader, is the entertainment of those who let loose their own thoughts, and follow them in writing; which thou oughtest not to envy them, since they afford thee an opportunity of the like diversion, if thou wilt make use of thy own thoughts in reading. It is to them, if they are thy own, that I refer myself: If thou judgest for thyself, I know thou wilt judge candidly; and then I shall not be harmed or offended, whatever be thy censure.

For though it be certain, that there is nothing in this treatise, of the truth whereof I am not fully persuaded; yet I consider myself as liable to mistakes, as I can think thee, and know that this book must stand or fall with thee, not by any opinion I have of it, but thy own. If thou findest little in it new or instructive to thee, thou art not to blame me for it. It was not meant for those that had already mastered this subject, and made a thorough acquaintance with their own understandings; but for my own information, and the satisfaction of a few friends, who acknowledged themselves not to have sufficiently considered it.

Were it fit to trouble thee with the history of this Essay, I should tell thee, that five or six friends meeting at my chamber, and discoursing on a subject very remote from this, found themselves quickly at a stand, by the difficulties that rose on every side. After we had a while puzzled ourselves, without coming any nearer a resolution of those doubts which perplexed us, it came into my thoughts, that we took a wrong course; and Edition: This I proposed to the company, who all readily assented; and thereupon it was agreed, that this should be our first inquiry.

Some hasty and undigested thoughts on a subject I had never before considered, which I set down against our next meeting, gave the first entrance into this discourse; which having been thus begun by chance, was continued by intreaty; written by incoherent parcels; and after long intervals of neglect, resumed again, as my humour or occasions permitted; and at last, in a retirement, where an attendance on my health gave me leisure, it was brought into that order thou now seest it.

This discontinued way of writing may have occasioned, besides others, two contrary faults, viz. If thou findest any thing wanting, I shall be glad, that what I have writ gives thee any desire, that I should have gone farther: I will not deny, but possibly it might be reduced to a narrower compass than it is; and that some parts of it might be contracted; the way it has been writ in, by catches, and many long intervals of interruption, being apt to cause some repetitions.

But to confess the truth, I am now too lazy, or too busy to make it shorter. I am not ignorant how little I herein consult my own reputation, when I knowingly let it go with a fault, so apt to disgust the most judicious, who are always the nicest readers. But they who know sloth is apt to content itself with any excuse, will pardon me, if mine has prevailed on me, where, I think, I have a very good one. I will not therefore allege in my defence, that the same notion, having different respects, may Edition: I pretend not to publish this Essay for the information of men of large thoughts, and quick apprehensions; to such masters of knowledge, I profess myself a scholar, and therefore warn them beforehand not to expect any thing here, but what, being spun out of my own coarse thoughts, is fitted to men of my own size; to whom, perhaps, it will not be unacceptable, that I have taken some pains to make plain and familiar to their thoughts some truths, which established prejudice, or the abstractedness of the ideas themselves, might render difficult.

Some objects had need be turned on every side: There are few, I believe, who have not observed in themselves or others, that what in one way of proposing was very obscure, another way of expressing it has made very clear and intelligible; though afterward the mind found little difference in the phrases, and wondered why one failed to be understood more than the other.

We have our understandings no less different than our palates; and he that thinks the same truth shall be equally relished by every one in the same dress, may as well hope to feast every one with the same sort of cookery: The truth is, those who advised me to publish it, advised me, for this reason, to publish it as it is; and since I have been brought to let it go abroad, I desire it should be understood by whoever Edition: My appearing therefore in print, being on purpose to be as useful as I may, I think it necessary to make what I have to say, as easy and intelligible to all sorts of readers, as I can.

And I had much rather the speculative and quick-sighted should complain of my being in some parts tedious, than that any one, not accustomed to abstract speculations, or prepossessed with different notions, should mistake, or not comprehend my meaning. It will possibly be censured as a great piece of vanity or insolence in me, to pretend to instruct this our knowing age; it amounting to little less, when I own, that I publish this Essay with hopes it may be useful to others.

But if it may be permitted to speak freely of those, who with a feigned modesty condemn as useless, what they themselves write, methinks it savours much more of vanity or insolence, to publish a book for any other end; and he fails very much of that respect he owes the public, who prints, and consequently expects men should read that, wherein he intends not they should meet with any thing of use to themselves or others: It is that chiefly which secures me from the fear of censure, which I expect not to escape more than better writers.

I acknowledge the age we live in is not the least knowing, and therefore not the most easy to be satisfied. If I have not the good luck to please, yet nobody ought to be offended with me. I plainly tell all my readers, except half a dozen, this treatise was not at first intended for them; and therefore they need not be at the trouble to be of that number.

I shall always have the satisfaction to have aimed sincerely at truth and usefulness, though in one of the meanest ways. The commonwealth of learning is not at this time without master-builders, whose mighty designs in advancing the sciences, will leave lasting monuments to the admiration of posterity; but every one must not hope to be a Boyle, or a Sydenham; and in an age that produces such masters, as the great — Huygenius, and the incomparable Mr.

Newton, with some others of that strain; it is ambition enough to be employed as an under-labourer in clearing the ground a little, and removing some of the rubbish that lies in the way to knowledge; which certainly had been very much more advanced in the world, if the endeavours of ingenious and industrious men had not been much cumbered with the learned but frivolous use of uncouth, affected, or unintelligible terms, introduced into the sciences, and there made an art of, to that degree, that philosophy, which is nothing but the true knowledge of things, was thought unfit, or uncapable to be brought into well-bred company, and polite conversation.

Vague and insignificant forms of speech, and abuse of language, have so long passed for mysteries of science; and hard and misapplied words, with little or no meaning, have, by prescription, such a right to be mistaken for deep learning, and height of speculation, that it will not be easy to persuade, either those who speak, or those who hear them, that they are but the covers of ignorance, and hindrance of true knowledge.

To break in upon the sanctuary of vanity and ignorance, will be, I suppose, some service to human understanding: I have been told, that a short epitome of this treatise, which was printed , was by some condemned without reading, because innate ideas were denied in it; they too hastily concluding, that if innate ideas were not supposed, there would be little left, either of the notion or proof of spirits.

If any one take the like offence at the entrance of this treatise, I shall desire him to read it through; and then I hope he will be convinced, that the taking away false foundations, is not to the prejudice, but advantage of truth; which is never injured or endangered so much, as when mixed with, or built on falsehood. In the second edition, I added as followeth:. The bookseller will not forgive me, if I say nothing of this second edition, which he has promised, by the correctness of it, shall make amends for the many faults committed in the former.

He desires too, that it should be known, that it has one whole new chapter concerning identity, and many additions and amendments in other places. These I must inform my reader are not all new matter, but most of them either farther confirmations of what I had said, or explications, to prevent others being mistaken in the sense of what was formerly printed, and not any variation in me from it; I must only except the alterations I have made in Book II.

What I had there writ concerning liberty and the will, I thought deserved as accurate a view, as I was capable of; those subjects having in all ages exercised the learned part of the world, with questions and difficulties, that have not a little perplexed morality and divinity; those parts of knowledge, that men are most concerned to be clear in. This I cannot forbear to acknowledge to the world with as much freedom and readiness, as I at first published what then seemed to me to be right; thinking myself more concerned to quit and renounce any opinion of my own, than oppose that of another, when truth appears against it.

For it is truth alone I seek, and that will always be welcome to me, when or from whence soever it comes. But what forwardness soever I have to resign any opinion I have, or to recede from any thing I have writ, upon the first evidence of any errour in it; yet this I must own, that I have not had the good luck to receive any light from those exceptions I have met with in print against any part of my book; nor have, from any thing that has been urged against it, found reason to alter my sense, in any of the points that have been questioned.

Whether the subject I have in hand requires often more thought and attention than cursory readers, at least such as are prepossessed, are willing to allow: There are so many instances of this, that I think it justice to my reader and myself, to conclude, that either my book is plainly enough written to be rightly understood by those who peruse it with that attention and indifferency, which every one, who will give himself the pains to read, ought to employ in reading; or else, that I have writ mine so obscurely, that it is in vain to go about to mend it.

Which ever of these be the truth, it is myself only am affected thereby, and therefore I shall be far from troubling my reader with what I think might be said, in answer to those several objections I have met with, to passages here and there of my book: The booksellers preparing for the fourth edition of my Essay, gave me notice of it, that I might, if I had leisure, make any additions or alterations I should think fit.

Whereupon I thought it convenient to advertise the reader, that besides several corrections I had made here and there, there was one alteration which it was necessary to mention, because it ran through the whole book, and is of consequence to be rightly understood.

What I thereupon said was this:. And possibly it is but here and there one, who gives himself the trouble to consider them so far as to know what he himself or others precisely mean by them: By those denominations, I mean some object in the mind, and consequently determined, i. This, I think, may fitly be called a determinate or determined idea, when such as it is at any time objectively in the mind, and so determined there, it is annexed, and without variation determined to a name or articulate sound, which is to be steadily the sign of that very same object of the mind, or determinate idea.

To explain this a little more particularly. By determinate, when applied to a simple idea, I mean that Edition: I say, should be; because it is not every one, not perhaps any one, who is so careful of his language, as to use no word, till he views in his mind the precise determined idea, which he resolves to make it the sign of.

But this hinders not, but that when any one uses any term, he may have in his mind a determined idea, which he makes it the sign of, and to which he should keep it steadily annexed, during that present discourse. Where he does not, or cannot do this, he in vain pretends to clear or distinct ideas: Upon this ground I have thought determined ideas a way of speaking less liable to mistakes, than clear and distinct: The greatest part of the questions and controversies that perplex mankind, depending on the doubtful and uncertain use of words, or which is the same indetermined ideas, which they are made to stand for; I have made choice of these terms to signify, 1.

Some immediate object of the mind, which it perceives and has before it, distinct from the sound it uses as a sign of it. That this idea, thus determined, i. If men had such determined ideas in their inquiries and discourses they would both discern how far their own inquiries and discourses went, and avoid the greatest part of the disputes and wranglings they have with others. Besides this, the bookseller will think it necessary I should advertise the reader, that there is an addition of two chapters wholly new; the one of the association of ideas, the other of enthusiasm.

These, with some other larger additions never before printed, he has engaged to print by themselves after the same manner, and for the same purpose, as was done when this essay had the second impression. In the sixth edition, there is very little added or altered; the greatest part of what is new, is contained in the 21st chapter of the second book, which any one, if he thinks it worth while, may, with a very little labour, transcribe into the margin of the former edition.

Since it is the understanding, that sets man above the rest of sensible beings, and gives him all the advantage and dominion, which he has over them; it is certainly a subject, even for its nobleness, worth our labour to inquire into. The understanding, like the eye, whilst it makes us see and perceive all other things, takes no notice of itself; and it requires art and pains to set it at a distance, and make it its own object. But, whatever be the difficulties that lie in the way of this inquiry; whatever it be, that keeps us so much in the dark to ourselves; sure I am, that all the light we can let in upon our own minds, all the acquaintance we can make with our own understandings, will not only be very pleasant, but bring us great advantage, in directing our thoughts in the search of other things.

This, therefore, being my purpose, to inquire into the original, certainty, and extent of human knowledge; together with the grounds and degrees of belief, opinion, and assent; I shall not at present meddle with the physical consideration of the mind; or trouble myself to examine, wherein its essence consists, or by what motions of our spirits, Edition: These are speculations, which, however curious and entertaining, I shall decline, as lying out of my way in the design I am now upon.

It shall suffice to my present purpose, to consider the discerning faculties of a man, as they are employed about the objects, which they have to do with: And I shall imagine I have not wholly misemployed myself in the thoughts I shall have on this occasion, if, in this historical, plain method, I can give any account of the ways, whereby our understandings come to attain those notions of things we have, and can set down any measures of the certainty of our knowledge, or the grounds of those persuasions, which are to be found amongst men, so various, different, and wholly contradictory; and yet asserted, somewhere or other, with such assurance and confidence, that he that shall take a view of the opinions of mankind, observe their opposition, and at the same time consider the fondness and devotion wherewith they are embraced, the resolution and eagerness wherewith they are maintained, may perhaps have reason to suspect, that either there is no such thing as truth at all; or that mankind hath no sufficient means to attain a certain knowledge of it.

It is, therefore, worth while to search out the bounds between opinion and knowledge; and examine by what measures, in things, whereof we have no certain knowledge, we ought to regulate our assent, and moderate our persuasions.

In order whereunto, I shall pursue this following method. First, I shall enquire into the origin of those ideas, notions, or whatever else you please to call them, which a man observes, and is conscious to himself he has in his mind; and the ways, whereby the understanding comes to be furnished with them. Secondly, I shall endeavour to shew what knowledge the understanding hath by those ideas; and the certainty, evidence, and extent of it.

Thirdly, I shall make some enquiry into the nature and grounds of faith, or opinion; whereby I mean that assent, which we give to any proposition as true, of whose truth yet we have no certain knowledge: If, by this enquiry into the nature of the understanding, I can discover the powers thereof; how far they reach; to what things they are in any degree proportionate; and where they fail us: I suppose it may be of use to prevail with the busy mind of man, to be more cautious in meddling with things exceeding its comprehension; to stop when it is at the utmost extent of its tether; and to sit down in a quiet ignorance of those things, which, upon examination, are found to be beyond the reach of our capacities.

We should not then perhaps be so forward, out of an affectation of an universal knowledge, to raise questions, and perplex ourselves and others with disputes about things, to which our understandings are not suited; and of which we cannot frame in our minds any clear or distinct perceptions, or whereof as it has perhaps too often happened we have not any notions at all.

If we can find out how far the understanding can extend its view, how far it has faculties to attain certainty, and in what cases it can only judge and guess; we may learn to content ourselves with what is attainable by us in this state. For, though the comprehension of our understandings comes exceeding short of the vast extent of things; yet we shall have cause enough to magnify the bountiful author of our being, for that proportion and degree of knowledge he has bestowed on us, so far above all the rest of the inhabitants of this our mansion.

Men have reason to be well satisfied with what God hath thought fit for them, since he hath given them as St. How short soever their knowledge may come of an universal or perfect comprehension of whatsoever is, it yet secures their great concernments, that they have light enough to lead them to the knowledge of their maker, and the sight of their own duties. Men may find matter sufficient to busy their heads, and employ their hands with variety, delight and satisfaction; if they will not boldly quarrel with their own constitution, and throw away the blessings their hands are filled with, because they are not big enough to grasp every thing.

We shall not have much reason to complain of the narrowness of our minds, if we will but employ them about what may be of use to us; for of that they are very capable: It will be no excuse to an idle and untoward servant, who would not attend his business by candle-light, to plead that he had not broad sun-shine. The candle, that is set up in us, shines bright enough for all our purposes.

The discoveries we can make with this, ought to satisfy us; and we shall then use our understandings right, when we entertain all objects in that way and proportion that they are suited to our faculties, and upon those grounds they are capable of being proposed to us, and not peremptorily, or intemperately require demonstration, and demand certainty, where probability only is to be had, and which is sufficient to govern all our concernments. If we will disbelieve every things, because we certainly cannot know all things; we shall do muchwhat as wisely as he, who would not use his legs, but sit still and perish, because he had no wings to fly.

When we know our own strength, we shall the better know what to undertake with hopes of success: It is of great use to the sailor, to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean.

It is well he knows, that it is long enough to reach the bottom, at such places as are necessary to direct his voyage, and caution him against running upon shoals that may ruin him. Our business here is not to know all things, but those which concern our conduct.

If we can find out those measures, whereby a rational creature, put in that state in which man is in this world, may, and ought to govern his opinions, and actions depending thereon, we need not to be troubled that some other things escape our knowledge. This was that which gave the first rise to this essay concerning the understanding. For I thought that the first step towards satisfying several enquiries, the mind of man was very apt to run into, was to take a survey of our own understandings, examine our own powers, and see to what things they were adapted.

Till that was done, I suspected we began at the wrong end, and in vain sought for satisfaction in a quiet and sure possession of truths that most concerned us, whilst we let loose our thoughts into the vast ocean of being; as if all that boundless extent were the natural and undoubted possession of our understandings, wherein there was nothing exempt from its decisions, or that escaped its comprehension.

Thus men extending their enquiries beyond their capacities, and letting their thoughts wander into those depths, where they can find no sure footing; it is no wonder, that they raise questions, and multiply disputes, which, never coming to any clear resolution, are proper only to continue and increase their doubts, and to confirm them at last in perfect scepticism.

Whereas, were the capacities of our understandings well considered, the extent of our knowledge once discovered, and the horizon found, which sets the bounds between the enlightened and dark parts of things, between Edition: Thus much I thought necessary to say concerning the occasion of this enquiry into human understanding.

It being that term, which, I think, serves best to stand for whatsoever is the object of the understanding when a man thinks; I have used it to express whatever is meant by phantasm, notion, species, or whatever it is which the mind can be employed about in thinking; and I could not avoid frequently using it.

It would be sufficient to convince unprejudiced readers of the falseness of this supposition, if I should only shew as I hope I shall in the following parts of this discourse how men, barely by the use of their natural faculties, may attain to all the knowledge they have, without the help of any innate impressions; and may arrive at certainty, without any such original notions or principles.

For I imagine any one will easily grant, that it would be impertinent to suppose, the ideas of colours innate in a creature, to whom God hath given sight, and a power to receive them by the eyes, from external objects: But because a man is not permitted without censure to follow his own thoughts in the search of truth, when they lead him ever so little out of the common road; I shall set down the reasons that made me doubt of the truth of that opinion, as an excuse for my mistake, if I be in one; which I leave to be considered by those, who, with me, dispose themselves to embrace truth, wherever they find it.

There is nothing more commonly taken for granted, than that there are certain principles, both speculative and practical Edition: This argument, drawn from universal consent, has this misfortune in it, that if it were true in matter of fact, that there were certain truths, wherein all mankind agreed, it would not prove them innate, if there can be any other way shewn, how men may come to that universal agreement, in the things they do consent in; which I presume may be done. But, which is worse, this argument of universal consent, which is made use of to prove innate principles, seems to me a demonstration that there are none such; because there are none to which all mankind give an universal assent.

These have so settled a reputation of maxims universally received, that it will, no doubt, be thought strange, if any one should seem to question it. But yet I take liberty to say, that these propositions are so far from having an universal assent, that there are a great part of mankind to whom they are not so much as known.

For, first, it is evident, that all children and idiots have not the least apprehension or thought of them; and the want of that is enough to destroy that universal assent, which must needs be the necessary concomitant of all innate truths: If therefore children and idiots have souls, have minds, with those impressions upon them, they must unavoidably perceive them, and necessarily know and assent to these truths: For if they are not notions naturally imprinted, how can they be innate?

To say a notion is imprinted on the mind, and yet at the same time to say, that the mind is ignorant of it, and never yet took notice of it, is to make this impression nothing. No proposition can be said to be in the mind, which it never yet knew, which it was never yet conscious of.

For if any one may, then, by the same reason, all propositions that are true, and the mind is capable of ever assenting to, may be said to be in the mind, and to be imprinted: Nay, thus truths may be imprinted on the mind, which it never did, nor ever shall know: So that if the capacity of knowing, be the natural impression contended for, all the truths a man ever comes to know, will, by this account, be every one of them innate; and this great point will amount to no more, but only to a very improper way of speaking; which, whilst it pretends to assert the contrary, says nothing different from those, who deny innate principles.

For nobody, I think, ever denied that the mind was capable of knowing several truths. The capacity, they say, is innate, the knowledge acquired.

Are you partial to five Seconds of summer time? Download e-book for kindle: Beating, when you can expect no good from it, will look more like the fury of an enraged enemy than the good-will of a coinpassionate friend ; and such chastisement carries with it only provocation, without any prospect of amendment. If it be any father's misfortune to have a son thus perverse and untractable, I know not whet more hs can do but pray for him.

But I imagine, if a right course be taken with children from the beginning, very fkw wiH be found to be such ; and when there are any such instances, they are not to be the rule for the education of those who are better natured, and may be managed with better usage. I f you find it difficult to meet with such a tutor as we desire, you are not to wonder.

I only can say, spare no care nor cost to get such an one. All things are to be had that way: But be sure take no body upon friends, or charitable, no, nor bare great commendations. Nay, if you will do as you ought, the reputation of a sober man, with a good stock of learning, which is all usually required in a tutor will not be enough to serve your turn.


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Mr. John Locke was the son of John Locke, of Pensford, a market-town in Somersetshire, five miles from Bristol, by Ann his wife, daughter of Edmund Keen, alias Ken, of Wrington, tanner. He was born at Wrington, another market-town in the same county.

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Second Treatise John Locke Preface Preface to the two Treatises Reader, you have here the beginning and the end of a ·two-part· treatise about government. It isn’t worthwhile to go into what happened to the pages that should have come.

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The Online Library of Liberty A Project Of Liberty Fund, Inc. John Locke,A Letter concerning Toleration and Other Writings [] The Online Library Of Liberty This E-Book (PDF format) is published by Liberty Fund, Inc., a private. Locke, John, The educational writings of John Locke / (Cambridge: The University Press, ), also by John William Adamson (page images at HathiTrust) Locke, John, The educational writings of .

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By John Locke. St. Paul sepifllcs, after fo nice a teach of expofitors and commentators, may feem an try out of self-importance, cenfurable for its needleffnefs, didn't the day-by-day and licensed examples of pious and realized males juftify it. this can be fome excufe for me to the general public, if ever thcfe following papers fhould likelihood to return . David Wootton’s wide-ranging and scholarly Introduction sets the writings in the context of their time, examines Locke’s developing ideas and unorthodox Christianity, and analyzes his main arguments. The result is the first fully rounded picture of Locke’s political thought in his own words.