Quotations From JOHN LOCKE


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  • New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.
    John Locke (1632-1704), British philosopher. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, dedicatory epistle (1690).
  • Knowledge being to be had only of visible and certain truth, error is not a fault of our knowledge, but a mistake of our judgment, giving assent to that which is not true.
    John Locke (1632-1704), British philosopher. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, bk. 4, ch. 20, sect. 1, p. 706, ed. P. Nidditch, Oxford, Clarendon Press (1975).

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  • When we consider the vast distance of the known and visible parts of the world, and the reasons we have to think, that what lies within our ken is but a small part of the universe, we shall then discover an huge abyss of ignorance.
    John Locke (1632-1704), British philosopher. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, bk. 4, ch. 3, sect. 24, p. 554, ed. P. Nidditch, Oxford, Clarendon Press (1975).

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  • A sound mind in a sound body, is a short, but full description of a happy state in this World: he that has these two, has little more to wish for; and he that wants either of them, will be little the better for anything else.
    John Locke (1632-1704), British philosopher. Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693). Opening sentence The famous prescription, mens sana in corpore sano, goes back to Juvenal (c. 60-130 A.D.).

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  • Government has no other end but the preservation of Property.
    John Locke (1632-1704), British philosopher. Second Treatise on Civil Government, ch. 6 (written 1681, publ. 1690).
  • ... thinking consists in being conscious that one thinks.
    John Locke (1632-1704), British philosopher. Essay Concerning Human Understanding, book II, ch. i, sect. 19; ed. from the 4th edition by Peter H. Nidditch, Oxford University Press (1975).
  • Any one reflecting upon the thought he has of the delight, which any present or absent thing is apt to produce in him, has the idea we call love.
    John Locke (1632-1704), British philosopher. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, bk. 3, ch. 11, sect. 14, p. 515, ed. P. Nidditch, Oxford, Clarendon Press (1975).

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  • Moral laws are set as a curb and restraint to these exorbitant desires, which they cannot be but by rewards and punishments, that will over-balance the satisfaction any one shall propose to himself in the breach of the law.
    John Locke (1632-1704), British philosopher. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, bk. 1, ch. 3, sect. 13, p. 74, ed. P. Nidditch, Oxford, Clarendon Press (1975).
  • Consciousness is the perception of what passes in a man's own mind. Can another man perceive that I am conscious of any thing, when I perceive it not myself? No man's knowledge here can go beyond his experience.
    John Locke (1632-1704), British philosopher. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, bk. 2, ch. 1, sect. 19, p. 115, ed. P. Nidditch, Oxford, Clarendon Press (1975).
  • If a child were kept in a place where he never saw any other but black and white till he were a man, he would have no more ideas of scarlet or green, than he that from his childhood never tasted an oyster, or a pineapple, has of those particular relishes.
    John Locke (1632-1704), British philosopher. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, bk. 2, ch. 1, sect. 6, p. 106, ed. P. Nidditch, Oxford, Clarendon Press (1975).

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