John Locke An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

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These two are the Fountains of Knowledge, from whence all the Ideas we have, or can naturally have, do spring.

[Essay II i 2] Notice that Locke distinguished sensation and reflection by reference to their objects.

Thus, the crucial feature of ideas for Locke was not what they are but rather what they do, and the epistemic function of an idea is to represent something else.

For since the Things, the Mind contemplates, are none of them, besides it self, present to the Understanding, ’tis necessary that something else, as a Sign or Representation of the thing it considers, should be present to it: And these are Ideas.

[Essay IV xxi 4] Because we do think and must always be thinking about something or other, then, it follows that we actually do possess ideas.

[Essay II i 1] If we want to comprehend the foundations for human knowledge, Locke supposed, it is natural to begin by investigating the origins of its content.No individual idea is invariably present in every human being, as one would expect of an innate feature of human nature, and even if there were such cases, they could result from a universally-shared experience.Everything that occurs to us either arrives directly through experience, or is remembered from some previous experience, or has been manufactured from the raw materials provided solely by experience.An adequate genetic account will explain, at least in principle, how human beings acquire the ability to think about anything and everything.Let us then suppose the Mind to be, as we say, white Paper, void of all Characters, without any Ideas; How comes it to be furnished?[Essay II xi 17] Locke had already argued at length that ideas are not innately imprinted on the human mind.Observing children reveals that their capacity to think develops only gradually, as its necessary components are acquired one by one.[Essay II i 5-8] Individual human beings therefore exhibit great differences in their possession of simple ideas, and Locke speculated that other sentient beings—having, for all we know, experiences very different from our own—are likely to form ideas of which we can have no notion at all.Since simple ideas are acquired only by experience, anything we do not experience is literally inconceivable to us.[Essay II ii 1-3] Everything begins, then, with simple ideas of sensation.Most of these are uniquely produced in the mind through the normal operation of just one of the organs of sense.

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  • John Locke Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
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    John Locke b. 1632, d. 1704 was a British philosopher, Oxford academic and medical researcher. Locke’s monumental An Essay Concerning Human Understanding 1689 is one of the first great defenses of modern empiricism and concerns itself with determining the limits of human understanding in respect to a wide spectrum of topics.…

  • About An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
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    An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke is one of the great books of the Western has done much to shape the course of intellectual development, especially in Europe and America, ever since it was first published in 1690.…

  • SparkNotes Essay Concerning Human Understanding
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    From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Essay Concerning Human Understanding Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.…

  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Wikipedia
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    An Essay Concerning Human Understanding is a work by John Locke concerning the foundation of human knowledge and understanding. It first appeared in 1689 although dated 1690 with the printed title An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding.…

  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding essay by Locke
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    Other articles where An Essay Concerning Human Understanding is discussed John Locke Association with Shaftesbury his most important philosophical work, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding 1689, began at a meeting with friends in his rooms, probably in February 1671.…

  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
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    An Essay concerning Human Understanding By John Locke 1632-1704 It was published in 1689. Book I - sets out to argue against all “Innate Notions” in the human being. According to the author, the mind at our birth is a blank white page upon which ideas are registered as the senses encounter the surrounding world.…

  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Book I Innate Notions
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    Essay I John Locke i Introduction Chapter i Introduction 1. Since it is the understanding that sets man above all other animals and enables him to use and dominate them, it is cer-tainly worth our while to enquire into it. The understanding is like the eye in this respect it makes us see and perceive all other things but doesn’t look in on.…

  • The Works of John Locke, vol. 1 An Essay concerning Human.
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    A LETTER to the Right Rev. Edward Lord Bishop of Worcester, concerning some Passages relating to Mr. Locke’s Essay of Human Understanding, in a late Discourse of his Lordship’s in Vindication of the Trinity. Mr. Locke’s Reply to the Bishop of Worcester’s Answer to his Letter. An Answer to Remarks upon an Essay concerning Human.…

  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Book II Ideas
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    Essay II John Locke i Ideas and their origin Chapter i Ideas in general, and their origin 1. Everyone is conscious to himself that he thinks; and when thinking is going on, the mind is engaged with ideas that it contains. So it’s past doubt that men have in their minds various ideas, such as are those expressed by the…

  • SparkNotes John Locke 1634–1704 An Essay Concerning Human.
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    An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. John Locke’s Essay presents a detailed, systematic philosophy of mind and thought. The Essay wrestles with fundamental questions about how we think and perceive, and it even touches on how we express ourselves through language, logic, and religious practices.…

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