John Locke - Various Quotations

Tabula Rasa: ‘Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, void of all characteristics, without any ideas: - How come it to be furnished? Whence comes it by that vast store which the busy and boundless fancy of man has painted on it with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from EXPERIENCE. In that all our knowledge is founded; and from that it ultimately derives itself.’ (1690; An essay concerning man, 1894 Edn., Vol. 1, p.122; quoted in Marvin Harris, The Rise of Anthropology: A History of Theories of Culture, NY: Thomas Y. Crowell 1968; updated edn., intro. Maxine L. Margolis [AltaMira Press] Walnut Creek, Lanham, NY & London: Rowman & Littlefield Publ. Inc. 2001, p.12.)

‘For where is the man that has incontestable evidence of the truth of all that he holds, or of the falsehood of all he condemns ...? The necessity of believing without knoweldge, nay oten upon very slight grounds, in this fleeting state of action and blindness we are in, should make us more busy and careful to inform ourselves than contrain others.’ (Idem, Vol. II., p.373; Harris, idem.)











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