Quotes by John Locke

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John Locke (August 29, 1632October 28, 1704) was a 17th-century English philosopher. He developed the Lockean social contract, which included the ideas of a state of nature, "government with the consent of the governed," and the natural rights of life, liberty, and estate. Locke was also the first to fully develop the idea of tabula rasa. more

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The discipline of desire is the background of character.

I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.
Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.
We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us.
Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.
Reading furnishes the mind only with material for knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.
Reverie is when ideas float in our mind without reflection or regard of the understanding.
Logic is the anatomy of thought.
Good and evil, reward and punishment, are the only motives to a rational creature: these are the spur and reins whereby all mankind are set on work, and guided.
No man's knowledge here can go beyond his experience.
The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.
The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others.
One unerring mark of the love of truth is not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant.
The visible mark of extraordinary wisdom and power appear so plainly in all the works of creation.
To give a man full knowledge of morality, I would send him to no other book than the New Testament.
To love our neighbor as ourselves is such a truth for regulating human society, that by that alone one might determine all the cases in social morality.
New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.
Where there is no property there is no injustice.
It is easier for a tutor to command than to teach.
Till a man can judge whether they be truths or not, his understanding is but little improved, and thus men of much reading, though greatly learned, but may be little knowing.
Vague and mysterious forms of speech, and abuse of language, have so long passed for mysteries of science; and hard or 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.
Practice conquers the habit of doing, without reflecting on the rule.
Government has no other end, but the preservation of property.
Freedom of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society, and made by the legislative power vested in it; a liberty to follow my own will in all things, when the rule prescribes not, and not to be subject to the inconstant, unknown, arbitrary will of another man.
Fashion for the most part is nothing but the ostentation of riches.
The only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.
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.
There cannot be greater rudeness than to interrupt another in the current of his discourse.
I attribute the little I know to my not having been ashamed to ask for information, and to my rule of conversing with all descriptions of men on those topics that form their own peculiar professions and pursuits.
We should have a great many fewer disputes in the world if words were taken for what they are, the signs of our ideas only, and not for things themselves.