John Locke

John Locke
John Locke
  • Born: August 29, 1632
  • Died: October 28, 1704
  • Nationality: English
  • Profession: Philosopher

97

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56

Citations

219

Concepts

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John Locke FRS was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "Father of Liberalism". Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Sir Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social contract theory. His work greatly affected the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Woodrow Wilson If we Americans are too concerned about freedom and liberty, it is because we have read too much of John Locke and Adam Smith.
Simon Bolivar I have arrived at only a few sure conclusions: 1. For us, (South) America is ungovernable. 2. He who serves a revolution ploughs the sea. 3. The only thing we can do in (South) America is emigrate. 4. This country will eventually fall into the hands of the unbridled mob, and will proceed to almost imperceptible petty tyrannies of all complexions and races. 5. Devoured as we are by every kind of crime and annhilated by ferocity Europeans will not go to the trouble of conquering us. 6. If it were possible for any part of the world to revert to primordial chaos, that would be (South) America’s final state.
Simon Bolivar The state of slavery in which the people find themselves must be done away with; as must the fact that they were beneath the yoke not only of the mayors of the parish priests but of the two or three magnates in each parish. In the cities it was the same, with the difference that there are many more masters because there are many more clerics and doctors
Simon Bolivar Pure representative government is not suitable to our character, customs, and present conditions...So long as our compatriots do not develop the talents and political virtues which distinguish our brothers of the north (The United States) the entire popular system, far from being suitable to our conditions, may, I fear, be our ruin.
Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
No man's knowledge here can go beyond his experience. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom. Freedom & Liberty
Things of this world are in so constant a flux, that nothing remains long in the same state.
There cannot be greater rudeness than to interrupt another in the current of his discourse.
Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The discipline of desire is the background of character.
As people are walking all the time, in the same spot, a path appears. Time ;Inspiration
The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Our incomes are like our shoes; if too small, they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and to trip. Business, Commerce & Finance
To prejudge other men's notions before we have looked into them is not to show their darkness but to put out our own eyes.
The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. It has God for its author; salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. It is all pure. Truth ;Religion & God
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.
Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
There is frequently more to be learned from the unexpected questions of a child than the discourses of men.
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. Truth ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
We should have a great fewer disputes in the world if words were taken for what they are, the signs of our ideas only, and not for things themselves.
An excellent man, like precious metal, is in every way invariable; A villain, like the beams of a balance, is always varying, upwards and downwards.
Fashion for the most part is nothing but the ostentation of riches.
The only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
It is easier for a tutor to command than to teach.
All men are liable to error; and most men are, in many points, by passion or interest, under temptation to it.
The dread of evil is a much more forcible principle of human actions than the prospect of good.
All wealth is the product of labor. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
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. Truth ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Reverie is when ideas float in our mind without reflection or regard of the understanding.
Where all is but dream, reasoning and arguments are of no use, truth and knowledge nothing. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Truth
What worries you, masters you.
I have spent more than half a lifetime trying to express the tragic moment.
I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.
All mankind... being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions. Life ;Health, Healthcare & Medicine
Fortitude is the guard and support of the other virtues.
Where there is no property there is no injustice.
Government has no other end, but the preservation of property. Government
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.
The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property. Society
Our deeds disguise us. People need endless time to try on their deeds, until each knows the proper deeds for him to do. But every day, every hour, rushes by. There is no time. Time
Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.
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. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
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.
Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.
It is one thing to show a man that he is in an error, and another to put him in possession of the truth. Truth
Things of this World are in so constant a Flux, that nothing remains long in the same State. Thus People, Riches, Trade, Power, change their Stations; flourishing mighty Cities come to ruine, and prove in time neglected desolate Corners, whilst other unfrequented places grow into populous Countries, fill'd with Wealth and Inhabitants. Miscellaneous
Private interests often keep up Customs and Privileges, when the reasons of them are ceased Miscellaneous
Slavery is so vile and miserable estate of man and so directly opposite to the generous temper and courage of our nation. Miscellaneous ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Whoever defines the word, defines the world. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has any right to but himself. The labor of his body and the work of his hands are properly his. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
All men are free in a state of nature. Freedom & Liberty
All men are liable to error; and most men, in many points, by passion or interest, under temptation to it. Human Nature
If any man err from the right way, it is his own misfortune, no injury to thee; nor therefore art thou to punish him in the things of this life because thou supposest he will be miserable in that which is to come. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
It is one thing to persuade, another to command … Leaders & Leadership
Religion, which should most distinguish us from beasts, and ought most peculiarly to elevate us, as rational creatures, above brutes, is that wherein men often appear most irrational, and more senseless than beasts themselves. Religion & God
[Legislators] can have no power to transfer their authority of making laws and place it in the hands of others. Regulation & Deregulation
A king of a large and fruitful territory there feeds, lodges, and is clad worse than a day labourer in England. Miscellaneous
Every man is born with a double right. First, a right of freedom to his person, …. Secondly, a right before any other man, to inherit, with his brethren, his father's goods. Miscellaneous
Every man, by consenting with others to make one body politic u ment, puts himself under an obligation to every one of that society to submit to the determination of the majority Miscellaneous
Freedom from absolute, arbitrary power is so necessary to, and closely joined with, a man's preservation, that he cannot part with it but by what forfeits his preservation and life together Power ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
Government has no other end but the preservation of property. Business, Commerce & Finance
Governments cannot be supported without great charge, and it is fit every one who enjoys his share of the protection should pay out of his estate his proportion for the maintenance of it. Taxes
He that in the state of Nature would take away the freedom that belongs to any one in that state must necessarily be supposed to have a design to take away everything else Freedom & Liberty ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
If we allow the Jews to have dwellings amongst us, why should we not allow them to have synagogs [houses of worship]? Religion & God
It is labour, then, which puts the greatest part of value upon land, without which it would scarcely be worth anything Development & Growth
... Jews, heathens, and other dissenters. Religion & God
Neither Pagan nor Mahometan nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the Commonwealth because of his religion. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The end of government is the good of mankind. Miscellaneous
The great and chief end, therefore, of men uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
The great question which, in all ages, has disturbed mankind, and brought on them the greatest part of those mischiefs which have ruined cities, depopulated countries, and disordered the peace of the world, has been, not whether there be power in the world, nor whence it came, but who should have it. Power ;Freedom & Liberty
The people generally ill treated, and contrary to right, will be ready upon any occasion to ease themselves of a burden that sits heavy upon them. They will wish and seek for the opportunity, which in the change, weakness, and accidents of human affairs, seldom delays long to offer itself Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
The reason why men enter into [political] society is the preservation of their property. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property; and the end while they choose and authorize a legislature is that there may be laws made, and rules set, as guards and fences to the properties of all the society, to limit the power and moderate the dominion of every part and member of the society. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The great question which, in all ages, has disturbed mankind, and brought on them the greatest part of those mischiefs which have ruined cities, depopulated countries, and disordered the peace of the world, has been, not whether there be power in the world, nor whence it came, but who should have it. Freedom & Liberty
'Tis true that governments cannot be supported without great charge, and it is fit every one who enjoys a share of protection should pay out of his estate his proportion of the maintenance of it. Taxes
Wherever law ends, tyranny begins. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Every church is orthodox to itself; to others, erroneous or heretical. Religion & God
… adjudged not to him who had the truth on his side, but by the last word in the dispute. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
… a restraint of their debauchery by a strict execution of the laws provided against it, more particularly by the suppressing of superfluous brandy shops and unnecessary alehouses. Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs
As Justice gives every Man a Title to the product of his honest industry, and the fair Acquisitions of his Ancestors descended to him; so Charity gives every Man a Title to so much out of another’s plenty, as will keep him from extreme want, where he has no means to subsist otherwise. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
God gave the world to men in common; but since he gave it them for their benefit and the greatest conveniences of life they were capable to draw from it, it cannot be supposed that he meant it should always remain common and uncultivated. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
He that sells his corn in a town pressed with famine at the utmost rate he can get for it does no unjustice against the common rule of traffic, yet if he carry it away unless they will give him more than they are able, or extorts so much from their present necessity as not to leave them the means of subsistence afterwards, he offends against the common rule of charity as a man Business, Commerce & Finance
Nothing was made by God for man to spoil or destroy. Religion & God
What anyone has he may value at what rate he will and transgresses not against justice if he sells it at any price provided he makes no distinction of buyers but parts with it as cheap to this as he would to any other buyer. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
To prejudge other men's notions before we have looked into them is not to show the darkness but to put out our own eyes. Discrimination & Prejudice
Were it not for the corruption and viciousness of degenerate men, there would be no ... necessity that men should separate from this great and natural community, and by positive agreements combine into smaller and divided associations. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Each man's mind has some peculiarity, as well as his face, that distinguishes him from all others… Miscellaneous
Make but few laws but see them well observed when once made. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Those children who have been most chastised seldom make the best men. Families, Children & Parenting
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. Freedom & Liberty
New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common Miscellaneous
The legislature cannot transfer the power of making laws to any other hands, for it being but a delegated power from the people, they who have it cannot pass it over to others. Legislating & Legislative Process
Though I have said above 'That all men by nature are equal,' I cannot be supposed to understand all sorts of 'equality.' Age or virtue may give men a just precedency. Excellency of parts and merit may place others above the common level. Birth may subject some, and alliance or benefits others, to pay an observance to those to whom Nature, gratitude, or other respects may have made it due; and yet all this consists with the equality which all men are in in respect of jurisdiction or dominion one over another, which was the equality I there spoke of as proper to the business in hand, being that equal right that every man hath to his natural freedom, without being subject to the will or authority of any other man. Equality & Equal Opportunity
No government allows absolute liberty Freedom & Liberty
Where there is no law, there is no freedom. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
… by consenting with others to make one body-politic under government, a man puts himself under an obligation to every one of that society to submit to the determination of the majority, and to be concluded by it. Citizenship & Patriotism
Amongst so many captives taken, so many nations forced under their [the Ancient Jewish Kingdom’s] obedience, we find not one man forced into the Jewish Religion and the worship of the true God and punished for idolatry, though all of them were certainly guilty of it. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
… those are not to be tolerated who deny the being of God because promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, which can have no hold upon an atheist. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
… a Roman Catholic believes that to be really the body of Christ which another man calls bread, he does no injury thereby to his neighbor. Freedom & Liberty