Give a brief account of the life of John Locke, mentioning in particular those events that were most influential in shaping the development of his philosophy. Describe briefly Locke's participation in the discussion group that led eventually to the writing of his famous Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Make a list of Locke's published writings and show how the ideas set forth in the Essay are related to the other writings. Make a short outline of the topics discussed in the Essay and show how these are related to the main purpose for which it was written. Explain in some detail the doctrine concerning innate ideas which had been accepted by many of Locke's contemporaries and predecessors. Why did Locke think it was important to prove that innate ideas do not exist?
John Locke: Human Understanding Essay
51 State Essay: John locke essay concerning human understanding book 1 summary top writers!
The way shown how we come by any knowledge, sufficient to prove it not innate. It would be sufficient to convince unprejudiced readers of the falseness of this supposition, if I should only show as I hope I shall in the following parts of this discourse how men, barely by the use of their natural faculties, may attain to all the knowledge they have, without the help of any innate impressions, and may arrive at certainty without any such original notions or principles. For I imagine, any one will easily grant, that it would be impertinent to suppose the ideas of colours innate in a creature to whom God hath given sight, and a power to receive them by the eyes from external objects: and no less unreasonable would it be to attribute several truths to the impressions of nature and innate characters, when we may observe in ourselves faculties fit to attain as easy and certain knowledge of them as if they were originally imprinted on the mind. But because a man is not permitted without censure to follow his own thoughts in the search of truth, when they lead him ever so little out of the common road, I shall set down the reasons that made me doubt of the truth of that opinion as an excuse for my mistake, if I be in one; which I leave to be considered by those who, with me, dispose themselves to embrace truth wherever they find it. General assent the great argument.
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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 although dated with the printed title An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. He describes the mind at birth as a blank slate tabula rasa , although he did not use those actual words filled later through experience. The essay was one of the principal sources of empiricism in modern philosophy, and influenced many enlightenment philosophers, such as David Hume and George Berkeley. Book I of the Essay is Locke's attempt to refute the rationalist notion of innate ideas.