John Locke Quotes (87 Quotes)

    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.

    Things of this world are in so constant a flux, that nothing remains long in the same state.

    The only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.

    Man... hath by nature a power.... to preserve his property - that is, his life, liberty, and estate - against the injuries and attempts of other men.

    If punishment makes not the will supple it hardens the offender.

    I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.

    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.

    It is easier for a tutor to command than to teach.

    I find every sect, as far as reason will help them, make use of it gladly and where it fails them, they cry out, It is a matter of faith, and above reason

    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.

    New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without anyother reason but because they are not already common.

    All men are liable to error; and most men are, in many points, by passion or interest, under temptation to it.

    The discipline of desire is the background of character.

    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.

    Practice conquers the habit of doing, without reflecting on the rule.

    Justice and truth are the common ties of society.

    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 great men among the ancients understood very well how to reconcile manual labour with affairs of state, and thought it no lessening to their dignity to make the one the recreation to the other. That indeed which seems most generally to have employed and diverted their spare hours, was agriculture. Gideon among the Jews was taken from threshing, as well as Cincinnatus amongst the Romans from the plough, to command the armies of their countries ... and, as I remember, Cyrus thought gardening so little beneath the dignity and grandeur of a throne, that he showed Xenophon a large field of fruit trees all of his own planting ... Delving, planting, inoculating, or any the like profitable employments would be no less a diversion than any of the idle sports in fashion, if men could be brought to delight in them.

    Fashion for the most part is nothing but the ostentation of riches.

    ... mathematical proofs, like diamonds, are hard and clear, and will be touched with nothing but strict reasoning.

    To love truth for truth's sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues.

    But there is only one thing which gathers people into seditious commotion, and that is oppression

    Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.

    Probability is a kind of penance, which God made, suitable, I presume to that state of mediocrity and probationership he has been pleased to place us in here wherein, to check our over-confidence and presumption, we might, by every day's experience, be made sensible of our short-sightedness, and liableness to error.

    The visible mark of extraordinary wisdom and power appear so plainly in all the works of creation.

    The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property.

    The dread of evil is a much more forcible principle of human actions than the prospect of good.

    Nature never makes excellent things for mean or no uses.

    Every man must some time or other be trusted to himself.

    All wealth is the product of labor.

    There is frequently more to be learned from the unexpected questions of a child than the discourses of men.

    That which is static and repetitive is boring. That which is dynamic and random is confusing. In between lies art.

    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.

    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.

    Nobody is going to let anybody's children play on something that is unsafe. There is just no way.

    Liberty is to be free from restraint and violence from others

    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.

    Now, I appeal to the consciences of those that persecute, torment, destroy, and kill other men upon pretence of religion, whether they do it out of friendship and kindness towards them or no I say, if all this be done merely to make men Christians and procure their salvation, why then do they suffer whoredom, fraud, malice and such-like enormities, which (according to the Apostle) manifestly relish of heathenish corruption, to predominate so much and abound amongst their flocks and people.

    Virtue is harder to be got than knowledge of the world and, it lost in a young man, is seldom recovered.

    General observations drawn from particulars are the jewels of knowledge, comprehending great store in a little room.

    All mankind... being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.

    Curiosity in children, is but an appetite for knowledge. One great reason why children abandon themselves wholly to silly pursuits and trifle away their time insipidly is, because they find their curiosity balked, and their inquiries neglected.

    Fortitude is the guard and support of the other virtues.

    Where there is no property there is no injustice.

    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.

    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.

    We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us.

    It is one thing to show a man that he is in an error, and another to put him in possession of the truth.

    To show, therefore, that we are capable of knowing, i.e. being certain that there is a God, and how we may come by this certainty, I think we need go no further than ourselves, and that undoubted knowledge we have of our own existence.... For man knows th.

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