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John Locke (1632 – 1704)


Influential English philosopher and social contract theorist.
John Locke
Thus parents, by humouring and cockering them when little, corrupt the principles of nature in their children, and wonder afterwards to taste the bitter waters, when they themselves have poison’d the fountain.
Locke quotes
Though the managing ourselves well in this part of our behavior has the name good-breeding, as if a peculiar effect of education; yet... young children should not be much perplexed about it... Teach them humility, and to be good-natur'd, if you can, and this sort of manners will not be wanting; civility being in truth nothing but a care not to shew any slighting or contempt of any one in conversation.
Locke
He that will have his son have a respect for him and his orders, must himself have a great reverence for his son. Maxima debetur pueris reverentia [The greatest respect is owed to the children].




Locke John quotes
The imagination is always restless and suggests a variety of thoughts, and the will, reason being laid aside, is ready for every extravagant project; and in this State, he that goes farthest out of the way, is thought fittest to lead, and is sure of most followers: And when Fashion hath once Established, what Folly or craft began, Custom makes it Sacred, and 'twill be thought impudence or madness, to contradict or question it. He that will impartially survey the Nations of the World, will find so much of the Governments, Religion, and Manners brought in and continued amongst them by these means, that they will have but little Reverence for the Practices which are in use and credit amongst Men.
Locke John
As men, we have God for our King, and are under the law of reason : as Christians, we have Jesus the Messiah for our King, and are under the law revealed by him in the gospel. And though every Christian, both as a deist and a Christian, be obliged to study both the law of nature and the revealed law, that in them he may know the will of God, and of Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent ; yet, in neither of these laws, is there to be found a select set of fundamentals, distinct from the rest, which are to make him a deist, or a Christian. But he that believes one eternal, invisible God, his Lord and King, ceases thereby to be an atheist ; and he that believes Jesus to be the Messiah, his king, ordained by God, thereby becomes a Christian, is delivered from the power of darkness, and is translated into the kingdom of the Son of God ; is actually within the covenant of grace, and has that faith, which shall be imputed to him for righteousness ; and, if he continues in his allegiance to this his King, shall receive the reward: eternal life.
John Locke quotes
Where danger shews it self, apprehension cannot, without stupidity, be wanting; where danger is, sense of danger should be; and so much fear as should keep us awake, and excite our attention, industry, and vigour; but not to disturb the calm use of our reason, nor hinder the execution of what that dictates.
John Locke
Another thing wherein they shew their love of dominion, is, their desire to have things to be theirs: They would have propriety and possession, pleasing themselves with the power which that seems to give, and the right that they thereby have, to dispose of them as they please. He that has not observ's these two humours working very betimes in children, has taken little notice of their actions: And he who thinks that these two roots of almost all the injustice and contention that so disturb human life, are not early to be weeded out, and contrary habits introduc'd, neglects the proper season to lay the foundations of a good and worthy man.
Locke John quotes
Let them have what instructions you will, and ever so learned lectures of breeding daily inculcated into them, that which will most influence their carriage will be the company they converse with, and the fashion of those about them.
Locke
The native and untaught suggestions of inquisitive children do often offer things, that may set a considering man's thoughts on work. And I think there is frequently more to be learn'd from the unexpected questions of a child than the discourses of men, who talk in a road, according to the notions they have borrowed, and the prejudices of their education.
Locke John
Let him sensibly perceive, that the kindness he shews to others, is no ill husbandry for himself; but that it brings a return in kindness both from those that receive it, and those who look on. Make this a contest among children, who shall out-do one another in this way: and by this means, by a constant practise, children having made it easy to themselves to part with what they have, good nature may be settled in them into a habit, and they may take pleasure, and pique themselves in being kind, liberal and civil, to others.
John Locke
The foundations on which several duties are built, and the foundations of right and wrong from which they spring, are not perhaps easily to be let into the minds of grown men, not us'd to abstract their thoughts from common received opinions. Much less are children capable of reasonings from remote principles. They cannot conceive the force of long deductions. The reasons that move them must be obvious, and level to their thoughts, and such as may be felt and touched. But yet, if their age, temper, and inclination be consider'd, they will never want such motives as may be sufficient to convince them.




John Locke quotes
My method of achieving happiness was discovered by one of the despised race of philosophers, namely, John Locke. You will find it set forth in great detail in his book on education. This is his most important contribution to human happiness; other minor contributions were the English, American, and French revolutions.
John Locke
If man in the state of nature be so free, as has been said; if he be absolute lord of his own person and possessions, equal to the greatest, and subject to no body, why will he part with his freedom?
Locke quotes
New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.
Locke John
A young man before he leaves the shelter of his father's house, and the guard of a tutor, should be fortify'd with resolution, and made acquainted with men, to secure his virtues, lest he should be led into some ruinous course, or fatal precipice, before he is sufficiently acquainted with the dangers of conversation, and his steadiness enough not to yield to every temptation.
Locke John quotes
There is no virtue they should be excited to, nor fault they should be kept from, which I do not think they may be convinced of; but it must be by such reasons as their age and understandings are capable of, and those propos'd always in very few and plain words.
John Locke
In the world of thought, it was a political philosophy which made rights the foundation of the social order, and which considered the discharge of obligations, when it considered it at all, as emerging by an inevitable process from their free exercise. The first famous exponent of this philosophy was Locke, in whom the dominant conception is the indefeasibility of private rights, not the pre-ordained harmony between private rights and public welfare.
John Locke quotes
To teach him betimes to love and be good-natur'd to others, is to lay early the true foundation of an honest man; all injustice generally springing from too great love of ourselves and too little of others.
John Locke
Covetousness, and the desire of having in our possession, and under our dominion, more than we have need of, being the root of all evil, should be early and carefully weeded out, and the contrary quality of a readiness to impart to others, implanted. This should be encourag'd by great commendation and credit, and constantly taking care that he loses nothing by his liberality.
Locke John
Children should not be suffer'd to lose the consideration of human nature in the shufflings of outward conditions. The more they have, the better humor'd they should be taught to be, and the more compassionate and gentle to those of their brethren who are placed lower, and have scantier portions. If they are suffer'd from their cradles to treat men ill and rudely, because, by their father's title, they think they have a little power over them, at best it is ill-bred; and if care be not taken, will by degrees nurse up their natural pride into an habitual contempt of those beneath them. And where will that probably end but in oppression and cruelty?


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