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John Locke (1632 – 1704)


Influential English philosopher and social contract theorist.
John Locke
Since sounds have no natural connection with our ideas ... the doubtfulness and uncertainty of their signification ... has its cause more in the ideas they stand for than in any incapacity there is in one sound more than another to signify any idea.
Locke quotes
All the entertainment and talk of history is nothing almost but fighting and killing: and the honour and renown that is bestowed on conquerers (who for the most part are but the great butchers of mankind) farther mislead growing youth, who by this means come to think slaughter the laudible business of mankind, and the most heroick of virtues. By these steps unnatural cruelty is planted in us; and what humanity abhors, custom reconciles and recommends to us, by laying it in the way to honour. Thus, by fashioning and opinion, that comes to be a pleasure, which in itself neither is, nor can be any.
Locke
They should always be heard, and fairly and kindly answer'd, when they ask after any thing they would know, and desire to be informed about. Curiosity should be as carefully cherish'd in children, as other appetites suppress'd.




Locke John quotes
He [Jesus] not only forbids actual uncleanness, but all irregular desires, upon pain of hell-fire ; causeless divorces ; swearing in conversation, as well as forswearing in judgment; revenge ; retaliation ; ostentation of charity, of devotion, and of fasting ; repetitions in prayer, covetousness, worldly care, censoriousness : and on the other side commands loving our enemies, doing good to those that hate us, blessing those that curse us, praying for those that despitefully use us ; patience and meekness under injuries, forgiveness, liberality, compassion : and closes all; his particular injunctions, with this general golden rule, Matt. VII. 12, "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do you even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets." And to show how much He is in earnest, and expects obedience to these laws, He tells them, Luke VI. 35, That if they obey, " great shall be their reward".
Locke John
The softer you find your child is, the more you are to seek occasions, at fit times, thus to harden him. The great art in this is, to begin with what is but very little painful, and to proceed by insensible degrees, when you are playing, and in good humour with him, and speaking well of him: and when you have once got him to think himself made amends for his suffering by the praise is given him for his courage; when he can take pride in giving such marks of his manliness, and can prefer the reputation of being brave and stout, to the avoiding a little pain, or the shrinking under it; you need nor despair in time and by the assistance of his growing reason, to master his timorousness, and mend the weakness of his constitution.
John Locke quotes
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.
John Locke
Religion, which should most distinguish us from the beasts, and ought most particularly elevate us, as rational creatures, above brutes, is that wherein men often appear most irrational, and more senseless than beasts.
Locke John quotes
Inuring children gently to suffer some degrees of pain without shrinking, is a way to gain firmness to their minds, and lay a foundation for courage and resolution in the future part of their lives.
Locke
The reservedness and distance that fathers keep, often deprive their sons of that refuge which would be of more advantage to them than an hundred rebukes or chidings.
Locke John
Beating is the worst, and therefore the last means to be us'd in the correction of children, and that only in the cases of extremity, after all gently ways have been try'd, and proved unsuccessful; which, if well observ'd, there will very seldom be any need of blows.
John Locke
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 laws, where there is no law there is no freedom.




John Locke quotes
For if it be asked what security, what fence is there in such a state against the violence and oppression of this absolute ruler, the very question can scarce be borne. They are ready to tell you that it deserves death only to ask after safety. Betwixt subject and subject, they will grant, there must be measures, laws, and judges for their mutual peace and security. But as for the ruler, he ought to be absolute, and is above all such circumstances; because he has a power to do more hurt and wrong, it is right when he does it. To ask how you may be guarded from or injury on that side, where the strongest hand is to do it, is presently the voice of faction and rebellion. As if when men, quitting the state of Nature, entered into society, they agreed that all of them but one should be under the restraint of laws; but that he should still retain all the liberty of the state of Nature, increased with power, and made licentious by impunity. This is to think that men are so foolish that they take care to avoid what mischiefs may be done them by polecats or foxes, but are content, nay, think it safety, to be devoured by lions.
John Locke
Begin therefore betimes nicely to observe your son's temper; and that, when he is under least restraint, in his play, and as he thinks out of your sight. See what are his predominate passions and prevailing inclinations; whether he be fierce or mild, bold or bashful, compassionate or cruel open or reserv'd, &c. For as these are different in him, so are your methods to be different, and your authority must hence take measures to apply itself different ways to him. These native propensities, these prevalencies of constitution, are not to be cur'd by rules, or a direct contest, especially those of them that are the humbler or meaner sort, which proceed from fear, and lowness of spirit: though with art they may be much mended, and turn'd to good purposes. But this be sure, after all is done, the bypass will always hang on that side that nature first plac'd it: And if you carefully observe the characters of his mind, now in the first scenes of his life, you will ever after be able to judge which way his thoughts lean, and what he aims at even hereafter, when, as he grows up, the plot thickens, and he puts on several shapes to act it.
Locke quotes
He that would seriously set upon the search of truth, ought in the first place to prepare his mind with a love of it. For he that loves it not, will not take much pains to get it; nor be much concerned when he misses it. There is nobody in the commonwealth of learning who does not profess himself a lover of truth: and there is not a rational creature that would not take it amiss to be thought otherwise of. And yet, for all this, one may truly say, that there are very few lovers of truth, for truth's sake, even amongst those who persuade themselves that they are so. How a man may know whether he be so in earnest, is worth inquiry: and I think there is one unerring mark of it, viz. The not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant. Whoever goes beyond this measure of assent, it is plain receives not the truth in the love of it; loves not truth for truth's sake, but for some other bye-end.
Locke John
I do not say this, that I think there should be no difference of opinions in conversation, nor opposition in men's discourses... 'Tis not the owning one's dissent from another, that I speak against, but the manner of doing it.
Locke John quotes
When by these steps he has got resolution enough not to be deterr'd from what he ought to do, by the apprehension of danger; when fear does not, in sudden or hazardous occurrences, decompose his mind, set his body a-trembling, and make him unfit for action, or run away from it, he has then the courage of a rational creature: and such an hardiness we should endeavour by custom and use to bring children to, as proper occasions come in our way.
John Locke
Truly, if the preservation of all mankind, as much as in him lies, were every one's persuasion, as indeed it is every one's duty, and the true principle to regulate our religion, politicks and morality by, the world would be much quieter, and better natur'd than it is.
John Locke quotes
Mark what 'tis his mind aims at in the question, and not what words he expresses it in: and when you have informed and satisfied him in that, you shall see how his thoughts will enlarge themselves, and how by fit answers he may be led on farther than perhaps you could have imagine. For knowledge is grateful to the understanding, as light to the eyes.
John Locke
The beauty or uncomeliness of many things, in good and ill breeding, will be better learnt, and make deeper impressions on them, in the examples of others, than from any rules or instructions can be given about them.
Locke John
That which parents should take care of... is to distinguish between the wants of fancy, and those of nature.


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