Essay On Human Understanding

opens with two letters, the first of which is to the book's dedicatee, Thomas Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, a leading English politician of his day.

The second addresses the reader directly, and offers a defense of the book and its arguments from various perspectives.

Nonetheless, he insists that reason—not tradition, popular opinion, or wishful thinking—must be the basic standard for those who seek truth.

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Essay On Human Understanding Mla Comparative Essay

The Essay was highly influential and its rendering of empiricism would become the standard for subsequent theorists.Locke concludes the with an investigation of the nature of knowledge, which he defines as an awareness of the relationships among ideas.He maintains that human knowledge is extremely limited, and that many things called "knowledge" are really belief or conjecture.The term "probability," in contrast, refers to things established as merely to be true, even if the likelihood is very high.For example, Locke regards it as probable, but not totally certain, that Julius Caesar won the Roman Civil War.Locke next discusses the relationship between language and experience. Carefulness with language is essential, Locke maintains, because an idea can be inaccurately communicated to others even if it is clear to the individual.The opposite sometimes happens as well, especially in religious and philosophical debates: people use a word without having a clear and distinct idea of what it means.Locke is unconvinced by the idea that names reflect the true essence of things.Instead, he asserts, words reflect people's attempts to group things together based on their similar traits.This goes even for the most fundamental principles of reasoning, including principles (i.e., assertions about how to behave).Locke now presents his own theories regarding ideas: what they are, how they are acquired, and how they relate to reality.


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