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Locke, Essay - An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Book...

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An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Book IV: Knowledge John Locke Copyright © 2010–2015 All rights reserved. Jonathan Bennett [ Brackets ] enclose editorial explanations. Small · dots · enclose material that has been added, but can be read as though it were part of the original text. Occasional bullets, and also indenting of passages that are not quotations, are meant as aids to grasping the structure of a sentence or a thought. Every four-point ellipsis . . . . indicates the omission of a brief passage that seems to present more difficulty than it is worth. Longer omissions are reported on, between [brackets], in normal-sized type. First launched: July 2004 Last amended: August 2007 Contents Chapter i: Knowledge in general 196 Chapter ii: The degrees of our knowledge 199 Chapter iii: The extent of human knowledge 203 Chapter iv: The reality of knowledge 216 Chapter v: Truth in general 221 Chapter vi: Universal propositions, their truth and certainty 225 Chapter vii: Maxims 231
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Essay IV John Locke Chapter viii: Trifling propositions 237 Chapter ix: Knowledge of existence 240 Chapter x: knowledge of the existence of a god 241 Chapter xi: knowledge of the existence of other things 247 Chapter xii: The improvement of our knowledge 253 Chapter xiii: Some other considerations concerning our knowledge 258 Chapter xiv: Judgment 260 Chapter xv: Probability 261 Chapter xvi: The degrees of assent 262 Chapter xvii: Reason 268 Chapter xviii: Faith and reason, and their distinct provinces 273 Chapter xix: Enthusiasm 276 Chapter xx: Wrong assent, or error 281 Chapter xxi: The division of the sciences 288
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Essay IV John Locke Chapter i: Knowledge in general Chapter i: Knowledge in general 1. Since the mind in all its thoughts and reasonings has no immediate object other than its own ideas, which are all it can contemplate, it is evident that our knowledge has to do only with them. 2. Knowledge, then, seems to me to be nothing but the perception of the connection and agreement, or disagreement and incompatibility, of any of our ideas. That is all it is. Where this perception occurs, there is knowledge; and where it doesn’t occur, we come short of knowledge —whatever we may fancy , guess , or believe . For when we know that white isn’t black , what do we perceive other than that these two ideas don’t agree? When we know with absolute demonstra- tive certainty that the three angles of a triangle are equal to two right ones , what do we do except perceive that equality to two right angles necessarily agrees to and is inseparable from the three angles of a triangle? 3. This agreement or disagreement can be better understood through noting that there are four sorts of it: Identity, or diversity. Relation. Co-existence, or necessary connection. Real existence. 4. The first sort of agreement or disagreement—namely, identity or diversity—enters into the act of the mind when it first has any views or ideas at all. What it does then is to perceive its ideas; and so far as it perceives them it knows each to be what it is, and thus also to perceive their
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