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John Locke (1632 - 1704)

Quotes from John Locke ...

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


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.


As people are walking all the time, in the same spot, a path appears.


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


Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.


Government has no other end, but the preservation of property.


I attribute the little I know to my not having been ashamed to ask for information, and to my rule of conversing with all descriptions of men on those topics that form their own peculiar professions and pursuits.


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


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


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


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.


Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.


Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.


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.


The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others.


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


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


There is frequently more to be learned 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.


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.


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.


We should have a great fewer disputes in the world if words were taken for what they are, the signs of our ideas only, and not for things themselves.


What worries you, masters you.


To understand political power aright, and derive it from its original, we must consider what estate all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom.


[T]hough the earth and all inferior creatures be common to all men, yet every man has a “property” in his own “person.” This nobody has any right to but himself. The “labour” of his body and the “work” of his hands, we may say, are properly his.


Freedom of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to everyone 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.


And reason ... teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.


Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.


Government has no other end than the preservation of property.


Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence.


Reading furnishes the mind only with materials for knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.


The people cannot delegate to government the power to do anything which would be unlawful for them to do themselves.