John Locke Quotes

Curiosity in children, is but an appetite for knowledge. One great reason why children abandon themselves wholly to silly pursuits and trifle away their time insipidly is, because they find their curiosity balked, and their inquires neglected.
John Locke
A sound mind in a sound body is a short but full description of a happy state in this world.
John Locke (Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1693)
Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.
John Locke
Logic is the anatomy of thought.
John Locke
I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.
Variant: The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book I, 1689)
The dread of evil is a much more forcible principle of human actions than the prospect of good.
John Locke
Our incomes are like our shoes; if too small, they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and to trip.
John Locke
But there is only one thing which gathers people into seditious commotion, and that is oppression.
John Locke (A Letter Concerning Toleration, 1689)
The thought that come often unsought, and, as it were, drop into the mind, are commonly the most valuable of any we have.
John Locke
We are a kind of chameleons, taking our hue – the hue of our moral character, from those who are about us.
John Locke
There cannot any one moral Rule be proposed, whereof a Man may not justly demand a Reason.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book I, 1689)
Reverie is when ideas float in our mind without reflection or regard of the understanding.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book I, 1689)
The only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.
John Locke (Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1693)
Where all is but dream, reasoning and arguments are of no use, truth and knowledge nothing
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book IV, 1689)
The necessity of believing without knowledge, nay often upon very slight grounds, in this fleeting state of action and blindness we are in, should make us more busy and careful to inform ourselves than constrain others.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book IV, 1689)
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.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book III, 1689)
All mankind... being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.
John Locke (Second Treatise of Government, 1689)
It is one thing to show a man that he is in an error, and another to put him in possession of the truth.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book IV, 1689)
What worries you, masters you.
John Locke
He that will have his son have a respect for him and his orders, must himself have a great reverence for his son.
John Locke (Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1693)
The imagination is always restless and suggests a variety of thoughts, and the will, reason being laid aside, is ready for every extravagant project... 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.
John Locke (First Treatise of Government, 1689)
A dreamer lives forever, and a toiler dies in a day.
John Locke
There is frequently more to be learned form the unexpected questions of a child than the discourses of men.
John Locke (Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1693)
Our deeds disguise us. People need endless time to try on their deeds, until each knows the proper deeds for him to do. But every day, every hour, rushes by. There is no time.
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.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book IV, 1689)
The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, 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.
John Locke (Second Treatise of Government, 1689)
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 (Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1693)
Virtue is harder to be got than knowledge of the world; and, if lost in a young man, is seldom recovered.
John Locke (Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1693)
Vague and mysterious forms of speech, and abuse of language, have so long passed for mysteries of science; and hard or misapplied words with little or no meaning have, by prescription, such a right to be mistaken for deep learning and height of speculation, that it will not be easy to persuade either those who speak or those who hear them, that they are but the covers of ignorance and hindrance of true knowledge. 
John Locke
No man’s knowledge here can go beyond his experience.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book II, 1689)
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.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book IV, 1689)
Freedom of Nature is, to be under no other restraint but the Law of Nature.
John Locke (Two Treatises of Government, 1689)
He that judges without informing himself to the utmost that he is capable, cannot acquit himself of judging amiss.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book II, 1689)
Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.
John Locke (Quoted in The Common School Journal, 1843)
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.
John Locke
The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.
John Locke (Two Treatises of Government, 1689)
Fortitude is the guard and support of the other virtues.
John Locke (Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1693)
He that uses his words loosely and unsteadily will either not be minded or not understood.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book III, 1689)
The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property.
John Locke (Second Treatise of Government, 1689)
The discipline of desire is the background of character.
John Locke
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book I, 1689)
Till a man can judge whether they be truths or not, his understanding is but little improved, and thus men of much reading, though greatly learned, but may be little knowing.
John Locke
All wealth is the product of labor.
John Locke
Whensoever therefore the legislative shall transgress this fundamental rule of society; and either by ambition, fear, folly or corruption, endeavour to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people; by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty, and, by the establishment of a new legislative, (such as they shall think fit) provide for their own safety and security, which is the end for which they are in society.
John Locke (Two Treatises of Government, 1689)
False and doubtful positions, relied upon as unquestionable maxims, keep those who build on them in the dark from truth.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book IV, 1689)
Earthly minds, like mud walls, resist the strongest batteries; and though, perhaps, somethimes the force of a clear argument may make some impression, yet they nevertheless stand firm, keep out the enemy, truth, that would captivate or disturbe them.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book IV, 1689)
There are very few lovers of truth, for truth's sake, even amongst those who persuade themselves that they are so. 
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book IV, 1689)
A criminal who, having renounced reason ... hath, by the unjust violence and slaughter he hath committed upon one, declared war against all mankind, and therefore may be destroyed as a lion or tyger, one of those wild savage beasts with whom men can have no society nor security.
John Locke (Two Treatises of Government, 1689)
All men are liable to error; and most men are, in many points, by passion or interest, under temptation to it.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book IV, 1689)
Habits wear more constantly and with greatest force than reason, which, when we have most need of it, is seldom fairly consulted, and more rarely obeyed.
John Locke
The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others.
John Locke (Some Thoughts Concerning Reading and Study for a Gentleman)
If any man err from the right way, it is his own misfortune, no injury to thee; nor therefore art thou to punish him in the things of this life because thou supposest he will be miserable in that which is to come.
John Locke (A Letter Concerning Toleration, 1689)
Fashion for the most part is nothing but the ostentation of riches.
John Locke (Some Considerations of the Lowering of Interest and Raising the Value of Money)
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.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Book IV, 1689)
There cannot be greater rudeness than to interrupt another in the current of his discourse.
John Locke (Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1693)
New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not common.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1689)
Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.
John Locke
To love truth for truth's sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues.
John Locke (Letter to Anthony Collins, 1703)
Liberty is to be free from restraint and violence from others.
John Locke
I find every sect, as far as reason will help them, make us of it gladly; and where it fails them, they cry out, It is a matter of faith, and above reason.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1689)

John Locke Biography

Born: August 29, 1632
Died: October 28, 1704

John Locke was an great English philosopher and is regarded as one of the most influential enlightenment thinkers.

Notable Works

Letters Concerning Toleration (1689 - 1692)
Two Treatises of Government (1689)
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
(1690)
Some Thoughts Concerning Education
(1693)
The Reasonableness of Christianity
(1695)
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