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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index L > John Locke Quotes > Thinking

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John Locke
(29 Aug 1632 - 28 Oct 1704)

English philosopher, physician and philosopher who was the most important philosopher during the Age of Reason.


John Locke Quotes on Thinking (5 quotes)

>> Click for 55 Science Quotes by John Locke

>> Click for John Locke Quotes on | Idea | Knowledge | Mind | Reason | Truth | Understanding |

Every Man being conscious to himself, That he thinks, and that which his Mind is employ'd about whilst thinking, being the Ideas, that are there, 'tis past doubt, that Men have in their Minds several Ideas, such as are those expressed by the words, Whiteness, Hardness, Sweetness, Thinking, Motion, Man, Elephant, Army, Drunkenness, and others: It is in the first place then to be inquired, How he comes by them? I know it is a received Doctrine, That Men have native Ideas, and original Characters stamped upon their Minds, in their very first Being.
— John Locke
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Edited by Peter Nidditch (1975), Book 2, Chapter 1, Section 1, 104.
Science quotes on:  |  Army (35)  |  Being (1276)  |  Character (259)  |  Consciousness (132)  |  Doctrine (81)  |  Doubt (314)  |  Elephant (35)  |  Employ (115)  |  Express (192)  |  First (1302)  |  Himself (461)  |  Idea (881)  |  Know (1538)  |  Man (2252)  |  Mind (1377)  |  Motion (320)  |  Native (41)  |  Other (2233)  |  Past (355)  |  Stamp (36)  |  Sweetness (12)  |  Think (1122)  |  Thinking (425)  |  Word (650)

If, then, there must be something eternal, let us see what sort of Being it must be. And to that it is very obvious to Reason, that it must necessarily be a cogitative Being. For it is as impossible to conceive that ever bare incogitative Matter should produce a thinking intelligent Being, as that nothing should of itself produce Matter...
— John Locke
In Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690, 1801), Book 4, Chap. 10, Sec. 10, 114.
Science quotes on:  |  Bare (33)  |  Being (1276)  |  Conceive (100)  |  Eternal (113)  |  Impossible (263)  |  Intelligent (108)  |  Matter (821)  |  Must (1525)  |  Necessarily (137)  |  Nothing (1000)  |  Obvious (128)  |  Produce (117)  |  Reason (766)  |  See (1094)  |  Something (718)  |  Thinking (425)

Let us then suppose the Mind to be, as we say, white Paper, void of all Characters, without any Ideas; How comes it to be furnished? Whence comes it by that vast store, which the busy and boundless Fancy of Man has painted on it, with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of Reason and Knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from Experience: In that, all our Knowledge is founded; and from that it ultimately derives it self. Our Observation employ’d either about external, sensible Objects; or about the internal Operations of our Minds, perceived and reflected on by our selves, is that, which supplies our Understandings with all the materials of thinking.
— John Locke
In 'Of Ideas in general, and their Original', An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), Book 2, Chap. 1, Sec. 2, 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (389)  |  Boundless (28)  |  Character (259)  |  Derive (70)  |  Employ (115)  |  Endless (60)  |  Experience (494)  |  Fancy (50)  |  Furnish (97)  |  Idea (881)  |  Internal (69)  |  Knowledge (1647)  |  Man (2252)  |  Material (366)  |  Mind (1377)  |  Object (438)  |  Observation (593)  |  Operation (221)  |  Operations (107)  |  Paper (192)  |  Reason (766)  |  Say (989)  |  Self (268)  |  Store (49)  |  Suppose (158)  |  Thinking (425)  |  Ultimately (56)  |  Understanding (527)  |  Variety (138)  |  Vast (188)  |  Void (31)  |  White (132)  |  Word (650)

Nature never makes excellent things, for mean or no uses: and it is hardly to be conceived, that our infinitely wise Creator, should make so admirable a Faculty, as the power of Thinking, that Faculty which comes nearest the Excellency of his own incomprehensible Being, to be so idlely and uselesly employ’d, at least 1/4 part of its time here, as to think constantly, without remembering any of those Thoughts, without doing any good to it self or others, or being anyway useful to any other part of Creation.
— John Locke
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Edited by Peter Nidditch (1975), Book 2, Chapter 1, Section 15, 113.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1276)  |  Creation (350)  |  Creator (97)  |  Doing (277)  |  Employ (115)  |  Excellence (40)  |  Faculty (76)  |  Good (906)  |  Incomprehensible (31)  |  Mean (810)  |  Means (587)  |  Nature (2017)  |  Never (1089)  |  Other (2233)  |  Power (771)  |  Self (268)  |  Thing (1914)  |  Think (1122)  |  Thinking (425)  |  Thought (995)  |  Time (1911)  |  Understanding (527)  |  Use (771)  |  Useful (260)  |  Wise (143)

Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge, it is thinking makes what we read ours.
— John Locke
On the Conduct Of Understanding (written 1697, published posthumously 1706), collected in Works (5th Ed. 1751), Vol. 3, 387.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1647)  |  Material (366)  |  Mind (1377)  |  Read (308)  |  Reading (136)  |  Thinking (425)  |  Understanding (527)


See also:
  • 29 Aug - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Locke's birth.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
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Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
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Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
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Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
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- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
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Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
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- 60 -
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Martin Fischer
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Karl Popper
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James Watson
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- 50 -
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Nikola Tesla
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Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
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- 30 -
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Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
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Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
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- 10 -
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Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
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