John Locke "Conduct of Understanding

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Category: Philosophy and Psychology

Date Submitted: 11/25/2012 07:14 AM

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First Year Seminar

Essay Questions for Essay #2

Assigned: Friday, September 28, 2012

Due: Monday, October 8th, 2012 at 9:00 am SHARP

Length: 1000-1200 words

1. “Those who live thus mewed up within their own contracted territories and will not look abroad beyond the boundaries that chance, conceit or laziness has set to their enquiries, but live separate from the notions, discourses and attainments of the rest of mankind, may not amiss be represented by the inhabitants of the Mariana Islands” (Locke “Conduct of the Understanding” p. 3). Discuss.

And it is easy to perceive that men are guilty of a great many faults in the exercise and improvement of this faculty of the mind which hinder them in their progress and keep them in ignorance and error all their lives.

We are all shortsighted and very often see but one side of a matter; our views are not extended to all that has a connection with it. From this defect I think no man is free. We see but in part and we know but in part, and therefore it is no wonder we conclude not right from our partial views.

within that they confine themselves and are dexterous managers enough of the wares and products of that corner with which they content themselves, but will not venture out into the great ocean of knowledge to surveys the riches that nature has stored other parts with, no less genuine, no less solid, no less useful than what has fallen to their lot in the admired plenty and sufficiency of their own little spot, which to them contains whatsoever is good in the universe.

, yet in the want and ignorance of almost all things they looked upon themselves, even after that the Spaniards had brought amongst them the notice of variety of nations abounding in sciences, arts and conveniences of life of which they knew nothing, they looked upon themselves, I say, as the happiest and wisest people of the universe. But for all that, nobody, I think, will imagine them deep naturalists or solid metaphysicians;...