"An Essay on Human Understanding"

Dretzle March 26, 2010 User blog:Dretzle

Author - Philosopher John Locke Book 1 - Neither Principles nor Ideas Are Innate

"It is an established opinion amongst some men, that there are in the understanding certain innate principles; some primary notions, koinai ennoiai, characters, as it were stamped upon the mind of man: which the sould receives in its very first being, and brings into the world with it. It would be sufficient to convince unprejudiced readers of the falseness of this supposition..."

I thought that, since Jacob and MiB's "debate" over the nature of man has been given more light recently, in this season and in Ab Aeterno, if these words have been examined before, we could consider them once more.

John Locke, the real life Philosopher, not the character, wrote the above. I've only got a few pages in, but he's making the argument here that principles and morals are not innate to man. He's not saying they don't exist or even that they're not universal, but that we must learn (and cultivate) them.

I thought this was interesting given Jacob and MiB's debate, especially given who MiB became, Locke, the character that was named after a philosopher that seemed to have similar feelings at MiB.

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