An essay concerning humane understanding microform
Locke, John, 1632-1704.


CHAP. I. Introduction.

  • 1. An Enquiry into the Vnderstan∣ding pleasant and useful.
  • 2. Design.
  • 3. Method.
  • 4. Vseful to know the extent of our Comprehension.
  • 5. Our Capacity proportioned to our State and Concerns, to discover things useful to us.
  • 6. Knowing the extent of our Capaci∣ties will hinder us from useless Cu∣riosity, Scepticism, and Idleness.
  • 7. Occasion of this Essay.
  • 8. Apology for Idea.

CHAP. II. No innate speculative Principles.

  • 1. The way shewn how we come by any Knowledge, sufficient to prove it not innate.
  • 2. General Assent the great Argu∣ment.
  • 3. Vniversal Consent proves nothing innate.
  • 4. What is, is; and, It is impossible for the same thing to be, and not to be, not universally assen∣ted to.
  • 5. Not on the Mind naturally im∣printed, because not known to Children, Idiots, &c.
  • 6, 7. That Men know them when they come to the use of Reason, answer'd.
  • 8. If Reason discovered them, that would not prove them innate.
  • 9—11. 'Tis false that Reason discovers them.
  • 12. The coming to the Vse of Reason, not the time we come to know these Maxims.
  • 13. By this, they are not distinguished from other knowable Truths.
  • 14. If coming to the use of Reason were the time of their discovery, it would not prove them innate.
  • 15, 16. The steps by which the Mind at∣tains several Truths.
  • 17. Assenting as soon as proposed and understood, proves them not in∣nate.
  • 18. If such an Assent be a mark of in∣nate, then that One and Two are equal to Three; that Sweetness is not Bitterness; and a thou∣sand the like must be innate.
  • 19. Such less general Propositions known before these universal Maxims.
  • 20. One and One, equal to Two, &c. not general nor useful, answered.
  • 21. These Maxims not being known sometimes till proposed, proves them not innate.
  • 22. Implicitly known before proposing, signifies that the Mind is capable of understanding them, or else signifies nothing.
  • 23. The Argument of assenting on first hearing, is upon a false supposi∣tion of no precedent teaching.
  • 24. Not innate, because not universally assented to.
  • 25. These Maxims not the first known.
  • 26. And so not innate.
  • Page  [unnumbered]27. Not innate, because they appear least, where what is innate shews it self clearest.
  • 28. Recapitulation.

CHAP. III. No innate practical Principles.

  • 1. No moral Principles so clear and so generally received, as the forementioned speculative Ma∣xims.
  • 2. Faith and Iustice not owned as Principles by all Men.
  • 3. Obj. Though Men deny them in their Practice, yet they admit them in their Thoughts, answered.
  • 4. Moral Rules need a Proof, ergo not innate.
  • 5. Instance in keeping Compacts.
  • 6. Vertue generally approved, not be∣cause innate, but because profi∣table.
  • 7. Men's Actions convince us, that the Rule of Vertue is not their internal Principle.
  • 8. Conscience no proof of any innate Moral Rule.
  • 9. Instances of Enormities practised without remorse.
  • 10. Men have contrary practical Prin∣ciples.
  • 11—13. Whole Nations reject several Mo∣ral Rules.
  • 14. Those who maintain innate practi∣cal Principles, tell us not what they are.
  • 15—19. Lord Herbert's innate Principles examined.
  • 20. Obj. Innate Principles may be cor∣rupted, answered.
  • 21. Contrary Principles in the World.
  • 22—26. How men commonly come by their Principles.
  • 27. Principles must be examined.

CHAP. IV. Other Considerations about innate Prin∣ciples, both Speculative and Practical.

  • 1. Principles not innate, unless their Ideas be innate.
  • 2, 3. Ideas, especially those belonging to Principles, not born with Chil∣dren.
  • 4, 5. Identity an Idea not innate.
  • 6. Whole and Part not innate Ideas.
  • 7. Idea of Worship not innate.
  • 8—11. Idea of GOD not innate.
  • 12. Suitable to GOD's Goodness, that all Men should have an Idea of Him, therefore naturally imprin∣ted by Him; answered.
  • 13—16. Ideas of GOD various in diffe∣rent Men.
  • 17. If the Idea of GOD be not innate, no other can be supposed innate.
  • 18. Idea of Substance not innate.
  • 19. No Propositions can be innate, since Ideas are innate.
  • 20. Principles not innate, because of little use, or little certainty.
  • 21. Difference of Men's Discoveries depends upon the different appli∣cation of their Faculties.
  • 22. Men must think and know for them∣selves.
  • 23. Whence the Opinion of innate Prin∣ciples.
  • 24. Conclusion.