4 February 2013
An Analysis of Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
Primarily published by John Locke in late 1689, Essay Concerning Human Understanding is a significant, influential piece of work that will forever be cherished. Locke’s lengthy essay provides his readers with an extremely detailed theory of the power of knowledge. He begins by discussing the basics and then gradually works his way up to the more meticulous side of things. Locke’s primary focus is set on explaining the birth of one’s knowledge and how we can only gain this through experience and observation. In this essay, I will offer my own, personal interpretation and response of the lessons, ideas, and devices that Locke communicates through his essay.
It is tremendously evident that Locke’s essay is relatively the most influential work ever composed. He begins by stating the relationship of principles versus ideas, including that one’s identity is farthest from being innate. His main strategy focuses on principles that serve as best candidates that allow us to experience life to its extent. For example, “Whatever is is; nothing can be and not be simultaneously,” is a universally known doctrine by Locke. This statement is truly powerful. In other words, whatever happens, happens. Build yourself a bridge, cross it, and move forward.
Locke clarifies that his “Treatise” is composed of things that he is definitely persuaded by. He claims that he is “liable to make just as many mistakes as the person reading.” With this, he says that if one does not gain anything from his writings, to not blame him. His objective is to enlighten his writers (mainly his friends) and offer them insight through his essay. Another crucial idea Locke presents is that not everything in this world is universally agreed on. He states, “it is not one simple view of it that will gain it admittance into every understanding or fix it there with a clear and lasting...