Friday, August 17, 2007

life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

John Locke "no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions".

In An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. 1690. Locke defines the self as “that conscious thinking thing, (whatever substance, made up of whether spiritual, or material, simple, or compounded, it matters not) which is sensible, or conscious of pleasure and pain, capable of happiness or misery, and so is concerned for itself, as far as that consciousness extends,” but Locke does not ignore the “substance.” He writes “the body too goes to the making the man." The Lockean self is therefore a self-aware, self-reflective consciousness that is fixed in a body. In his Essay, Locke explains the gradual unfolding of this conscious mind. Arguing against both the Augustinian view of man as originally sinful and the Cartesian position which holds that man innately knows basic logical propositions, Locke posits an “empty” mind—a tabula rasa—that is shaped by experience; sensations and reflections being the two sources of all our ideas. (Wikipedia)

Which also gives us the responsability of being modest and regularly re-evaluate our reflections. Ideas are just ideas. Lets remain open to other bright ideas, adapt ideas to new conditions and knowledge. Lets be brave but not fanatical. Lets not defend ideas at all costs just for the sake of convincing ourselves that we're right and not lost in this world. This is what i try to tell myself every day. (me)

Did anyone read his Essay Concerning Toleration (1667)?

No comments: