more from John Locke

Single Idea 15997

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 1. Nature]

Full Idea

As to a perfect science of natural bodies (not to mention spiritual beings) we are, I think, so far from being capable of any such thing, that I conclude it lost labour to seek after it.

Gist of Idea

We are so far from understanding the workings of natural bodies that it is pointless to even try


John Locke (Essay Conc Human Understanding (2nd Ed) [1694], 4.03.28)

Book Reference

Locke,John: 'Essay Concerning Human Understanding', ed/tr. Nidditch,P.H. [OUP 1979], p.560

A Reaction

It seems to me that Locke has an excellent grasp of the nature of science, except for his extraordinary and misjudged pessimism about what it might achieve.