more from John Locke

Single Idea 16637

[catalogued under 12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 4. Pro-Empiricism]

Full Idea

The simple ideas we receive from sensation and reflection are the boundaries of our thoughts; beyond which the mind, whatever efforts it would make, is not able to advance one jot.

Gist of Idea

The absolute boundaries of our thought are the ideas we get from senses and the mind


John Locke (Essay Conc Human Understanding (2nd Ed) [1694], 2.23.29), quoted by Robert Pasnau - Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671 09.3

Book Reference

Pasnau,Robert: 'Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671' [OUP 2011], p.175

A Reaction

My view is that this is wrong, simply because it takes no account of inference to the best explanation. We reach the boundaries of experience, and then we think about it, and penetrate beyond. His 'reflection' doesn't seem to mean that.