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A collection of sayings and quotes by John Locke on thinking, actions, knowledge, interpretations, reading, truth, and equality.

38 Thought-Provoking Quotes By John Locke, The Father Of Liberalism

Quick Facts

Famous As: Father of Classical Liberalism

Born On: August 29, 1632

Died On: October 28, 1704

Born In: Wrington, Somerset, England

Died At Age: 72

John Locke, also known as the “Father of Liberalism”, was an English physician and philosopher. In the Age of Enlightenment, he held the reputation of being one of most influential and prominent thinkers. He was the prime mover in the development of political philosophy and Epistemology, the branch of science dealing with the theory of knowledge. His work influenced several prodigies such as Jean-Jacque Rousseau and Voltaire. His theories have been inculcated in the United States Declaration of Independence. Locke’s theories have been described in detail in his novels ‘Two Treatises of Government’, ‘An Essay Concerning Human Understanding’ and ‘Some Thoughts Concerning Education’; apart from the other posthumous manuscripts. He was an ardent believer of the fact that education is the beginning of the journey of a gentleman but reading and company must finish him. His philosophy and theories are reflected in his work and over centuries have been quoted extensively. Zoom through some famous sayings, thoughts and quotes by John Locke on  on thinking, actions, knowledge, interpretations, reading, truth, humor, equality, defense, liberty, independence, courage, money, philosophy, life and belief.

Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.

John Locke

I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.

John Locke

New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not common.

John Locke

The only defense against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.

John Locke

We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us.

John Locke

To love truth for truth's sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues.

John Locke

Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves poison the fountain.

John Locke

Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.

John Locke

Revolt is the right of the people

John Locke

Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.

John Locke

No man's knowledge here can go beyond his experience.

John Locke

How long have you been holding those words in your head, hoping to use them?

John Locke

There is frequently more to be learned from the unexpected questions of a child than the discourses of men.

John Locke

Success in fighting means not coming at your opponent the way he wants to fight you.

John Locke

To prejudge other men's notions before we have looked into them is not to show their darkness but to put out our own eyes.

John Locke

Our Business here is not to know all things, but those which concern our conduct.

John Locke

All wealth is the product of labor.

John Locke

What worries you, masters you.

John Locke

Reverie is when ideas float in our mind without reflection or regard of the understanding.

John Locke

One unerring mark of the love of truth is not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant.

John Locke

Fortitude is the guard and support of the other virtues.

John Locke

In transgressing the law of nature, the offender declares himself to live by another rule than that of reason and common equity" Ch.2, 8

John Locke

New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.

John Locke

I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and let it out completely, along with my soul.

John Locke

Few men think, yet all will have opinions. Hence men’s opinions are superficial and confused.

John Locke

Nothing is in the intellect that was not first in the senses.

John Locke

Men being, as has been said, by nature, all free, equal and independent, no one can be put out of this estate, and subjected to the political power of another, without his own consent.

John Locke

[M]an is not permitted without censure to follow his own thoughts in the search of truth, when they lead him ever so little out of the common road.

John Locke

It is ambition enough to be employed as an under-labourer in clearing the ground a little, and removing some of the rubbish which lies in the way to knowledge.

John Locke

There are a thousand ways to Wealth, but only one way to Heaven.

John Locke

Business of man is to be happy,

John Locke

The only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.

John Locke

Beasts abstract not.

John Locke

Truths are not the better nor the worse for their obviousness or difficulty, but their value is to be measured by their usefulness and tendency.

John Locke

Methinks Sir Robert should have carried his Monarchical Power one step higher and satisfied the World, that Princes might eat their Subjects too.

John Locke

Now, I appeal to the consciences of those who persecute, wound, torture, and kill other men on the excuse of ‘religion’, whether they do this in a spirit of friendship and kindness.

John Locke