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History of pragmatics/decades 

1700s[edit | edit source]

1706 Locke[edit | edit source]

Whether it be a love of that which brings the first light and information to their minds and want of vigor and industry to enquire, or else that men content themselves with any appearance of knowledge, right or wrong, which when they have once got they will hold fast, this is visible, that many men give themselves up to the first anticipations of their minds and are very tenacious of the opinions that first possess them. They are often as fond of their first conceptions as of their first born, and will by no means recede from the judgment they have once made or any conjecture or conceit which they have once entertained. This is a fault in the conduct of the understanding, since this firmness or rather stiffness of the mind is not from an adherence to truth but a submission to prejudice. It is an unreasonable homage paid to prepossession, whereby we show a reverence not to (what we pretend to seek) truth, but what by haphazard we chance to light one be it what it will. This is visibly a preposterous use of our faculties and is a downright prostituting of the mind to resign it thus and put it under the power of the first comer. This can never be allowed or ought to be followed as a right way to knowledge, till the understanding (whose business it is to conform itself to what it finds on the objects without) can by its own opiniatrety change that and make the unalterable nature of things comply with its own hasty determinations, which will never be. Whatever we fancy, things keep their course, and their habitudes, correspondences and relations keep the same to one another.

From Anticipation

Notes[edit | edit source]