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ON THE CONDUCT OF
BY JOHN LOCKE, GENT.
CONDUCT OF THE UNDERSTANDING.
Quid tam temerarium tamque inclignum sapientis gravi. tate atque constantia, quam aut falsum sentire, aut quod non satis explorate perceptum sit et cognitum sine ulla dubitatione defendere ? Cic. de Natura Deorum. lib. 1.
§ 1. Introduction. The last resort a man has recourse to in the conduct of himself, is his understanding : for though we distinguish the faculties of the mind, and give the supreme command to the will, as to an agent; yet the truth is, the man who is the agent determines himself to this or that voluntary action, upon some precedent knowledge, or appearance of knowledge in the underst. ' lg
No man ever sets himself about any thing but upon some view or other, which serves him for a reason for what he does : and whatsoever faculties he employs, the understanding with such light as it has, well or ill informed, constantly leads; and by that light, true or false, all his operative powers are directed. The will itself, how absolute and uncontrollable soever it may be thought, never fails in its obedience to the dictates of the understanding. Tem