Talk:John Locke

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Update of date of letter containing quote[edit]

"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." is attributed to "Letter to Anthony Collins (30 October 1703)." In fact, it would appear this quote is from a letter the day earlier, as found on page 270 of The Works of John Locke, vol. 9 (link to PDF version).

Should this be updated to reflect the actual date of the letter? I cannot find any letter from October 30—only from the 29th.

  • I agree. Well researched; I thank you. I have made the appropriate changes to the page. IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 19:48, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

Deletion of erroneous quote[edit]

One of the sourced quotes for Locke was the following:

"This primitive accumulation plays in Political Economy about the same part as original sin in theology. Adam bit the apple, and thereupon sin fell on the human race. Its origin is supposed to be explained when it is told as an anecdote of the past. In times long gone-by there were two sorts of people; one, the diligent, intelligent, and, above all, frugal elite; the other, lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living. ... Such insipid childishness is every day preached to us in the defence of property. ... In actual history it is notorious that conquest, enslavement, robbery, murder, briefly force, play the great part."

This was mentioned as being in Karl Marx, Capital, vol.I, ch.26. This, however, was not Marx quoting Locke, as can be seen from the following document:

In short, the quote was by Marx himself and not Locke. Therefore I have deleted it from the article on Locke quotes. InvisibleSun 12:35, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Excellent work! It might get re-added under "misattributed" if there can be found evidence of wide attribution of that quote to Locke. In that case, especially, the information above would prove useful. Thanks ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 13:15, 30 September 2005 (UTC)


I'm trying to source this quote found at the end of the article on randomness:

"That which is static and repetitive is boring. That which is dynamic and random is confusing. In between lies art." —John A. Locke

I have not been able to find it in all his texts available online. thank you.

  • I had the same experience several months ago when I was going through the attributed Locke quotes, finding the ones that could be sourced and discovering one that was misattributed. I feel positive that this quote is not Locke. Not only doesn't it sound like him, it doesn't sound as if it could have been from anyone in the seventeenth century. Did the word "dynamic" exist then? Even the word "boring" doesn't sound right; it would far more likely have been "tedious" or "wearisome." I would be surprised if the quote was made any earlier than the twentieth century. The closest to finding anything like it online was the following quote, said to be from Wendy Carlos' liner notes to "Switched-On Bach" (2000):

    "1. Every parameter that you can control, you must control.
    2. What is full of redundancy or formula is predictably boring. What is free of all structure or discipline is randomly boring. In between lies art.
    3. If you find that a worthwhile task requires much more work to do really well than you ever dreamed, you're probably doing it correctly. If you make it look easy, you're definitely doing it correctly."

    The sentences which I have italicized here have a certain resemblance to the attributed Locke quote; but it's far from an exact resemblance.

    The problem with attributed quotes, as seen in this example, is that you can only get rid of them if you can find a source for them. If not, then they remain as attributed quotes. I suspect that "John A. Locke" is a different person from John Locke. The next time I'll be visiting a local university library (probably some time this week), I'm going to see if I can find out whether there isn't another John Locke; and if so, whether they have anything by him in which the quote may be found. InvisibleSun 17:48, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

(Considering the word "dynamic" comes from "dynamo," a term arising out of the Industrial Revolution, it is impossible that dynamic was used there. Good show InvisibleSun.)

    • Update: quote placed in Misattributed section along with reasons for placing it there. InvisibleSun 02:20, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
  • I found one reference for this quote to "John A. Dix", but it doesn't sound military enough. I also found several persons named John A. Locke, one a recent Massachusetts congressman (b. 1952) and one an actor (b. 1957 per IMDB). I can't find any body of material from either of them, but it seems likely that this actually came from one of those gentlemen.Vanhorn

I've never seen a Wikipedia page treated like a blog or forum before.


Why does the below quote act as the caption for a painting of Jesus? The quote is from a work called An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, for which the work's own lede says: "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding is a work by John Locke concerning the foundation of human knowledge and understanding." This does not seem to sound particularly religious.

Also, I have a format question. The captioned quote begins with a capital letter instead of an ellipsis or another device to indicate that it's not a complete sentence. Is that WP style?

Quote: "There is reason to think, that, if men were better instructed themselves, they would be less imposing on others."

Thank you, Wordreader (talk) 07:00, 23 June 2016 (UTC)