Essay Concerning Human Understanding Summary Epistle Reader

Personal Background

John Locke was never the type of philosopher content to sit in an ivory tower or think from the comfort of his armchair. He constantly forced himself into the fray of politics, religion, and science, and the late 17th century was an important time on all these fronts. In politics and religion, it was the time of the Restoration, with bloody skirmishes between crown and parliament, Pope and Anglican Church. In science it was a time of upheaval as well, as a few forward- looking men enthusiastically replaced a vague and slightly spooky Aristotelian picture of the world with a purely mechanical one, in which all of nature could be explained through the motion of matter. Locke's writings proved influential in all of these areas, furthering the cause of religious toleration, contractual rule, and the new mechanistic science.

John Locke was born in 1638 to a family of minor Somerset gentry. His father supplemented the income from his land by working as an attorney and a minor government official. Based on his family's good connections, Locke was able to secure entry to the Westminster School and, from there, to Oxford University. At Oxford he was subjected to Scholasticism, the Aristotelian-influenced course of study that had dominated scholarship since the Middle Ages. He quickly discovered that he had little taste for the dialectical method and the preoccupation with logical and metaphysical subtleties. Completing only the coursework he needed to get by, he turned his intellectual energies to extracurricular endeavors, specifically to politics and medicine.

While still at college Locke published three political essays, two on the topic of religious toleration (at that time he was against it, but he would soon drastically change his position) and the other on natural law theory (again, adopting a position he would later repudiate). These interests (if not the views he held in reference to those interests) would stay with him throughout his life and ultimately be the source of two of his most important works: The Two Treatises on Government and the Essay Concerning Toleration.

Locke's medical studies eventually led him to an interest in chemistry, a fascination that was soon reinforced by an acquaintance with the scientist Robert Boyle. Boyle was one of the new mechanistic scientists, developing a view called the Corpuscularian Hypothesis. According to his theory, all of nature was composed of tiny indivisible bits of matter called "corpuscles," and it was the arrangement and motion of these corpuscles that gave rise to the observable world. In Boyle's home, Locke met many of the leading figures of the new science and became a strong proponent of their views. Compared to the obscure Scholastic picture of the world he was being forced to study in his classes, the simple, intelligible model of nature that Boyle and his friends were propounding was extremely appealing to the young university student.

In 1666 Locke met Lord Ashley, soon to be Earl of Shaftesbury, and became his secretary, his physician, and his son's tutor. Locke moved from Oxford to Ashley's home in London, where he would remain for many years. While living with Ashley, Locke's many intellectual interests transformed from purely academic fascinations to practical endeavors. Ashley himself was a key advisor to King Charles II, and so Locke was afforded an insider view of the political situation, a view that left him with much to say. During this time he published the Essay Concerning Toleration, as well as several treatises on economics. His friendship with a physician named Thomas Sydeham allowed him to explore his medical interest through clinical experience. Finally, his interest in science went from the purely theoretical to the experimental, since Ashley happened to have a chemistry lab in the house. (Chemistry, believe it or not, was a fashionable hobby at the time.)

Around the year 1671 Locke began to write the Essay Concerning Human Understanding. It was his first and only attempt at epistemology. Locke spent 18 years writing the first edition of the book, and he would revise it until his death, publishing a final fifth edition posthumously. Crucial to the development of the Essay was a three year visit to France, which Locke began in 1675. While there, he read much of the work of Rene Descartes and was impressed with his anti-Scholastic, pro-new science philosophy. (Descartes himself had developed a particular version of the mechanistic science.)

When Locke finally returned to England, he found the country in a state of crisis, and his own position in it especially uncertain. Ashley had led a revolt against Charles II and, faced with charged of treason, had fled to Holland. For the next four years Locke concerned himself primarily with politics. Then, when some associates of his were discovered to be plotting the assassination of King Charles and his brother James, he too was forced to flee. It is not clear to what extent Locke himself was involved in this plot, but he must have known enough to consider himself in real personal danger. In 1683 he left for Holland. Soon after, the King asked the Dutch government to extradite Locke back to England, and the philosopher was forced to go underground.

While in exile in Holland, Locke focused his energies primarily on the Essay. In 1688 William of Orange led the Glorious Revolution, and Locke was able to return to England. In 1689 he published the Essay Concerning Human Understanding and the Two Treatises on Government. Locke lived out the rest of his days quietly, pursuing his varied interests. When he died, in October of 1704, he had just completed the notes for the fifth edition of the Essay, and was still at work on three books concerning religion and politics.

Historical Context

Locke was very much a man of his times, and, in part, this was because he did so much to shape them. He was born into an England on the brink of enlightenment, and he helped push the nation over the edge. By the late 17th century, the belief in reasonable religion and secular values were overtaking a blind confidence in authority; individual freedoms were taking central stage in political debates; and excitement over modern technologies and abilities were beginning to replace a worshipful focus on the ancient world. Locke embraced each of these trends and became their most influential spokesman.

The political scene of Locke's maturity was unstable at best. In the wake of civil war, Oliver Cromwell had brought temporary peace. With Cromwell gone by the mid-17th century, however, Parliament and Crown reentered an ardent struggle for power. Because Lord Ashley, Locke's employer, was first the right hand man of King Charles II and then the leader of his opposition in Parliament, Locke found himself at the center of political maneuverings and intrigue. He helped to frame the constitution for the colony of Carolina and wrote the treatises that justified the Glorious Revolution, in which William of Orange seized the throne from King James, Charles' brother. Locke's two Treatises of Government, published anonymously, argued that the only justified government was one that ruled contractually rather than by the ruler's whimsy, thus laying the foundation for a limited kingship, heavily tethered by Parliament and the will of the people. (Years later the insurgent colonists in America would use Locke's arguments as the basis for their own revolution, claiming that King George had failed to abide by his contract, thereby forfeiting his right to rule over them.)

Locke was also extremely active in religious affairs. A heated Protestant/Catholic divide helped to make the stormy political scene of late 17th England even more turbulent. Issues of religious intolerance and forced conversion were of paramount practical importance. Locke began his career on the side of authoritarian religious impositions, but quickly changed his mind. A 1675 visit to Cleves, which exposed him to a community where members of different churches lived together peacefully, might have helped sway his opinion toward religious toleration, in favor of which he wrote several well-read and enormously controversial essays. Locke's religious writings, as well his publication of the Essay, landed him in a lengthy disagreement with the Bishop of Worcester. Some material generated from their published debates found its way into later editions of the Essay.

Locke's participation in modern scientific advances was largely the result of his close ties with Robert Boyle. Throughout Europe the dominance of the Universities, with their focus on the ancient world, was being challenged by thinkers who preferred to focus on new technology and modern ideas. Locke's Essay gave one of the decisive blows to the already ailing Scholastic movement.

Philosophical Context

The Essay Concerning Human Understanding is the only work on epistemology and metaphysics in a lifetime collection dominated by religious and political writings. There is no indication that Locke showed any interest in epistemology prior to 1671, electing instead to focus his energies on questions of politics, religion, and science. In a famous paragraph in the Essay's, "Epistle to the Reader," Locke explains what drew him suddenly to the study of human understanding: while discussing an unrelated subject with friends (he does not mention what this subject was), he came to the conclusion that no significant headway could be made in any field until there was an understanding of understanding itself, in particular of its capacities and limits. Therefore, he set out to determine what we could and could not hope to understand by analyzing the human mind and the nature of knowledge. The Essay can be read as an attempt to ground all of Locke's further inquiries into politics, religion, economics, education and the like, by drawing the boundaries that demarcate where a search for answers should begin and end.

The philosophy Locke presents in his Essay is best understood as a direct response to the two schools of philosophical thought dominating the intellectual scene of the late 17th century: the Aristotelian-influenced Scholasticism, which had ruled the Universities since the Middle Ages, and the Cartesian rationalism, which was challenging Scholastic authority with a radical new picture of how the mind comes to know. Locke wanted to chart a middle course between these two views, one that retained the positive features of each. The Scholastic picture of how the mind works can be summed up the phrase "nothing in the intellect, not first in the senses." Scholastic philosophers, following Aristotle, believed that all of our knowledge comes through our sense organs. They were empiricists, like Locke. However, their empiricism was of a very naïve form; they believed that our senses are incapable of systematically deceiving us about the kinds of things that are in the world. If the senses tell us that there are colors, then there are colors. If the senses tell us that there are enduring objects, such as tables and chairs, then there are enduring objects. The trustworthiness of the senses was built into the theory of how perception operated: on this view, the perceiver took on the form of the thing perceived and became, in a very obscure sense, like the object of perception.

Rene Descartes, in his Meditations of First Philosophy, attempted to revolutionize epistemology. If the Aristotelian view can be summarized as "nothing in the intellect, not first in the senses," Descartes' position can be summed up as "no trusting the senses until they have been verified by the intellect." Descartes believed that the senses systematically deceive us, and that it is only by properly utilizing our faculty of reason that we can come to know the world. Like the other rationalists who came after him, such as Baruch Spinoza and G. W. Leibniz, Descartes believed that the entire natural world is explicable in terms of a chain of logical connections, and that all we need do is use our reason to trace these connections to know everything there is to know.

Descartes' primary reason for asserting that the senses systematically deceive was his commitment to the new mechanistic science, which conflicted with the Scholastic conception of the natural world. On the Scholastic view, the most basic units of existence were substances, and these came in an innumerable variety, each with their own distinct essence, the thing that made them what they were. All substances were composed of some mixture of the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. To explain why anything happened in the natural world, the Scholastic would appeal to these four elements and the four primary qualities by which they were characterized - hot, cold, wet, dry.

Descartes simplified this picture considerably. He too called the basic units of existence substances, but for him substances came in only three types, rather than in an innumerable variety. There was God, there were minds, and there were bodies. The essence of mind was thought, while the essence of body--of matter, of the natural world, of all we see around us--was extension. By making extension the essence of body, Descartes was able to simplify the study of the natural world: it no longer involved the complex and obscure charting of primary qualities flowing in and out of elements. Instead, the study of the natural world was simply the study of geometry.

This was where Descartes' new epistemology came in. The natural world that he posited--one that was explicable exclusively in terms of the size, shape, and motion of matter--sounded nothing like the world our senses represent to us. We perceive a world filled with things like color, odor, and sound and see nothing to indicate that the essence of body is extension. Descartes' solution to this apparent problem was to give more power to the intellect and less to the senses. On his view, we come to understand the world not by observing it, but by reasoning about it, starting from ideas innate to the human mind. It is by reasoning with these innate ideas, he claimed, that he arrived at the discovery that the essence of body is extension, and it is by reasoning that we can come to know everything else about the way the world really is.

Like Descartes, Locke, was a proponent of the new science. He too believed that the natural world was explicable exclusively in terms of shape, size, and motion of matter, though the particulars of the view he ascribed to were somewhat different from the Cartesian picture. (Whereas Descartes believed that all matter was continuous, Locke ascribed to Boyle's Corpuscular Hypothesis, according to which the natural world is composed of indivisible bits of matter called corpuscles.) He had to admit, therefore, that Descartes was right about that the senses do systematically deceive us.

Locke, however, resisted accepting Descartes' epistemology because he held, like the Scholastics, that nothing came into the mind except via the senses. The Essay, therefore, is an attempt to reconcile his empiricism with his commitment to the new science. His aim was to defend an empiricist model of the mind, while clearing the way for new ideas about the nature of reality.

The attempt had never been made before, but once Locke began the search for a plausible empiricism, one consistent with science, has never really ended. George Berkeley and David Hume made the first significant endeavors after Locke, building on the foundation that their predecessor had so meticulously laid. In the 20th century the Logical Positivists gave it a worthy shot as well, as did their nemesis W.V. Quine. Empiricism has, to a certain extent, fallen out of fashion as of late, but epistemology is still largely guided by the questions originally posed by Locke and his empiricist followers.

pg 6THE EPISTLE TO THE READER

Reader,

Critical Apparatus1I Here put into thy Hands, what has been the diversion of some of my idle and2heavy Hours: If it has the good luck to prove so of any of thine, and thou hast3but half so much Pleasure in reading, as I had in writing it, thou wilt asCritical Apparatus4little think thy Money, as I do my Pains, ill bestowed. Mistake not this, for a5Commendation of my Work ; nor conclude, because I was pleased with the6doing of it, that therefore I am fondly taken with it now it is done. He that7hawks at Larks and Sparrows, has no less Sport, though a much less consider-8able Quarry, than he that flies at nobler Game: And he is little acquainted9with the Subject of this Treatise, the UNDERSTANDING, who does not10know, that as it is the most elevated Faculty of the Soul, so it is employed with11a greater, and more constant Delight than any of the other. Its searches after12Truth, are a sort of Hawking and Hunting, wherein the very pursuit makes13a great part of the Pleasure. Every step the Mind takes in its ProgressCritical Apparatus14towards Knowledge, makes some Discovery, which is not only new, but theCritical Apparatus15best too, for the time at least.

16For the Understanding, like the Eye, judging of Objects, only by its own17Sight, cannot but be pleased with what it discovers, having less regret for18what has scaped it, because it is unknown. Thus he who has raised himself19above the Alms-Basket, and not content to live lazily on scraps of begg'd20Opinions, sets his own Thoughts on work, to find and follow Truth, will21(whatever he lights on ) not miss the Hunter's Satisfaction ; every moment of22his Pursuit, will reward his Pains with some Delight ; and he will have23Reason to think his time not ill spent, even when he cannot much boast of any24great Acquisition.

Critical Apparatus25This, Reader, is the Entertainment of those, who let loose their own26Thoughts, and follow them in writing ; which thou oughtest not to envypg 71them, since they afford thee an Opportunity of the like Diversion, if thou wilt2make use of thy own Thoughts in reading. 'Tis to them, if they are thy own,Critical Apparatus3that I referr my self: But if they are taken upon Trust from others, 'tis no4great Matter what they are, they not following Truth, but some meaner5Consideration: and 'tis not worth while to be concerned, what he says or6thinks, who says or thinks only as he is directed by another. If thou judgest for7thy self, I know thou wilt judge candidly ; and then I shall not be harmed or8offended, whatever be thy Censure. For though it be certain, that there isCritical Apparatus9nothing in this Treatise of the Truth whereof I am not fully persuaded ; yet10I consider my self as liable to Mistakes, as I can think thee ; and know, that11this Book must stand or fall with thee, not by any Opinion I have of it, but12thy own. If thou findest little in it new or instructive to thee, thou art not to13blame me for it. It was not meant for those, that had already mastered this14Subject, and made a through Acquaintance with their own Understandings ; 15but for my own Information, and the Satisfaction of a few Friends, who ac-16knowledged themselves not to have sufficiently considered it. Were it fit to17trouble thee with the History of this Essay, I should tell thee that five or six18Friends meeting at my Chamber, and discoursing on a Subject very remote19from this, found themselves quickly at a stand, by the Difficulties that rose on20every side. After we had a while puzzled our selves, without coming any21nearer a Resolution of those Doubts which perplexed us, it carne into my22Thoughts, that we took a wrong course ; and that, before we set our selves23upon Enquiries of that Nature, it was necessary to examine our own24Abilities, and see, what Objects our Understandings were, or were not fitted25to deal with. This I proposed to the Company, who all readily assented ; andCritical Apparatus26thereupon it was agreed, that this should be our first Enquiry. Some hasty and27undigested Thoughts, on a Subject I had never before considered, which I setCritical Apparatus28down against our next Meeting, gave the first entrance into this Discourse,29which having been thus begun by Chance, was continued by Intreaty ; 30written by incoherent parcels ; and, after long intervals of neglect, resum'd31again, as my Humour or Occasions permitted ; and at last, in a retirement,32where an Attendance on my Health gave me leisure, it was brought into that33order, thou now seest it.

34This discontinued way of writing may have occasioned, besides others, twoCritical Apparatus35contrary Faults, viz. that too little, and too much may be said in it. If thou36findest any thing wanting, I shall be glad, that what I have writ, gives thee37any Desire, that I should have gone farther : If it seems too much to thee, thou38must blame the Subject ; for when I first put Pen to Paper, I thought all I39should have to say on this Matter, would have been contained in one sheet ofpg 81Paper ; but the farther I went, the larger Prospect I had : New Discoveries led2me still on, and so it grew insensibly to the bulk it now appears in. I will not3deny, but possibly it might be reduced to a narrower compass than it is ; and4that some Parts of it might be contracted: the way it has been writ in, by5catches, and many long intervals of Interruption, being apt to cause some6Repetitions. But to confess the Truth, I am now too lazie, or too busie to7make it shorter.

8I am not ignorant how little I herein consult my own Reputation, when ICritical Apparatus9knowingly let it go with a Fault, so apt to disgust the most judicious, whoCritical Apparatus10are always the nicest, Readers. But they who know Sloth is apt to content it11self with any Excuse, will pardon me, if mine has prevailed on me, where,12I think, I have a very good one. I will not therefore alledge in my Defence,13that the same Notion, having different Respects, may be convenient or14necessary, to prove or illustrate several Parts of the same Discourse ; and that15so it has happened in many Parts of this: But waving that, I shall frankly16avow, that I have sometimes dwelt long upon the same Argument, and ex-17pressed it different ways, with a quite different Design. I pretend not to18publish this Essay for the Information of Men of large Thoughts and quick19Apprehensions ; to such Masters of Knowledge I profess my self a Scholar, and20therefore warn them before-hand not to expect any thing here, but what being21spun out of my own course Thoughts, is fitted to Men of my own size, to22whom, perhaps, it will not be unacceptable, that I have taken some Pains, to23make plain and familiar to their Thoughts some Truths, which establishedCritical Apparatus24Prejudice, or the Abstractness of the Ideas themselves, might render25difficult. Some Objects had need be turned on every side ; and when the Notion26is new, as I confess some of these are to me; or out of the ordinary Road, as I27suspect they will appear to others, 'tis not one simple view of it, that will gain28it admittance into every Understanding, or fix it there with a clear and29lasting Impression. There are few, I believe, who have not observed in them-30selves or others, That what in one way of proposing was very obscure,31another way of expressing it, has made very clear and intelligible: Though32afterward the Mind found little difference in the Phrases, and wondered why33one failed to be understood more than the other. But every thing does not hit34alike upon every Man's Imagination. We have our Understandings no lessCritical Apparatus35different than our Palates ; and he that thinks the same Truth shall be equallyCritical Apparatus36relished by every one in the same dress, may as well hope to feast every one with37the same sort of Cookery: The Meat may be the same, and the Nourishment38good, yet every one not be able to receive it with that Seasoning ; and it must39be dressed another way, if you will have it go down with some, even of strong40Constitutions. The Truth is, those who advised me to publish it, advised me,pg 91for this Reason, to publish it as it is: and since I have been brought to let it go2abroad, I desire it should be understood by whoever gives himself the Pains toCritical Apparatus3read it. I have so little Affection to be in Print, that if I were not flattered,4this Essay might be of some use to others, as I think, it has been to me, I should5have confined it to the view of some Friends, who gave the first Occasion6to it. My appearing therefore in Print, being on purpose to be as useful as7I may, I think it necessary to make, what I have to say, as easie and intelligibleCritical Apparatus8to all sorts of Readers as I can. And I had much rather the speculative9and quick-sighted should complain of my being in some parts tedious, than10that any one, not accustomed to abstract Speculations, or prepossessed with11different Notions, should mistake, or not comprehend my meaning.

Critical Apparatus12It will possibly be censured as a great piece of Vanity, or Insolence in me, to13pretend to instruct this our knowing Age, it amounting to little less, when ICritical Apparatus14own, that I publish this Essay with hopes it may be useful to others. But if it15may be permitted to speak freely of those, who with a feigned ModestyCritical Apparatus16condemn as useless, what they themselves Write, methinks it savours much17more of Vanity or Insolence, to publish a Book for any other end; and he fails18very much of that Respect he owes the Publick, who prints, and consequently19expects Men should read that, wherein he intends not they should meet with20any thing of Use to themselves or others: and should nothing else be found21allowable in this Treatise, yet my Design will not cease to be so; and the22Goodness of my intention ought to be some Excuse for the Worthlessness of my23Present. 'Tis that chiefly which secures me from the Fear of Censure, which ICritical Apparatus24expect not to escape more than better Writers. Men's Principles, Notions, and25Relishes are so different, that it is hard to find a Book which pleases or dis-26pleases all Men. I acknowledge the Age we live in, is not the least knowing,Critical Apparatus27and therefore not the most easie to be satisfied. If I have not the good luck to28please, yet no Body ought to be offended with me. I plainly tell all my Readers,29except half a dozen, this Treatise was not at first intended for them; and30therefore they need not be at the Trouble to be of that number. But yet if anyCritical Apparatus31one thinks fit to be angry, and rail at it, he may do it securely: For I shall32find some better way of spending my time, than in such kind of Conversation.33I shall always have the satisfaction to have aimed sincerely at Truth and Use-34fulness, though in one of the meanest ways. The Commonwealth of Learning,35is not at this time without Master-Builders, whose mighty Designs, in ad-36vancing the Sciences, will leave lasting Monuments to the Admiration of37Posterity ; But every one must not hope to be a Boyle, or a Sydenham; andpg 101in an Age that produces such Masters, as the Great —— Huygenius, 2and the incomparable Mr. Newton, with some other of that Strain ; 3'tis Ambition enough to be employed as an Under-Labourer in clearingCritical Apparatus4Ground a little, and removing some of the Rubbish, that lies in the way to5Knowledge ; which certainly had been very much more advanced in the6World, if the Endeavours of ingenious and industrious Men had not been7much cumbred with the learned but frivolous use of uncouth, affected, or un-8intelligible Terms, introduced into the Sciences, and there made an Art of, to9that Degree, that Philosophy, which is nothing but the true Knowledge of10Things, was thought unfit, or uncapable to be brought into well-bred11Company, and polite Conversation. Vague and insignificant Forms of Speech,Critical Apparatus12and Abuse of Language, have so long passed for Mysteries of Science; And13hard or misapply'd Words, with little or no meaning, have, by Prescription,14such a Right to be mistaken for deep Learning, and heighth of Speculation,15that it will not be easie to persuade, either those who speak, or those who hear16them, that they are but the Covers of Ignorance, and hindrance of trueCritical Apparatus17Knowledge. To break in upon the Sanctuary of Vanity and Ignorance, will be,18I suppose, some Service to Humane Understanding: Though so few are apt to19think, they deceive, or are deceived in the Use of Words; or that the Language20of the Sect they are of, has any Faults in it, which ought to be examined or21corrected, that I hope I shall be pardon'd, if I have in the Third Book dwelt22long on this Subject; and endeavoured to make it so plain, that neither the23inveterateness of the Mischief, nor the prevalency of the Fashion, shall be any24Excuse for those, who will not take Care about the meaning of their own25Words, and will not suffer the Significancy of their Expressions to be en-26quired into.

27I have been told that a short Epitome of this Treatise, which was printedCritical Apparatus281688, was by some condemned without reading, because innate Ideas were29denied in it ; they too hastily concluding, that if innate Ideas were not30supposed, there would be little left, either of the Notion or Proof of Spirits. If31any one take the like Offence at the Entrance of this Treatise, I shall desireCritical Apparatus32him to read it through: and then I hope he will be convinced, that the taking33away false Foundations, is not to the prejudice, but advantage of Truth ; Critical Apparatus34which is never injur'd or endanger'd so much, as when mixed with, or built on,Critical Apparatus35Falshood. In the Second Edition, I added as followeth:

pg 11Critical Apparatus1The Bookseller will not forgive me, if I say nothing of this Second Edition,2which he has promised, by the correctness of it, shall make amends for the3many Faults committed in the former. He desires too, that it should be4known, that it has one whole new Chapter concerning Identity, and manyCritical Apparatus5additions, and amendments in other places. These I must inform my Reader6are not all new matter, but most of them either farther confirmation of whatCritical Apparatus7I had said, or Explications to prevent others being mistaken in the sence of8what was formerly printed, and not any variation in me from it; I must only9except the alterations I have made in Book 2. Chap. 21.

10What I had there Writ concerning Liberty and the Will, I thought11deserv'd as accurate a review, as I was capable of: Those Subjects having12in all Ages exercised the learned part of the World, with Questions andCritical Apparatus13Difficulties, that have not a little perplex'd Morality and Divinity, those14parts of Knowledge, that Men are most concern'd to be clear in. Upon a15closer inspection into the working of Men's Minds, and a stricter examina-16tion of those motives and views, they are turn'd by, I have found reason17somewhat to alter the thoughts I formerly had concerning that, which gives18the last determination to the Will in all voluntary actions. This I cannot19forbear to acknowledge to the World, with as much freedom and readiness, as20I at first published, what then seem'd to me to be right, thinking my self more21concern'd to quit and renounce any Opinion of my own, than oppose that of22another, when Truth appears against it. For 'tis Truth alone I seek, and that23will always be welcome to me, when or from whencesoever it comes.

Critical Apparatus24But what forwardness soever I have to resign any Opinion I have, or toCritical Apparatus25recede from any thing I have Writ, upon the first evidence of any error in it ; 26yet this I must own, that I have not had the good luck to receive any light27from those Exceptions, I have met with in print against any part of my Book,28nor have, from any thing has been urg'd against it, found reason to alter my

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