— 596 —
Because on them the other parts of our Knowledge do not depend.
      §10. Secondly, From what has been said, it plainly follows, that
these magnified Maxims, are not the Principles and Foundations of
all our other Knowledge. For if there be a great many other Truths,
which have as much self-evidence as they, and a great many that
we know before them, it is impossible they should be the Principles,
from which we deduce all other Truths. Is it impossible to know
that One and Two are equal to Three, but by virtue of this, or some
such Axiom, viz. the Whole is equal to all its Parts taken together?
Many a one knows that One and Two are equal to Three, without
having heard, or thought on that, or any other Axiom, by which
it might be proved; and knows it as certainly, as any other Man
knows, that the Whole is equal to all its Parts, or any other Maxim;
and all from the same Reason of self-evidence; the Equality of
those Ideas, being as visible and certain to him without that, or any
other Axiom, as with it, it needing no proof to make it perceived.
Nor after the Knowledge, That the Whole is equal to all its parts, does
he know that one and two are equal to three, better, or more certainly
— 597 —
than he did before. For if there be any odds in those Ideas, the Whole
and Parts are more obscure, or at least more difficult to be settled in
the Mind, than those of One, Two, and Three. And indeed, I think,
I may ask these Men, who will needs have all Knowledge besides
those general Principles themselves, to depend on general, innate,
and self-evident Principles, What Principle is requisite to prove,
that One and One are Two, that Two and Two are Four, that Three times
Two are Six? Which being known without any proof, do evince,
That either all Knowledge does not depend on certain Praecognita or
general Maxims, called Principles; or else that these are Principles:
and if these are to be counted Principles, a great part of Numeration
will be so. To which if we add all the self-evident Propositions, which
may be made about all our distinct Ideas, Principles will be almost
infinite, at least innumerable, which Men arrive to the Knowledge
of, at different Ages; and a great many of these innate Principles,
they never come to know all their Lives. But whether they come
in view of the Mind, earlier or later, this is true of them, that they
are all known by their native Evidence, are wholly independent,
receive no Light, nor are capable of any proof one from another;
much less the more particular, from the more general; or the more
simple, from the more compounded: the more simple, and less
abstract, being the most familiar, and the easier and earlier appre-
hended. But which ever be the clearest Ideas, the Evidence and
Certainty of all such Propositions is in this, That a Man sees the
same Idea to be the same Idea, and infallibly perceives two different
Ideas to be different Ideas. For when a Man has in his Understanding,
the Ideas of one and of two, the Idea of Yellow and the Idea of Blue,
he cannot but certainly know, that the Idea of One is the Idea of One,
and not the Idea of Two; and that the Idea of Yellow is the Idea of
Yellow, and not the Idea of Blue. For a Man cannot confound the
Ideas in his Mind, which he has distinct: That would be to have
them confused and distinct at the same time, which is a contradic-
tion: And to have none distinct, is to have no use of our Faculties,
to have no Knowledge at all. And therefore what Idea soever is
affirmed of it self; or whatsoever two entire distinct Ideas are denied
one of another, the Mind cannot but assent to such a Proposition,
as infallibly true, as soon as it understands the Terms, without
Hesitation or need of Proof, or regarding those made in more
general Terms, and called Maxims.
Locke Hum IV, 7, §10, pp. 596-597