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Chapter XII


Of the Improvement of our Knowledge.

Knowledge is not from Maxims.
      §1. It having been the common received Opinion amongst Men of
Letters, that Maxims were the foundations of all Knowledge; and
that the Sciences were each of them built upon certain praecognita,
from whence the Understanding was to take its rise, and by which
it was to conduct it self, in its enquiries into the matters belonging
to that Science; the beaten Road of the Schools has been, to lay
down in the beginning one or more general Propositions, as Foun-
dations whereon to build the Knowledge that was to be had of that
Subject. These Doctrines thus laid down for Foundations of any
Science, were called Principles, as the beginnings from which we
must set out, and look no farther backwards in our Enquiries, as we
have already observed
Locke Hum IV, 12, §1, p. 639