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Design.       §2. This, therefore, being my Purpose to enquire into the Original,
Certainty, and Extent of humane Knowledge; together, with the
Grounds and Degrees of Belief, Opinion, and Assent; I shall not at
present meddle with the Physical Consideration of the Mind; or
trouble my self to examine, wherein its Essence consists, or by what
Motions of our Spirits, or Alterations of our Bodies, we come to have
any Sensation by our Organs, or any Ideas in our Understandings;
and whether those Ideas do in their Formation, any, or all of them,
depend on Matter, or no. These are Speculations, which, however
curious and entertaining, I shall decline, as lying out of my Way, in
the Design I am now upon. It shall suffice to my present Purpose, to
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consider the discerning Faculties of a Man, as they are employ’d
about the Objects, which they have to do with: and I shall imagine
I have not wholly misimploy’d my self in the Thoughts I shall have
on this Occasion, if, in this Historical, plain Method, I can give any
Account of the Ways, whereby our Understandings come to attain
those Notions of Things we have, and can set down any Measures
of the Certainty of our Knowledge, or the Grounds of those Per-
swasions, which are to be found amongst Men, so various, different,
and wholly contradictory; and yet asserted some where or other
with such Assurance, and Confidence, that he that shall take a view
of the Opinions of Mankind, observe their Opposition, and at the
same time, consider the Fondness, and Devotion wherewith they
are embrac’d; the Resolution, and Eagerness, wherewith they are
maintain’d, may perhaps have Reason to suspect, That either there
is no such thing as Truth at all; or that Mankind hath no sufficient
Means to attain a certain Knowledge of it.
Locke Hum I, 1, §2, pp. 43-44