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Useful to know the extent of our Comprehension.       §4. If by this Enquiry into the Nature of the Understanding, I
can discover the Powers thereof; how far they reach; to what things
they are in any Degree proportionate; and where they fail us, I
suppose it may be of use, to prevail with the busy Mind of Man, to
— 45 —
be more cautious in meddling with things exceeding its Compre-
hension; to stop, when it is at the utmost Extent of its Tether; and
to sit down in a quiet Ignorance of those Things, which, upon
Examination, are found to be beyond the reach of our Capacities.
We should not then perhaps be so forward, out of an Affectation of
an universal Knowledge, to raise Questions, and perplex our selves
and others with Disputes about Things, to which our Understand-
ings are not suited; and of which we cannot frame in our Minds any
clear or distinct Perceptions, or whereof (as it has perhaps too often
happen’d) we have not any Notions at all. If we can find out, how
far the Understanding can extend its view; how far it has Faculties
to attain Certainty; and in what Cases it can only judge and guess,
we may learn to content our selves with what is attainable by us in
this State.
Locke Hum I, 1, §4, pp. 44-45