Giving Assentby@johnlocke
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Giving Assent

by John Locke18mSeptember 20th, 2022
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1. Our Assent ought to be regulated by the Grounds of Probability. The grounds of probability we have laid down in the foregoing chapter: as they are the foundations on which our ASSENT is built, so are they also the measure whereby its several degrees are, or ought to be regulated: only we are to take notice, that, whatever grounds of probability there may be, they yet operate no further on the mind which searches after truth, and endeavours to judge right, than they appear; at least, in the first judgment or search that the mind makes. I confess, in the opinions men have, and firmly stick to in the world, their assent is not always from an actual view of the reasons that at first prevailed with them: it being in many cases almost impossible, and in most, very hard, even for those who have very admirable memories, to retain all the proofs which, upon a due examination, made them embrace that side of the question. It suffices that they have once with care and fairness sifted the matter as far as they could; and that they have searched into all the particulars, that they could imagine to give any light to the question; and, with the best of their skill, cast up the account upon the whole evidence: and thus, having once found on which side the probability appeared to THEM, after as full and exact an inquiry as they can make, they lay up the conclusion in their memories, as a truth they have discovered; and for the future they remain satisfied with the testimony of their memories, that this is the opinion that, by the proofs they have once seen of it, deserves such a degree of their assent as they afford it.

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John Locke

John Locke

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English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers

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John Locke@johnlocke
English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers

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