An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, Volume II.

MDCXC, Based on the 2nd Edition, Books III and IV

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Author: John Locke
Published: 1690
Language: English
Wordcount: 125,514 / 362 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 57.3
LoC Category: B
Downloads: 6,653
Added to site: 2004.06.30
mnybks.net#: 7927
Genres: Philosophy, Essays
Excerpt

refore the great Augustus himself, in the possession of that power which ruled the world, acknowledged he could not make a new Latin word: which was as much as to say, that he could not arbitrarily appoint what idea any sound should be a sign of, in the mouths and common language of his subjects. It is true, common use, by a tacit consent, appropriates certain sounds to certain ideas in all languages, which so far limits the signification of that sound, that unless a man applies it to the same idea, he does not speak properly: and let me add, that unless a man's words excite the same ideas in the hearer which he makes them stand for in speaking, he does not speak intelligibly. But whatever be the consequence of any man's using of words differently, either from their general meaning, or the particular sense of the person to whom he addresses them; this is certain, their signification, in his use of them, is limited to his ideas, and they can be signs of nothing else.

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