Essay Concerning Human Understanding was written by English philosopher John Locke and published in 1689. It was the first systematic presentation of an empiricist philosophy of mind and cognition: a theory of knowledge and belief based wholly on the principle that everything in our mind gets there by way of experience. Locke’s meticulous, but rational empiricism offered an alternative and enticing view of the world and our access to it from the dominant warring philosophical camps of the time—the Aristotelian Scholastics and the upstart Cartesian rationalists

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