The Conduct of the Understanding. To which is added, An Abstract of Mr. Locke’s Essay on Human Understanding [by Lord Gilbert].
Locke, John.

Cambridge: Printed by J. Archdeacon…for J. Nicholson… 1787. First combined edition, second issue, on unwatermarked sheets. Both issues were printed from the same setting of the text. Bookplate. A very good, clean copy. Contemporary tree calf, rebacked in modern calf with gilt red morocco label. Octavo. [viii], 292, 4 [ads] pp. (Item ID: 7478)


Of the Conduct of the Understanding first appeared in 1706 as part of Posthumous Works. Lord Gilbert’s influential abridgment first appeared in 1709. The Conduct is one of the most important of Locke’s posthumous publications. It was designed for young men who are educating themselves. “It can be read either as an extension of the Essay, indicating the practical implications of the doctrines there set forth, or it can be read as an addition to Locke’s educational writings, extending and in some measure complementing the account of education given in Thoughts [on Education]. It can also be read for itself, as a practical manual on ‘clear thinking,’ a statement of the pitfalls that lie in the road to truth and the means by which the mind can be trained to avoid them” (Francis W. Garforth in his preface to the work, Classics in Education Series No. 31).

Attig 730. Yolton 304.

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