Quotation by John Locke

It is of great use to the sailor, to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. It is well he knows, that it is long enough to reach the bottom, at such places as are necessary to direct his voyage, and caution him against running upon shoals that may ruin him. Our business here is not to know all things, but those which concern our conduct. If we can find out those measures, whereby a rational creature, put in that state in which man is in this world, may and ought to govern his opinions, and actions depending thereon, we need not to be troubled that some other things escape our knowledge.
John Locke (1632–1704), British philosopher. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, bk. 1, ch. 1, sect. 7, p. 46, ed. P. Nidditch, Oxford, Clarendon Press (1975).
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