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John locke the works of john locke vol 1 an essay concerning human understanding part 1 1689. John locke john locke an essay concerning human understanding locke remained in holland for more than five years 1683 89 while there he made new and important friends and associated with other exiles from england he also wrote his first letter on toleration published anonymously in latin in 1689 and completed an essay concerning human understanding. An essay concerning human understanding is a work by john locke concerning the foundation of human knowledge and understanding it first appeared in 1689 although dated 1690 with the printed title an essay concerning humane understandinghe describes the mind at birth as a blank slate tabula rasa although he did not use those actual words filled later through experience. The original manuscript an essay concerning human understanding was initially published in four 4 books this edition has simply combined all said books into one work for convenience an essay concerning human understanding is a work by john locke concerning the foundation of human knowledge and understanding. Locke john 1632 1704 english philosopher who had a tremendous influ ence on human knowledge and on political theory he set down the principles of modern english empiricism an essay concerning human understanding 1690 an inquiry into the nature of knowledge that attempts to settle what questions hu