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general representatives of all of the same kind, and their names general names, applicable to whatever exists conformable to such abstract ideas. Such precise naked appearances in the mind, without considering how, whence, or with what others they came there, the understanding lays up (with names commonly annexed to them) as the standard to rank real existences into sorts, as they agree with these patterns, and to denominate chem accordingly. Thus the same colour being observed to-day in chalk or snow, which the mind yesterday received from milk, it considers that appearance alone, makes it a representative of all of that kind; and having given it the name whiteness, it by that sound signifies the same quality, wheresoever to be imagined or met with : and thus universals, whether ideas or terms, are made. §. 10. If it may be doubted, whether
Brutes ab þeasts compound and enlarge their ideas
stract not. that way to any degree; this, I think, I may be positive in, that the power of abstracting is not at all in them; and that the having of general ideas, is that which puts a perfect distinction betwixt man and brutes, and is an excellency which the faculties of brutes do by no means attain to. For it is evident we observe no footsteps in them of making use of general signs for universal ideas; from which we have reason to imagine, that they have not the faculty of abstracting, or making general ideas, since they have no use of words, or any other general signs.
§. 11. Nor can it be imputed to their want of fit organs to frame articulate sounds, that they have no use or knowledge of general words ; since many of them, we find, can fashion such sounds, and pronounce words distinctly enough, but never with any such application, And on the other side, men, who through some defect in the organs want words, yet fail not to express their universal ideas by signs, which serve them instead of general words ; a faculty which we see beasts come short in. And therefore I think we may suppose, that it is in this that the species of brutes are discriminated
from man; and it is that proper difference wherein they are wholiy separated, and which at last widens to so vast a distance: for if they have any ideas at all, and are not bare machines (as some would have them) we cannot deny them to have some reason, It seems as evident to me, that they do some of them in certain instances reason, as that they have sense; but it is only in particular ideas, just as they received them from their senses. They are the best of them tied up within those narrow bounds, and have not (as I think) the faculty to enlarge them by any kind of abstraction.
$. 19. How far idiots are concerned in Idiots and madmen.
the want or weakness of any, or all of the
foregoing faculties, an exact observation of their several ways of faltering would no doubt discover: for those who either perceive but dully, or retain the ideas that come into their minds but ill, who cannot readily excite or compound then, will have little matter to think on. Those who cannot distinguish, compare, and abstract, would hardly be able to understand and make use of language, or judge or reason to any tolerable degree; but only a little and imperfectly about things present, and very familiar to their senses. And indeed any of the forementioned faculties, if wanting, or out of order, produce suitable effects in men's understandings and knowledge.
§. 13. In fine, the defect in naturals seems to proceed from want of quickness, activity, and motion in the intellectual faculties, whereby they are deprived of reason ; whereas madmen, on the other side, seem to suffer by the other extreme: for they do not appear to me to have lost the faculty of reasoning ; but having joined together some ideas very wrongly, they mistake them for truths, and they err as men do that argue right from wrong principles. For by the violence of their imaginations, having taken their fancies for realities, they make right deductions from them. Thus you shall find a distracted man fancying himself a king, with a right inference require suitable attendance, respect and obedience; others, who liave thought themselves made
of glass, have used the caution necessary to preserve such brittle bodies. Hence it comes to pass that a man, who is very sober, and of a right understanding in all other things, inay in one particular be as frantick as any in Bedlam; if either by any sudden very strong impression, or long fixing his fancy upon one sort of thoughts, incoherent ideas have been cemented together so powerfully, as to remain united. But there are degrees of madness, as of folly: the disorderly jumbling ideas together, is in some more, some less. In short, herein seems to lie the difference between idiots and madmen, that madmen put wrong ideas together, and so make wrong propositions, but argue and reason right from them; but idiots make very few or no propositions, and reason scarce at all. $. 14. These, I think, are the first facul
Method. ties and operations of the mind, which it makes use of in understanding : and though they are exercised about all its ideas in general, yet the instances I have hitherto given have been chiefly in simple ideas; and I haye subjoined the explication of these faculties of the mind to that of simple ideas, before I come to what I have to say concerning complex ones, for these following reasons.
First, Pecause several of these faculties being excrcised at first principally about simple ideas, we might, by following nature in its ordinary method, trace and discover them in their rise, progress, and gradual improvements.
Secondly, Because observing the faculties of the mind how they operate about simple ideas, which are usually, in most men's minds, much more clear, precise, and distinct than complex ones; we may the better examine and learn how the mind abstracts, denominates, compares, and exercises its other operations about those which are complex, wherein we are much more liable to mistake.
Thirdly, Because these very operations of the mind about ideas, received from sensations, are themselves, when reflected on, another set of ideas, derived from that other source of our knowledge which I call reflection, and therefore fit to be considered in this place after the simple ideas of sensation. Of compounding, comparing, abstracting, &c., I have but just spoken, Having occasion to treat of them more at large in other places. These are the
§. 15. And thus I have given a short, beginnings and, I think, true history of the first beof human ginnings of human knowledge, whence the knowledge.
mind has its first objects, and by what steps it makes its progress to the laying in and storing up those ideas, out of which is to be framed all the knowledge it is capable of; wherein I must appeal to experience and observation, whether I am in the right : the best way to come to truth, being to examine things as really they are, and not to conclude they are, as we fancy of ourselves, or have been taught by others to imagine. Appeal to
§. 16. To deal truly, this is the only way experience. that I can discover, whereby the ideas of
things are brought into the understanding : if other men have either innate ideas, or infused principles, they have reason to enjoy them; and if they are sure of it, it is impossible for others to deny then the privilege that they have above their neiglibours. I cau speak but of what I find in myself, and is agrecable to those notions; which, if we will examine the whole course of men in their several ages, countries, and educations, seem to depend on those foundations which I have laid, and to correspond with this method in all tlie parts and degrees thereof.
§. 17. I pretend not to tcach, but to in
quire, and therefore cannot but confess here again, that external and internal sensation are the only passages that I can find of knowledge to the understanding. These alone as far as I can discover, are the windows by which light is let into this dark room: for methinks the understanding is not much unlike a closet wholly shut from light, with only some little opening left, to let in external visible resemblances, or ideas of things without: would the pictures coming into such a dark room but stay there, and lie so orderly
as to be found upon occasion, it would very much resemble the understanding of a man, in reference to all objects of sight, and the ideas of them.
These are my guesses concerning the means whereby the understanding comes to have and retain simple ideas, and the modes of them, with some other operations about them. I proceed now to examine some of these simple ideas, and their modes, a little more partieularly.
Of Compler Ideas.
E have hitherto considered Made by the
those ideas, in the reception mind out of whereof the mind is only passive, which simple ones. are those simple ones received from sensation and reflection before mentioned, whereof the mind cannot make one to itself, nor have any idea which does not wholly consist of them. But as the mind is wholly passive in the reception of all its simple ideas, so it exerts several acts of its own, whereby out of its simple ideas as the materials and foundations of the rest, the other are framed. The acts of the mind, wherein it exerts its power over its simple ideas, are chiefly these three: 1. Combining several simple ideas into one compound one, and thus all complex ideas are made. 2. The second is bringing two ideas, whether simple or comples, together, and setting them by one another, so as to take a view of them at once, without uniting them into one; by which way it gets all its ideas of relations. 3. The third is separating them from all other ideas that accompany them in their real existence; this is called abstraction; and thus all its general ideas are made. This shows man's power, and its ways of operation, to be much wbat the same in the material