Page images

men wrestle or fence, we get the idea of wrestling or . fencing. 2. By invention, or voluntary putting together of several simple ideas in our minds : so he that first invented printing, or etching, had an idea of it in his mind, before 'it ever existed. 3. Which is the most usual way, by explaining the names of actions we never saw, or potions we cannot see; and by enuenerating, and thereby, as it were, setting before our imaginations all those ideas which go to the making them up, and are the constituent parts of them. For haying by sensation and reflection stored our minds with, simple ideas, and by use got the names that stand for them, we can by those means represent to another any complex idea we would have him conceive; so that it has in it no simple ideas, but what he knows, and has with us the same pame for. For all our complex ideas. are ultimately resolvible into simple ideas, of which they are compounded and originally made up, though perhaps their immediate ingredients, as I mạy so say, are also complex ideas. Thus the mixed mode, which, the word lye stands for, is made of these simple ideas: 1. Articulate sounds. 2. Certain ideas in the mind of the speaker. 3. Those words the signs of those ideas. 4. Those signs put together by affirmation or negation, otherwise than the ideas they stand for are in the mind of the speaker, I think I need not go any farther in the analysis of that complex idea we call a lye; what I have said is epough to show, that it is made up of şimple ideas; and it could not be but an offensive tediousness to my reader, to trouble him with a more minute enumeration of every particular simple idea, that goes to this complex one; which, from what has been said, he cannot but be able to make out to himself. The same may be done in all our complex ideas, whatsoever ; which, however compounded and decom, pounded, may at last be resolved into simple ideas, which are all the materials of knowledge or thought we have, or can have. Nor shall we have reason to fear that the mind is hereby stinted to too scanty a number of ideas, if we consider what an inexhaustible stock of simple modes number and figure alone afford T 4



us. How far then mixed modes which admit of the various combinations of different simple ideas, and their infinite modes, are from being few and scanty, we may easily imagine. So that before we have done, we shall see that no-body need be afraid he shall not have scope and conìpass enough for his thoughts to range in, though they be, as I pretend, confined only to simple ideas received from sensation or reflection, and their several combinations. Motion,

g. 10. It is worth our observing, which thinking, of all our simple ideas have been most modi

fied, and had most mixed ideas made out of have been

them, with names given to them; and those most modi. fied.

have been these three; thinking and mo

tion (which are the two ideas which comprehend in them all action) and power, from whence these actions are conceived to flow. The simple ideas, I say, of thinking, motion, and power, have been those which have been most modified, and out of whose modifications have been made most complex modes, with names to them. For action being the great business of mankind, and the whole matter about which all laws are conversant, it is no wonder that the several modes of thinking and motion should be taken notice of, the ideas of them observed, and laid up in the memory, and have names assigned to them; without which, laws could be but ill made, or vice and disorder repressed. Nor could any communication be well had amongst men, without such complex ideas, with names to them: and therefore men have settled names, and supposed settled ideas in their minds of modes of action distinguished by their causes, means, objects, ends, instruments, time, place, and other circumstances, and also of their powers fitted for those actions : v. g. boldness is the power to speak or do what we intend, before others, without fear or disorder; and the Greeks call the confidence of speaking by a peculiar name, wapinoia : which power or ability in man, of doing any thing, when it has been acquired by frequent doing the same thing, is that idea we name habit; when it is forward, and ready upon every occasion to break into action, we call it disposition. Thus testiness is a disposition or aptness to be angry.

To conclude : Let us examine any modes of action, v. g. consideration and assent, which are actions of the mind; running and speaking, which are actions of the body ; revenge and murder, which are actions of both together: and we shall find them but so many collections of simple ideas, which together make up the complex ones signified by those names.

$. 11. Power being the source from Several whence all action proceeds, the substances words seemwherein these powers are, when they exert

ing to signify

action, sigthis power into act, are called causes; and nify but the the substances which thereupon are pro- effect. duced, or the simple ideas which are introduced into any subject by the exerting of that power, are called effects. The efficacy whereby the new substance or idea is produced, is called, in the subject exerting that power, action; but in the subject wherein any simple idea is changed or produced, it is called passion: which efficacy however various, and the effects almost infinite, yet we can, I think, conceive it, in intellectual agents, to be nothing else but modes of thinking and willing; in corporeal agents, nothing else but modifications of motion. I say, I think we cannot conceive it to be any other but these two: for whatever sort of action, besides these, produces any effects, I confess myself to have no notion or idea of; and so it is quite remote from my thoughts, apprehensions, and knowledge; and as much in the dark to me as five other senses, or as the ideas of colours to a blind man : and therefore many words, which seem to express some action, signify nothing of the action or modus operandi at all, but barely the effect, with some circumstances of the subject wrought on, or cause operating; v. g. creation, annihilation, contain in them no idea of the action or manner whereby they are produced, but barely of the cause, and the thing done. And when a countryman says the cold freezes water, though the word freezing seems to import some action, yet truly it signifies nothing but the effect, viz. that water that was

before stratum

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

before fluid is become hard and consistent, without containing any idea of the action whereby it is done. Mixed

, 19. I think I shall not need to remark mades made here, that though power and action make also of other the greatest part of mixed modes, marked ideas. by names, and familiar in the minds and mouths of meu ; yet other simple ideas, and their several combinations, are not excluded : much less, I think, will it be neceflary for me to engmerate all the mixed modes, which have been settled, with names to them. That would be to make a dictionary of the greatest part of the words made use of in divinity, ethieks, law, and politicks, and several other sciences. All that is requisite to my present design, is, to show what sort of ideas those are which I call mixed modes, how the mind eoipes by them, and that they are compositions made up of simple ideas got from sensation and reflection: which, I suppose, I have done.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

مردم وقتی که

of our compier tient of

g. 1. T declared, furnished with



Of our complex Ideas of Substances

. Ideas of sub.

HE mind being as I have stances how

with a made,

great number of the simple ideas, conveyed in by the senses, as they are found in exterior things, or by reflection on its own operations, takes notice also, that a certain number of these simple ideas go constantly together ; which being presumed to belong to one thing, and words being suited to common apprehensions, and made use of for quick dispatch, are called, so united in one subject, by one name: which, by inadvertency, we are apt afterward to talk of, and consider as one simple idea, which indeed is a complication of many ideas together : because, as I have said, not imagining how these simple ideas can subsist by themselves, we aecustom ourselves to suppose some substratum wherein they do subsist, and from which they do result; which therefore we call substance (1). g. 2. So that if any one will examine

Our idea of himself concerning his notion of pure sub- substance in stance in general, he will find he has no general. other idea of it at all, but only a supposition of he knows not what support of such qualities, which are capable of producing simple ideas in us; which qualities are commonly called accidents. If any one should be asked, what is the subject wherein colour or


(1) This section, which was intended only to show how the indivi. duals of distinct species of substances came to be looked upon as simple ideas, and so to have simple names, viz. from the supposed substratum of substance, which was looked upon as the thing itself in which inhered, and from which resulted that complication of ideas, by which it was represented to us, hath been mistaken for an account of the idea of sub, stance in general ; and as such, hath been represented in these words ; But how comes the general idea of substance to be framed in our minds ? Is this by abstracting and enlarging simple ideas ? No: But it is by a

complication of many simple ideas together: because, not imagining "how these simple ideas can subsist by themselves, we accustom ourselves to suppose some substratum wherein they do subsist, and from whence

they do result; which therefore we call substance. And is this all, indeed, that is to be said for the being of substance, That we accustom ourselves to suppose a substratum ? Is that custom grounded upon true reason, or not? If not, then accidents or modes must subsist of theinselves; and these simple ideas need no tortoise to support them : for figures and colours, &c. would do well enough of themselves, but for some fancies men have accustomed themselves to.

To which objection of the bishop of Worcester, our author * answers thus : Herein your lordship seems to charge me with two faults : one, That I make the general idea of substance to be framed, not by abstracte ing and enlarging simple ideas, but by a complication of many simple ideas together : the other, as if I had said, the being of substance had no other foundation but the fancies of men.

As to the first of these, I beg leave to remind your lordship, that I say in more places than one, and particularly Book 3. Chap. 3. $. 6. and Book 1. Chap. II. $. 9. where, ex professo, I treat of abstraction and general ideas, that they are all inade by abstracting, and therefore could not be understood to mean, that that of substance was made any other way ; however my pen might have slipt, or the negligence of expression, where I might have something else than the general idea of substance in view, might make me seem to say so.

That I was not speaking of the general idea of substance in the passage your lordship quotes, is manifest from the title of that chapter, which * In his first letter to the bishop of Worcester,


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »