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different ideas from those signified by man, or Cæsar. But when a cylindrical mirrour, placed right, hath reduced those irregular lines on the table into their due order and proportion, then the confusion ceases, and the eye presently sees that it is a man, or Cæsar, i. t. that it belongs to those names, and that it is sufficiently distinguishable from a baboon, or Pompey, i. e. from the ideas signified by those names. Just thus it is with our ideas, which are as it were the pictures of things. No one of these mental draughts, however the parts are put together, can be called confused (for they are plainly discernible as they are) till it be ranked under some ordinary name, to which it cannot be discerned to belong, any more than it does to some other name of an allowed different signification.
§. 9. Thirdly, A third defect that fre. Thirdly, or quently gives the name of confused to our are mutable ideas, is, when any one of them is uncer- and undetertain and undeterimined. Thus we may observe men, who not forbearing to use the ordinary words of their language, till they have learned their precise signification, change the idea they make this or that term stand for, alınost as often as they use it. He that does this, out of uncertainty of what he should Icave out, or put into his idea of church or idolatry, every tiine he thinks of cither, and holds not steady to any one precise combination of ideas that makes it up, is said to have a confused idea of idolatry or the church:
though this be still for the same reason as the former, pour viz. because a inutable ilea (if we will allow it to be
one idea) cannot belong to one name rather than ano. ther; and so loses the distinction that distinct names
are designed for. O B . 10. By what has been said, we may confusioni: whics observe how inuch names, as supposed without re. it to steady signs of things, and by their dif ference.co ference to stand for and keep things disa
s names, hard
ly conceira. tinct that in themselves are different, are ble, mis on the occasion of denominating ideas distinct state or confused, by a secret and unobserved reference the han tog nind makçs of its ideas to such names. This perhaps Cc
will be fuller understood, after what I say of words, in the third book, has been read and considered. But without taking notice of such a reference of ideas to distinct names, as the signs of distinct things, it will be hard to say what a confused idea is. And therefore when a man designs, by any name, a sort of things, or any one particular thing, distinct from all others : the complex idea he annexes to that name is the more distinct, the more particular the ideas are, and the greater and more determinate the number and order of them is, whereof it is made up. For the more it has of these, the more it has still of the perceivable differences, whereby it is kept separate and distinct from all ideas belonging to other names, even those that approach nearest to it; and thereby all confusion with them is avoided. Confusion . 11. Confusion, making it a difficulty concerns al. to separate two things that should be sepa. ways 'two rated, concerns always two idcas; and those ideas.
most, which most approach one another. Whenever therefore we suspect any idea to be confused, we must examine what other it is in danger to be confounded with, or which it cannot easily be separated from; and that will always be found an idea belonging to another name, and so should be a different thing, from which yet it is not sufficiently distinct; being either the same with it, or making a part of it, or at least as properly called by that name, as the other it is ranked under; and so keeps not that difference from that other idea, which the different names import.
. . 12. This, I think, is the confusion proconfusion. per to ideas, which still carries with it a se
cret reference to names. At least, if there be any other confusion of ideas, this is that which most of all disorders men's thoughts and discourses : ideas, as ranked under names, being those that for the most part men reason of within themselves, and always those which they commune about with others. And therefore where there are supposed two different ideas marked by two different names, which are not as distinguisha. ble as the sounds that stand for them, there never fails
to be confusion: and where any ideas are distilct as the
$. 13. Our complex ideas being made up Complex
ideas may be
one part, and
that of the number be very distinct; so that he being din able to discourse and demonstrate concerning that part
of his complex idea, which depends upon the number of a thousand, he is apt to think he has a distinct idea of a chiliaedron; though it be plain he has no precise idea of its figure, so as to distinguish it by that, from one that has but 999 sides; the not observing whereof causes no small errour in men's thoughts, and confusion in their discourses.
not $. 14. He that thinks he has a distinct heeded, idea of the figure of a chiliaedron, let hiin causes confu. for trial-sake take another parcel of the s'on in our same uniform malter, viz. gold, or wax, arguings of an equal bulk, and make it into a figure of 999 sides; he will, I doubt not, be able to distinguish these two ideas one from another, by the number of sides; and reason and argue distinctly about them, whilst he keeps his thoughts and reasoning to that part only of these ideas, which is contained in their numbers; as that the sides of the one could be divided into two equal numbers, and of the others not, &c. But when he goes about to distinguish them by their figure, he will there be presently at a loss, and not be able, I think, to frame in his inind two ideas, one of thein: distinct from the other, by the bare figure of these two pieces of gold; as he could, if the same parcels of gold were made one into a cube, the other a figure of five sides. In which incompleat ideas, we are very apt to impose on ourselves, and wrangle with others, especially where · they bave particular and familiar names. For being satisfied in that part of the idea, which we have clear ; and the name which is fainiliar to us, being applied to the whole, containing that part also which is imperfect and obscure: we are apt to use it for that confused part, and draw. deductions froin it, in the oliscure part of its signisication, as confidently as we do from the other.
§. 15. Having frequently in our mouths Instance in
" the name eternity, we are apt to think we
the name eternity eternity.
I have a positive comprehensive idea of it," which is as much as to say, that there is no part of that 'ion which is not clearly contained in our idea. It that he that thinks so may have a clear idea of
duration; he may also have a very clear idea of a very great length of duration; he may also have a clear idea of the comparison of that great one with still a greater : but it not being possible for him to include in his idea of any duration, tot it be as great as it will, the whole extent together of a duration, where he supposes no end, that part of his idea, which is still beyond the bounds of that large duration, he represents to his own thoughts, is very obscure and undetermined. And hence it is that in disputes and reasonings concerning eternity, or any other infinite, we are apt to blunder, and involve ourselves in manifest absurdities.
. - . . §. 16. In matter we have no clear ideas Divisibility of the smallness of parts much beyond the of matter. smallest that occur to any of our senses : and therefore when we talk of the divisibility of matter in infinitum, though we have clear ideas of division and divisibility, and have also clear ideas of parts made out of a whole by division; yet we have but very obscure and confusce ideas of corpuscles, or minute bodies so to be divided, when by former divisions they are reduced to a smallness much exceeding the perception of any of our senses; and so all that we have clear and distinct ideas of, is of what division in general or abstractedly is, and tlie relation of totum and parts: but of the bulk of the body, to be thus infinitely divided after certain progressions, I think, we have no clear nor distinct idea at all. For I ask any one, whe- . ther taking the smallest atom-of dust he ever saw, he has any distinct idea (bating still the number, which concerns not extension) betwixt the 100,000th, and the 1,000,000th part of it. Or if he thinks he can refine his ideas to that degree, without losing sight of them, let him add ten cyphers to each of those numbers. Such a degree of smallness is not unreasonable to be supposed, since a division carried on so far brings it no nearer the end of infinite division, than the first divi. sion into two fialves does. I must confess, for my part, I have no clear distinct ideas of the different bulk or extension of those bodies, having but a very obscure one of either of them. So that, I think, when we talk of division of bodies in infinitum, our idea of their Сс 4