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$. 14. Thirdly, complex ideas of modes and Ideas of relations are originals, and archetypes ; are mode
relations are not copies, nor made after the pattern of
archetypes, any real existence, to which the mind in- and tends them to be conformable, and exactly but be ade. to answer. These being such collections of quate. simple ideas, that the mind itself puts together, and such collections, that each of them contains in it precisely all that the mind intends that it should, they are archetypes and essences of modes that may exist; and so are designed only for, and belong only to, such modes as, when they do exist, have an exact conformity with those complex ideas. The ideas therefore of modes and relations cannot but be adequate.
. CHAP. XXXII.
Of true and false Ideas.
$. 1. THOUGH truth and falsehood phone
1 belong, in propriety of speech, falshood pro. only to propositions; yet ideas are often- perly belong times termed true or false (as what words to proposi. are there, that are not used with great lati- tions, tude, and with some deviation from their strict and proper significations :) Though, I think, that, when ideas themselves are termed true or false, there is still some secret or tacit proposition, which is the foundation of that denomination: as we shall see, if we examine the particular occasions wherein 'they come to be called true or false. In all which, we shall find some kind of affirmation or negation, which is the reason of that denomination. For our ideas, being nothing but bare appearances or perceptions in our minds, cannot properly and simply in themselves be said to be true or . false, no more than a single name of any thing can be said to be true or false. D d 4
$. 2. Indeed both ideas and words may truth con- be said to be true in a metaphysical sense tains a tacit of the word truth, as all other things, that proposition. any way exist, are said to be true ; i. e. really to be such as they exist. Though in things called true, even in that sense, there is perhaps a secret reference to our ideas, looked upon as the standards of that truth, which amounts to a mental proposition, though it be usually not taken notice of. No idea, as
.. $. 3. But it is not in that metaphysical an appear.
sense of truth which we inquire here, when ance in the we examine whether our ideas are capable mind, true of being true or false ; but in the more or
ste dinary acceptation of those words : and so I say, that the ideas in our minds being only so many perceptions, or appearances there, none of them are false : the idea of a centaur having no more falshood in it, when it appears in our minds, that the name centaur has falshood in it, when it is pronounced by our mouths, or written on paper. For truth or falsehood lying always in some affirmation, or negation, mental or verbal, our ideas are not capable, any of them, of being false, till the mind passes some judgment on them; that is, affirms or denies something of them. Ideas refer.
§. 4. Whenever the mind refers any of red to any
its ideas to any thing extraneous to them,
lts Ideas to any Ml thing may they are then capable to be called true or be true or false. Because the mind in such a reference false.
makes a tacit supposition of their conformity to that thing: which supposition, as it happens to be true or false, so the ideas themselves coine to be denominated. The most usual cases wherein this happens, are these following: Other men's §. 5. First, when the mind supposes any ideas, real idea it has conformable to that in other existence,
y men's minds, called by the same common and supposed real essences,
name; v. g. when the mind intends or are wha: men judges its ideas of justice, temperance, reusually refer ligion, to be the same with what other men theirideas to give those names to.
Secondly, when the mind supposes any idea it has in itself to be conformable to some real existence. Thus the two ideas, of a man and a centaur, supposed to be the ideas of real substances, are the one true, and the other false; the one having a conformity to what has really existed, the other not.
Thirdly, when the mind refers any of its ideas to that real constitution and essence of any thing, whereon all its properties depend : and thus the greatest part, if not all our ideas of substances, are false.
9.6. Thesė suppositions the mind is very The cause apt tacitly to make concerning its own of such re. ideas. But yet, if we will examine it, we terences. shall find it is chiefly, if not only, concerning its abstract complex ideas. For the natural tendency of the mind being towards knowledge; and finding that if it should procced by and dwell upon only particular things, its progress would be very slow, and its work endless; therefore to shorten its way to knowledge, and make each perception more comprehensive; the first thing it does, as the foundation of the easier enlarging its knowledge, either by contemplation of the things themselves that it would know, or conference
with others about them, is to bind them into bundles, 2km and rank them so into sorts, that what knowledge it
gets of any of them, it may thereby with assurance exreles tend to all of that sort; and so advance by larger steps Bus in that, which is its great business, knowledge. This, palf as I have elsewhere shown, is the reason why we colhaflect things under comprehensive ideas, with names anthat nexed to them, into genera and species, i. e. into kinds it human and sorts. JUZE *? . 7. If therefore we will warily attend to the mothis tions of the mind, and obseı ve what course it usually
takes in its way to knowledge; we shall, I think, find suppe that the mind having got an idea, which it thinks it abas B may have use of, either in contemplation or discourse, wa!? the first thing it does is to abstract it, and then get a to name to it; and so lay it up in its store-house, the coperis memory, as containing the essence of a sort of things, halch of which that pame is always to be the mark. Hence
it is, that we may often observe, that when any one sees a new thing of a kind that he knows not, he presently asks what it is, meaning by that inquiry nothing but the name. As if the name carried with it the knowledge of the species, or the essence of it; whereof it is indeed used as the mark, and is generally supposed annexed to it. Cause of $. 8. But this abstract idea being somesuch refer. thing in the mind between the thing that ences. exists, and the name that is given to it; it is in our ideas, that both the rightness of our knowledge, or the propriety or intelligibleness of our speaks ing, consists. And hence it is, that men are so fore ward to suppose, that the abstract ideas they have in their minds are such as agree to the things existing without them, to which they are referred; and are the same also, to which the names they give them do by the use and propriety of that language belong. For without this double conformity of their ideas, they find they should both think ainiss of things in themselves, and talk of them unintelligibly to others. Simple ideas 9. 9. First then, I say, that when the may be false truth of our ideas is judged of, by the conin reference formity they have to the ideas which other to others of men have, and commonly signify by the the same name, but are same name, they may be any of them falsc. 1 1.0"E least liable to But yet simple ideas are least of all liable to be so. bo so mistaken; because a man by his senses, and every day's observation, may easily satisfy himself what the simple ideas are, which their several names that are in common use stand for: they being but few in number, and such as if he doubts or mistakes in, he may easily rectify by the objects they are to be de found in. Therefore it is seldom, that any one mistakes in his names of simple ideas; or applies the name red to the idea green; or the name sweet to the idea bitter: much less are men apt to confound the names of ideas belonging to different senses; and call a colour by the name of a taste, &c. whereby it is evident, that the simple ideas they call by any name, are commonly |
the same that others have and mean when they use the same names.
s. 10. Complex ideas are much more Ideas of liable to be false in this respect: and the mixed modes complex ideas of mixed modes, much more mo
be false in than those of substances : because in substances (especially those which the common and unborrowed names of any language are applied to) some remarkable sensible qualities, serving ordinarily to distinguish one sort from another, easily preserve those, who take any care in the use of their words, from applying them to sorts of substances, to which they do not at all belong. But in mixed modes we are much more uncertain; it being not so easy to determine of several actions, whether they are to be called justice or cruelty, liberality or prodigality. And so in referring our ideas to those of other men, called by the same names, ours may be false; and the idea in our minds, which we express by the word justice, may perhaps be
that which ought to have another name. er et $. 11. But whether or no our ideas of mixed modes are more liable than any sort
ort Or at least to toiles to be different from those of other men, false of which are marked by the same names; this
at least is certain, that this sort of falshood is much so more familiarly attributed to our ideas of mixed modes, of than to any other. When a man is thought to have a 402: false idea of justice, or gratitude, or glory, it is for no another reason, but that his agrees not with the ideas which by të each of those names are the signs of in other men. Hi ta $. 12. The reason whereof seems to me and
And why. Fot: to be this, that the abstract ideas of mixed
modes, being men's voluntary combinations of such a 5 to precise collection of simple ideas; and so the essence ze 21 of each species being made by men alone, whereof we alto have no other sensible standard existing any where, but ve the name itself, or the definition of that name: we sports have nothing else to refer these our ideas of mixed and modes to, as a standard to which we would conforın Pathein, but the ideas of those who are thought to use gry those names in their most proper significations; and so as our ideas conform or differ from them, they pass for