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true or false. And thus much concerning the truth and
real existence of things; when that is made
the standard of their truth, none of them but those of can be termed false, but only our complex substances. ideas of substances. First, simple §. 14. First, our simple ideas being barely ideas in this such perceptions as God has fitted us to re
ceive, and given power to external objects to false, and
produce in us by established laws and ways, why.
suitable to his wisdom and goodness, though incomprehensible to us, their truth consists in nothing else but in such appearances as are produced in us, and must be suitable to those powers he has placed in external objects, or else they could not be produced in us: and thus answering those powers, they are what they should be, true ideas. Nor do they become liable to any imputation of falshood, if the mind (as in most men Í believe it does) judges these ideas to be in the things themselves. For God, in his wisdom, having set them as marks of distinction in things, whereby we may be able to discern one thing from another, and so choose any of them for our uses, as we have occasion; it alters not the nature of our simple idea, whether we think that the idea of blue be in the violet itself, or in our mind only; and only the power of producing it by the texture of its parts, reflecting the particles of light after a certain manner, to be in the violet itself. l'or that texture in the object, by a regular and constant for operation, producing the same idea of blue in us, it serves us to distinguish, by our eyes, that from any other thing, whether that distinguishing mark, as it is really in the violet, be only a peculiar texture of parts, or else that very colour, the idea whereof (wbich is in us) | is the exact reseinblance. And it is equally from that appearance to be denominated blue, whether it be that real colour, or only a peculiar texture in it, that causes in us that idea : since the name blue notes properly nothing but that mark of distinction that is in a violet, discernible only by our eyes, whatever it consists in:
. that being beyond our capacities distinctly to know, and perhaps would be of less use to us, if we had faculties to discern.
$. 15. Neither would it carry any imputation of falshood to our simple ideas, if man's idea of by the different structure of our organs it blue should were so ordered, that the same object should be different produce in several men's minds different
ther's. ideas at the same time; v. g. if the idea that a violet produced in one man's mind by his eyes were the same that a marygold produced in another man's, and vice versa. For since this could never be known, because one man's mind could not pass into another man's body, to perceive what appearances were produced by those organs ; neither the ideas hereby, nor the names would be at all confounded, or any falshood be in either. For all things that had the texture of a violet, producing constantly the idea that he called blue; and those which had the texture of a marygold, producing constantly the idea which he as constantly called yellow ; whatever those appearances were in his mind, he would be able as regularly to distinguish things for his use by those appearances, and understand and signify those distinctions marked by the naines blue and yellow, as if the appearances, or ideas in his mind, received from those two flowers, were exactly the same with the ideas in other men's minds. I am nevertheless very apt to think, that the sensible ideas produced by any object in different men's minds, are most commonly very near and undiscernibly alike. For which opinion, I think, there might be many reaa sons offered: but that being besides my present business, I shall not trouble my reader with them : but only mind him, that the contrary supposition, if it could be prored, is of little use, either for the improvement of our knowledge, or conveniency of life; and so we need not trouble ourselves to examine jt.
§. 16. From what has been said con- First, simple cerning our simple ideas, I think it evi.
ideas in this
sense not dent, that our simple ideas can none of them dent the
false, and be false in respect of things existing with why.
out us. For the truth of these appearances, or perceptions in our minds, consisting, as has been said, only in their being answerable to the powers in external objects to produce by our senses such appearances in us; and each of them being in the mind, such as it is, suitable to the power that produced it, and which alone it represents; it cannot upon that account, or as refer: red to such a pattern, be false. Blue and yellow, bitter or sweet, can never be false ideas : these perceptions in the mind are just such as they are there, answering the powers appointed by God to produce them; and so are truly what they are, and are intended to be. Indeed the names may be misapplied; but that in this respect makes no falshood in the ideas; as if a man ignorant in the English tongue should call purple scarlet.
§. 17. Secondly, neither can our com. Secondly, plex ideas of modes, in reference to the es. modes not
sence of any thing really existing, be false. false,
Because whatever complex idea I have of any mode, it hath no reference to any pattern existing and made by nature: it is not supposed to contain in it any other ideas than what it hath ; nor to represent any thing but such a complication of ideas as it does. Thus when I have the idea of such an action of a man, who forbears to afford himself such meat, drink, and clothing, and other conveniencies of life, as his riches and estate will be sufficient to supply, and his station requires, I have no false idea ; but such an one as represents an action, either as I find or imagine it; and so is capable of neither truth or falshood. But when I give the name frugality or virtue to this action, then it inay be called a false idea, if thereby it be supposed to agree with that idea, to which, in propriety of speech, the name of frugality doth belong; or to be conformable to that law, which is the standard of virtuel and vice.
$. 18. Thirdly, our complex ideas of ideas of sub. substances, being all referred to patterns in stances when things themselves, may be false. That they false, are all false, when looked upon as the representations of the unknown essences of things, is so
evident, that there needs nothing to be said of it. I shall therefore pass over that chimerical supposition, and consider them as collections of simple ideas in the mind taken from combinations of simple ideas existing together constantly in things, of which patterns they
are the supposed copies: and in this reference of them e to the existence of things, they are false ideas. 1. When Ce they put together simple ideas, which in the real existun ence of things have no union; as when to the shape
and size that exist together in a horse is joined, in the A same complex idea, the power of barking like a dog : un; which three ideas, however put together into one in E, the mind, were never united in nature; and this there
fore may be called a false idea of an horse. 2. Ideas E of substances are, in this respect, also false, when from
any collection ɔf simple ideas that do always exist toge
ther, there is separated, by a direct negation, any other cement simple idea which is constantly joined with them. cp Thus, if to extension, solidity, fusibility, the peculiar ideal weightiness, and yellow colour of gold, any one join maltes in his thoughts the negation of a greater degree of d10e fixedness than is in lead or copper, he may be said to por toen have a false complex idea, as well as when he joins to 225 Bi?those other simple ones the idea of a perfect absolute mogurile fixedness. For either way, the complex idea of gold Pat bos being made up of such simple ones as have no union in te as nature, may be termed false. But if we leave out of Apiess this his complex iidea, that of fixedness quite, without hanc either actually joining to, or separating of it from the mariage rest in his mind, it is, I think, to be looked on as an
inadequate and imperfect idea, rather than a false one ; element since though it contains not all the simple ideas that bikes are united in nature, yet it puts none together but what
do really exist together.
§. 19. Though in compliance with the Truth ordinary way of speaking I have showed in falshood al.
what sense, and upon what ground our ways sup. up ideas may be sometimes called true or false;
tion or nega. yet if we will look a little nearer into the matter, in all cases where any idea is called true or false, it is froin some judgment that the mind
makes, or is supposed to make, that is true or false.
that is in other men's minds, signified by agreeable to
the same name ; or that it is conformable another man's idea, to the ordinary received signification or de• without be. finition of that word, when indeed it is ing so. not: which is the most usual mistake in mixed modes, though other ideas also are liable to it. 2. When Ş. 22. Secondly, when it having a comjudged to plex idea made up of such a collection of agree to real simple
simple ones as nature never puts together existence, whensherdo. it judges it to agree to a species of crede not.
tures really existing; as when it joins the tiredness of gold. 3. When
S. 23. Thirdly, when in its complex idea judged ade it has united a certain number of sine quate, with ple ideas that do really exist together 13