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Alexander. And therefore we see that, amongst
jockeys, horses have their proper names to be known
and distinguished by, as commonly as their servants;
because, amongst them, there is often occasion to men-
tion this or that particular horse, when he is out of
9. 6. The next thing to be considered,

How general
is, how general words come to be made. words are
For since all things that exist are only pare made.
ticulars, how come we by general terms,
or where find we those general natures they are sup-
posed to stand for? Words become general, by being
made the signs of general ideas; and ideas become ge-
neral, by separating from them the circumstances of
time, and place, and any other ideas, that may deter-
inine them to this or that particular existence. By this
way of abstraction they are made capable of represent-
ing more individuals than one; each of which having
in it a conformity to that abstract idea, is (as we call it)
of that sort.

$. 7. But to deduce this a little more distinctly, it will not perhaps be amiss to trace our notions and names from their beginning, and observe by what degrees we proceed, and by what steps we enlarge our ideas from our first infancy. There is nothing more evident, than that the ideas of the persons children converse with (to instance in them alone) are like the persons themselves, only particular. The ideas of the nurse, and the mother, are well framed in their minds; and, like pictures of them there, represent only those individuals. The names they first gave to them are confined to these individuals; and the names of nurse and mamma the child uses, determine themselves to those persons. Afterwards, when time and a larger acquaintance have made them observe, that there are a great many other things in the world that in some common agreements of shape, and several other qualities, resemble their father and mother, and those persons they have been used to, they frame an idea, which

they find those many particulars do partake in; and *** to that they give, with others, the name man for ex


ample. qualities Dey agre

y have

ample. And thus they come to have a general name, and a general idea. Wherein they make nothing new, hut only leave out of the complex idea they had of Peter and James, Mary and Jane, that which is peculiar to each, and retain only what is common to them all.

$. 8. By the same way that they come by the general name and idea of man, they easily advance to more general names and notions. For observing that several things that differ from their idea of man, and cannot therefore be comprehended under that name, have yet certain qualities wherein they agree with man, by retaining only those qualities, and uniting them into one idea, they have again another and more general idea; to which having given a name, they inake a term of a more cúmprehensive extension: which new idea is made, not by any new addition, but only, as before, by leaving out the shape, and some other properties signified by the name man, and retaining only a body, with life, sense, and spontaneous motion, comprehended under the name animal. General na. $. 9. That this is the way whereby men tures are no. first formed general ideas, and general thing but ab. names to them, I think, is so evident, that stract ideas.

43. there needs no other proof of it, but the considering of a man's self, or others, and the ordinary proceedings of their minds in knowledge: and he that thinks general natures or notions are any thing else but such abstract and partial ideas of more complex ones, taken at first from particular existences, will, I fear, be at a loss where to find them. For let any

one reflect, and then tell me, wherein does his idea of - man differ from that of Peter and Paul, or his idea

of horse from that of Bucephalus, but in the leaving out something that is peculiar to each individual, and retaining so much of those particular complex ideas of several particular existences, as they are found 10 agree in? Of the complex ideas signified by the names man and horse, leaving out but those particulars wherein they differ, and retaining only those wherein they agree, and of those making a new distinct comples

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idea, and giving the name animal to it; one has a
more general term, that comprehends with man several
other creatures. Leave out of the idea of animal, sense
and spontaneous motion; and the remaining complex
idea, made up of the remaining simple ones of body,
life, and nourishment, becomes a more general one,
under the more comprehensive term vivens. And not
to dwell longer upon this particular, so evident in it-
self, by the same way the mind proceeds to body, sub-
stance, and at last to being, thing, and such universal
terms, which stand for any of our ideas whatsoever.
To conclude, this whole mystery of genera and species,
which make such a noise in the schools, and are with 1
justice so little regarded out of them, is nothing else
but abstract ideas, more or less comprehensive, with
names annexed to them. In all which this is constant
and unvariable, that every more general term stands for
such an idea, and is but a part of any of those contained
under it.

s. 10. This may show us the reason, why, why the
in the defining of words, which is nothing genus is ordi.
but declaring their significations, we make narily made
use of the genus, or next general word that use of in de-
comprehends it. Which is not out of ne- initions ;
cessity, but only to save the labour of enumerating the
beveral simple ideas, which the next general word or
genus stands for; or, perhaps, sometimes the shame of
not being able to do it. But though defining by genus
and differentia (I crave leave to use these terms of art,
though originally Latin, since they most properly suit
those notions they are applied to) I say, though de-
fining by the genus be the shortest way, yet I think it
may be doubted whether it be the best. This I am
sure, it is not the only, and so not absolutely necessary.
For definition being nothing but making another un-
derstand by words what idea the term defined stands
for, a definition is best made by enumerating those
sinple ideas that are combined in the signification of
the term defined ; and if instead of such an enumera-
tion, men have accustomed themselves to use the next
general term; it has not been out of necessity, or for


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their signific particulars, our own m but the capa of signifying ggnification the mind of

(1) Against zwers as folle fare the work 'a appears by (one single in 'be so abstrac sort, as if the

have a reale 'multiplied in 'san there is a 'but suppose t 'real essence the same real then the secc

This, as I Stact general sation, V. g. sanding ? whi pool here bro cure, will no

ten the real b 1 speak of the internal consti That our dist funded on th terces, I can man by esse

ball have ex posle of them taly and pro may be truly


their signification are general. When therefore we quit particulars, the generals that rest are only creatures of our own making ; their general nature being nothing but the capacity they are put into by the understanding, of signifying or representing many particulars. For the signification they have is nothing but a relation, that by the mind of man is added to them (1).

s. 12

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(1) Against this the bishop of Worcester objects, and our author * answers as followeth : ' however, saith the bishop, the abstracted ideas

are the work of the mind, yet they are not mere creatures of the mind; 'as appears by an instance produced of the essence of the sun being in

one single individual; in which case it is granted, That the idea may be so abstracted, that more suns might agree in it, and it is as much a sort, as if there were as many suns as there are stars. So that here we have a real essence subsisting in one individual, but capable of being multiplied into more, and the same essence remaining. But in this one 'sun there is a real essence, and not a mere nominal, or abstracted essence; "but suppose there were more suns; would not each of them have the

real essence of the sun ? For what is it makes the second son, but having the same real essence with the first? If it were but a nominal essence, then the second would have nothing but the name.'

This, as I understand it, replies Mr. Locke, is to prove that the ab. stract general essence of any sort of things, or things of the same denomi. nation, v. g. of man or marigold, hath a real being out of the under. standing? which, I confess, I am not able to conceive. Your lordship's proof here brought out of my essay, concerning the sun, I humbly con. ceive, will not reach it; because what is said there, does not at all con. cern the red but nominal essence, as is evident from hence, that the idea I speak of there, is a coinplex idea ; but we have no complex idea of the internal constitution or real essence of the sun. Besides, I say expressly, That our distinguishing substances into species, by names, is not at all founded on their real essences. So that the sun being one of these sub. stances, I cannot, in the place quoted by your lordship, be supposed to mean by essence of the sun, the real essence of the sun, unless I had so expressed it. But all this argument will be at an end, when your lordship shall have explainer what you mean by these words, 'true sun.' In my sense of them, any' thing will be a true sun to which the name sun may be truly and properly applied, and to that substance or thing the name sun may be truly and properly applied, which has united in it that coinbina. tion of sensible qualities, by which any thing else, that is called sun, is distinguished from other substances, i. e. by the nominal essence ; and thus our sun is denominated and distinguished from a fixed star, not by a real essence that we do not know (for if we did, it is possible we should tind the real essence or constitution of one of the fixed stars to be the same * In his first letter,

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