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boundaries of species of animals to us, who have no other measures than the complex ideas of our own collecting; and so far are we from certainly knowing what a man is; though, perhaps-it will be judged great ignorance to make any doubt about it. And yet, I think, I may say, that the certain boundaries of that species are so far from being determined, and the precise number of simple ideas, which make the nominal essence, so far from being settled and perfectly known, that very material doubts may still arise about it. And I imagine, none of the definitions of the word man, which we yet have, nor descriptions of that sort of animal, are so perfect and exact, as to satisfy a considerate inquisitive person; much less to obtain a general consent, and to be that which men would every-where stick by, in the decision of cases, and determining of life and death, baptism or no baptism, in productions that might happen. But not so
$. 28. But though these nominal essences arbitrary as of substances are made by the mind, they are mixed
not yet made so arbitrarily as those of mixed modes
modes. To the making of any nominal essence, it is necessary, First, that the ideas whereof it consists have such an union as to make but one idea, how compounded soever. Secondly, that the particular idea so united be exactly the same, neither more nor less. For if two abstract complex ideas differ either in number or sorts of their component parts, they make two different, and not one and the same essence. In the first of these, the mind, in making its complex ideas of substances, only follows nature; and puts none together, which are not supposed to have an union in nature. No-body joins the voice of a sheep, with the shape of a horse; nor the colour of lead, with the weight and fixedness of gold; to be the complex ideas of any real substances : unless he has a mind to fill his head with chiineras, and his discourse with unintelligible words. Men observing certain qualities always joined and existing together, therein copied nature ; and of ideas so united, made their complex ones of substances. For though men may make what complex
ideas they please, and give what names to them they
comprehended in our complex idea, to be there also ; and we coinmonly take these two obvious qualities, viz. shape and colour, for so presumptive ideas of several species, that in a good picture we readily say this is a lion, and that a rose; this is a gold, and that a silver goblet, only by the different figures and colours represented to the eye by the pencil. Which yet $. 30.
P. 30. but
But though this serves well serve for enough for gross and confused conceptions, common and inaccurate wavs of talking and think
• ing; yet men are far enough from laving agreed on the precise number of simple ideas, or qualities, belonging to any sort of things, signified by its name. Nor is it a wonder, since it requires much time, pains, and skill, strict inquiry, and long examination, to find out what and how many those simple ideas are, which are constantly and inseparably united in nature, and are always to be found together in the same subject. Most men wanting either tiine, inclination, or industry enough for this, even to some tolerable degree, content theniselves with some few obvious and outward appearances of things, thereby readily to distinguish and sort them for the common affairs of life: and so, without farther examination, give them names, or take up the names already in use. Which, though in common conversation. they pass well enough for the signs of some few obvious qualities co-existing, are yet far enough from comprehending, in a settled signification, a precise number of simple ideas ; much less all those which are united in nature. He that shall con. sider, after so much stir about genus and species, and such a deal of talk of specific differences, how lew words we have yet settled definitions of; may with reason imagine that those forms, which there hath been so much noise made about, are only chimeras, which give us no light into the specific natures of things. And he that shall consider, how far the names of substances are from having significations, wherein all who use them do agree, will have reason to conclude, that though the nominal essences of substances are ali sup:
posed posed to be copied from nature, yet they are all, or most of them, very imperfect. Since the composition of those complex ideas are, in several men, very different; and therefore that these boundaries of species are as men, and not as nature makes them, if at least there are in nature any such prefixed bounds. It is true, that many particular substances are so made by nature, that they have agreement and likeness one with another, and so afford a foundation of being ranked into sorts. But the sorting of things by us, or the making ot' determinate species, being in order to naming and comprehending them under general terms; I cannot see how it can be properly said, that nature sets the boundaries of the species of things :'or if it be so, our boundaries of species are not exactly conformable to those in nature. For we having need of general names for present use, stay not for a perfect discovery of all those qualities which would best show us their most material ditferences and agreements; but we ourselves divide them, by certain obvious appearancés, into species, that we may the easier under general names communicate our thoughts about them. For having no other knowledge of any substance, but of the simple ideas that are united in it; and observing several particular things to agrec with others in several of those simple ideas; we make that collection our specific idea, and give it a general name; that in recording our thoughts, and in our discourse with others, we may in one short word design all the individuals that agree in that complex idea, without enumerating the simple ideas that make it up; and so not waste our time and breath, in tedious descriptions : which we see they are fain to do, who would discourse of any new sort of things they have not yet a name for.
§. 31. But however these species of sub- feconnais stances pass well enough in ordinary con- species under versation, it is plain that this complex idea;,' the same wherein they observe several individuals to name very agree, is by different men made very dif- ditte ferently; by some more, and others less accurately In some, this complex idea contains a greater, and in
others a smaller number of qualities; and go is apparently such as the mind makes it. The yellow shiming, colour makes gold to children ; others add weight, malleableness, and fusibility; and others yet other qualities, which they find joined with that yellow colour, as constantly as its weight and fusibility : for it all these and the like qualities, one has as good a right to be put into the complex idea of that substance wherein they are all joined as another. And therefore different men leaving out or putting in several siinple ideas, which others do not, according to their various examination, skill, or observation of that suliject, have different essences of gold : which must therefore be of their own, and not of nature's making. The more $. 32. If the number of simple ideas, general our that make the nominal essence of the lowest ideas are, species, or first sorting of individuals, dethe more in.
pends on the miud of man variously collectpartial they ing them, it is much more evident that are. they do so, in the more comprehensive classes, which by the masters of logic are called genera. These are complex ideas designedly imperfect: and it is visible at first sight, that several of those qualities that are to be found in the things themselves, are purposely left out of generical ideas. For as the mind, to make general ideas comprehending several particulars, leaves out those of time, and place, and such other, that make them incommunicable to more than one individual; so to make other yet more general ideas, that may comprehend different sorts, it leaves out those qualities that distinguish them, and puts into its new collection only such ideas as are common to several sorts. The same convenience that made men express several parcels of yellow matter coming from Guinea and Peru under one naine, sets thein also upon making of one name that may comprehend both gold and silver, and some other bodies of different sorts. This is done by leaving out those qualitics, which are peculiar to each sort; and retaining a complex idea made up of those that are common to them all; to which the name metal being annexed, there is a genus