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its own operations, proceeding from powers intrinsical and proper to itself; which when reflected on by itself, becoming also objects of its contemplation, are, as I have said, the original of all knowledge. Thus the first capacity of human intellect is, that the mind is fitted to receive the impressions made on it; either through the senses by outward objects; or by its own operations when it reflects on them. This is the first step a man makes towards the discovery of any thing, and the ground-work whereon to build all those notions which ever be shall have naturally in this world. All those sublime thonghts which tower above the clouds, and reach as high as heaven itself, take their rise and footing here: in all that good extent wherein the mind wanders, in those remote speculations, it may seemn to be clevated at the with, it stirs not one jot beyond those ideas which sense or reflection have offered for its contemplation). In the recep
$. 25. In this part the understanding 13 leder tion of simple merely passive; and whether or no it will icteas the un. have these beginnings, and as it were maderstanding terials of knowledge, is not in its own subie is for the most
power. For the objects of our senses do, part passive,
• many of them, obtrude their particular ideas upon our minds whether we will or no; and the operations of our minds will not let us be without, at least, some obscure notions of them. No man can be wholly ignorant of what he does when he thinks. These simple ideas, when offered to the mind, the understanding can no more refuse to have, nor alter, when they are im. printed, nor blot them out, and make new ones itselt, than a mirror can refuse, alter, or obliterate the images or ideas which the objects set before it do therein produce. As the bodies that surround us do diversly affect our organs, the mind is forced to receive the impressions, and cannot avoid the perception of those ideas that are annexed to them.
na Ø. 1. THE better to understand the Uncom
1 nature, manner, and extent of pounded ap. and is our knowledge, one thing is carefully to pearances.
be observed concerning the ideas we have; and that Alt is, that some of them are simple, and some complex. Moda & Though the qualities that affect our senses are, in the ne things themselves, so united and blended, that there is 7 vizu 10 separation, no distance between them; yet it is pory plain, the ideas they produce in the mind enter by the hibs' senses simple and unmixed. For though the sight and
i touch often take in from the same object, at the same tam time, different ideas; as a man sees at once motion and - mp colour; the hand feels softness and warmth in the same More piece of wax: yet the simple ideas, thus united in the
same subject, are as perfectly distinct as those that come per in by different senses: the coldness and hardness which with a man feels in a piece of ice being as distinct ideas in the only the inind, as the smell and whiteness of a lily; or as Cut the taste of sugar, and smell of a rose. And there is per pothing can be plainer to a man, than the clear and mai distinct perception he has of those simple ideas; which, ndize being each in itself uncompounded, contains in it no
thing but one uniform appearance, or conception in the
mind, and is not distinguishable into different ideas. ties $. 2. These simple ideas, the materials of The mind mig all our knowledge, are suggested and fur can neither pia nished to the mind only by those two ways
above-mentioned, viz. sensation and reflec- stroy them. tion. (1) When the understanding is once stored with
!!) Against this, that the materials of all our knowledge are suggested and furnished to the mind only by sensation and reflection, the bishop of Worcester makes use of the idea of substance in these words : “ If the idea substance be grounded upon plain and evident reason, then we must
these simple ideas, it has the power to repeat, compare, and unite them, even to an almost infinite variety; and 60 can make at pleasure new complex ideas. But it is not in the power of the most exalted wit, or enlarged understanding, by any quickness or variety of thought, to invent or frame one new simple idea in the mind, not taken in by the ways aforementioned: nor can any force of the understanding destrov those that are there. The dominion of man, in this little world of his own understanding, being much-what the same as it is in the great world of visible things: wherein his power, however managed by art and skill, reaches no farther than to compound and divide the materials that are
allow an idea of substance, which comes not in by sensation or reflection; and so we may be certain of something which we have not by these ideas."
To which our author * answers: These words of your lordship’s con. tain nothing as I see in them againft me: for I never said that the gene. ral idea of substance comes in by sensation and reflection, or that it is a simple idea of sensation or reflection, though it be ultimately founded in them; for it is a complex idea, made up of the general idea of something, or being, with the relation of a support to accidents. For general ideas come not into the mind by sensation or reflection, but are the creatures or inventions of the understanding, as I think I have shownt; and also how the mind makes them from ideas which it has got by sensation and reflec. tion; and as to the ideas of relation, how the mind forms them, and how they are derived from, and ultimately terminate in ideas of sen. sation and reflection, I have likewise shown.
But that I may not be mistaken what I mean, when I speak of ideas of sensation and reflection, as the materials of all our knowledge; give me leave, my lord, to ser down here a place or two, out of my book, to explain myself; as I thus speak of ideas of sensation and reflection :
"That tirese, when we have taken a full survey of them, and their • several modes, and the compositions made out of them, we shall find " to contain all our whole stock of ideas, and we have nothing in our ' minds, which did not come in one of these two ways I.' This thought, in another place, I express thus.
These are the most considerable of those simple ideas which the • mind has, and out of which is made all its other knowledge; all ( which it receives by the two forementioned ways of sensation and o reflection şi And,
Thus I have, in a short draugit, given a view of our original ideas, from whence all the rest are derived, and of which they are made upl.'
* In his first letter to the bishop of Worcester. B. 2. c. 25. & c. 28. 5. 18. B. 2, C, 1. 5. 5. | B. 2, C, 21. 5. 73.
+ B. 3. c. 3. $ B, 2. c. 7. $ 10.
This, made to his hand; but can do nothing towards the making the least particle of new matter, or destroying onc atom of what is already in being. The same inability will every one find in himself, who shall go about to fashion in his understanding any simple idea, not received in by his senses from external objects, or by reflection from the operations of his own mind about them. I would have any one try to fancy any taste, which had never affected his palate; or frame the idea of a scent he had never smelt: and when he can do this, I wili also conclude that a blind man hath ideas of colours, and a deaf man true distinct notions of sounds.
$. 3. This
This, and the like, said in other places, is what I have thought concerning ideas of sensation and reflection, as the foundation and materials of all our ideas, and consequently of all our knowledge : I have set down these particulars out of my book, that the reader having a full view of my opinion herein, may the better see what in it is liable to your lord. ship's reprehension. For that your lordship is not very well satisfied with it, appears not only by the words under consideration, but by these also : “ But we are still told, that our understanding can have no other ideas, but either from sensation or reflection."
Your lordship's argument, in the passage we are upon, stands thus: If the general idea of substance be grounded upon plain and evident rea. son, then we must allow an idea of substance, which comes not in by sensation or reflection. This is a consequence which, with submission, I think will not hold, viz. That reason and ideas are inconsistent ; for if that supposition be not true, then the general idea of substance may be grounded on plain and evident reason; and yet it will not follow from thence, that it is not ultimately grounded on and derived from ideas which come in by sensation or reflection, and so cannot be said to come in by sensation or reflection.
To explain myself, and clear my meaning in this matter. All the ideas of all the sensible qualities of a cherry come into my mind by sensation ; the ideas of perceiving, thinking, reasoning, knowing, &c. come into my mind by reflection. The ideas of these qualities and actions, or powers, are perceived by the mind, to be by themselves inconsistent with existence; or, as your lordship well expresses it, we find that we can have no true conception of any modes or accidents, but we must conceive a substratum, or subject, wherein they are, i.e. That they cannot exist or subsist of themselves. Hence the mind perceives their necessary con. nexion with inherence or being supported; which being a relative idea, superadded to the red colour in a cherry, or to thinking in a man, the mind frames the correlative idea of a support. For I never denied, that the mind could frame to itself ideas of relation, but have showed the quite contrary in my chapters about relation. But because a relarion can. not be founded in nothing, or be the relation of nothing, and the thing
$. 3. This is the reason why, though we cannot believe it iinpossible to God to inake a creature with other organs, and more ways to convey into the understanding tbe notice of corporeal things than those five, as they are usually counted, which he has given to man: yet I think, it is not possible for any one to imagine any other qualities in bodies, howsoever constituted, whereby they can be taken notice of, besides sounds, tastes, smells, visible and tangible qualities. And had mankind been made but with four senses, the qualities then, which are the object of the fifth sense, had been as far from our notice, imagination, and conception, as now any bclonging to a sixth, seventh, or eighth sense, can
here related as a supporter, or a support, is not represented to the mind, by any clear and distinct idea ; therefore the obscure and indistinct, vague idea of thing, or something, is all that is left to be the positive idea, which has the relation of a support, or substratum, to modes or acci. dents; and that general, indetermined idea of something is, by the abstraction of the mind, derived also from the simple ideas of sensation and reflection; and thus the mind, from the positive, simple ideas got by sepsation and reflection, comes to the general, relative idea of substance, which, without these positive, simple ideas, it would never have.
This your lordship (without giving by detail all the particular steps of the mind in this business) has well expressed in this more familiar way: * We find we can have no true conception of any modes or accidents, but we must conceive a substratum, or subject, wherein they are ; since it is a repugnancy to our conceptions of things, that modes or accidents should subsist by themselves."
Hence your lordship calls it the rational idea of substance; and says, “ I grant that by sensation and reflection we come to know the powers and properties of things; but our reason is satisfied that there must be something beyond these, because it is impossible that they should subsist by themselves;" so that if this be that which your lordship means by the rational idea of substance, I see nothing there is in it against what I have said, that it is four.ded on simple ideas of sensation or reflection, and that it is a very obscure idea.
Your lordship's conclusion from your foregoing words is, " and so we may be certain of some things which we have not by those ideas ;" which is a proposition, whose precise meaning, your lordship will forgive me, if I profess, as it stands there, I do not understand. For it is un. certain to me, whether your lordship means, we may certainly know the existence of something, which we have not by those ideas ; or certainly know the distinct properties of something, which we have not by those ideas ; or certainly know the truth of some proposition, which we have not by those ideas : for to be certain of something may signify either of these. But in which soever of these it be meant, I do not see how I am concerned in it.