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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 will also conclude that a blind man hath ideas of colours, and a deaf man true distinct notions of sounds.
a supporter, or a support, is no 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 accidents; 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 sensation 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 retail 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 founded 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 uncertain 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.
S 3. This is the reason why, though we cannot believe it impossible to God to make a creature with other organs, and more ways to convey into the understanding the 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 belonging to a sixth, seventh, or eighth sense can possibly be: which, whether yet some other creatures, in some other parts of this vast and stupendous universe, may not have, will be a great presumption to deny. He that will not set himself proudly at the top of all things, but will consider the immensity of this fabric, and the great variety that is to be found in this little and inconsiderable part of it which he has to do with, may be apt to think, that in other mansions of it there may be other and different intelligent beings, of whose faculties he has as little knowledge or apprehension, as a worm shut up in one drawer of a cabinet hath of the senses or understanding of a man: such variety and excellency being suitable to the wisdom and power of the Maker. I have here followed the common opinion of man's having but five senses; though, perhaps, there may be justly counted more: but either supposition serves equally to my present purpose.
Of Ideas of one Sense. Division of $1. The better to conceive the ideas simple ideas. we receive from sensation, it may not be amiss for us to consider them in reference to the different ways whereby they make their approaches to our minds, and make themselves perceivable by us.
First, Then, there are some which come into our minds by one sense only.
Secondly, There are others that convey themselves into the mind by more senses than one.
Thirdly, Others that are had from reflection only.
Fourthly, There are some that make themselves way, and are suggested to the mind by all the ways of sensation and reflection.
We shall consider them apart under their several heads,
First, There are some ideas which have Ideas of one sense, as co- admittance only through one sense, which lours, of see- is peculiarly adapted to receive them. ing, sound, of Thus light and colours, as white, red, hearing, &c. vellow, blue, with their several degrees or shades and mixtures, as green, scarlet, purple, sea-green, and the rest, come in only by the eyes : all kinds of noises, sounds, and tones, only by the ears: the several tastes and smells, by the nose and palate. And if these organs, or the nerves, which are the conduits to convey them from without to their audience in the brain, the mind's presence-room (as I may so call it) are any of them so disordered, as not to perform their functions, they have no postern to be admitted by; no other way to bring themselves into view, and be perceived by the understanding.
The most considerable of those belonging to the touch are heat and cold, and solidity: all the rest, consisting almost wholly in the sensible configuration, as smooth and rough, or else more or less firm adhesion
of the parts, as hard and soft, tough and brittle, are obvious enough.
$ 2. I think it will be needless to enu. Few simple merate all the particular simple ideas be- ideas have longing to each sense. Nor indeed is it names. possible, if we would; there being a great many more of them belonging to most of the senses, than we have names for. The variety of smells, which are as many almost, if not more, than species of bodies in the world, do most of them want names. Sweet and stinking commonly serve our turn for these ideas, which in effect is little more than to call them pleasing or displeasing ; though the smell of a rose and violet, both sweet, are certainly very distinct ideas. Nor are the different tastes, that by our palates we receive ideas of, much better provided with names. Sweet, bitter, sour, harsh, and salt, are almost all the epithets we have to denominate that numberless variety of relishes which are to be found distinct, not only in almost every sort of creatures, but in the different parts of the same plant, fruit or animal. The same may be said of colours and sounds. I shall therefore, in the account of simple ideas I am here giving, content my. self to set down only such, as are most material to our present purpose, or are in themselves less apt to be taken notice of, though they are very frequently the ingredients of our complex ideas, amongst which, I think, I may well account solidity ; which therefore I shall treat of in the next chapter. ; *; Pi e rem T
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CHAPTER IV. 01 ten problem ist Of Solidity.....
$1. The idea of solidity we receive by We receive our touch; and it arises from the resist- this idea ance which we find in body, to the en. from touch,
trance of any other body into the place it possesses, till it has left it. There is no idea which we receive more constantly from sensation than solidity. Whether we move or rest, in what posture soever we are, we always feel something under us that supports us, and hinders our farther sinking downwards; and the bodies which we daily handle make us perceive, that, whilst they remain between them, they do by an insurmountable force hinder the approach of the parts of our hands that press them. That which thus hinders the approach of two bodies, when they are moved one towards another, I call solidity. I will not dispute whether this acceptation of the word solid be nearer to its original signification than that which mathematicians use it in: it suffices, that I think the common notion of solidity will allow, if not justify, this use of it; but, if any one think it better to call it impenetrability, he has my consent. Only I have thought the term solidity the more proper to express this idea, not only because of its vulgar use in that sense, but also because it carries something more of positive in it than impenetrability, which is negative, and is perhaps more a consequence of solidity than solidity itself. This, of all other, seems the idea most intimately connected with and essential to body, so as nowhere else to be found or imagined, but only in matter. And though our senses take no notice of it, but in masses of matter, of a bulk sufficient to cause a sensation in us; yet the mind, having once got this idea from such grosser sensible bodies, traces it farther; and considers it, as well as figure, in the minutest particle of matter that can exist; and finds it inseparably inherent in body, wherever or however modified.
$ 2. This is the idea which belongs to Solidity fillsh
body, whereby we conceive it to fill space. space.
The idea of which filling of space is, that, where we imagine any space taken up by a solid substance, we conceive it so to possess it, that it excludes